By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Human All-Too-Human, Part 1 - Complete Works, Volume Six
Author: Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Human All-Too-Human, Part 1 - Complete Works, Volume Six" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

(Images generously made available by the Hathi Trust.)











The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche

The First Complete and Authorised English Translation

Edited by Dr Oscar Levy

Volume Six










Nietzsche's essay, _Richard Wagner in Bayreuth,_ appeared in 1876,
and his next publication was his present work, which was issued in
1878. A comparison of the books will show that the two years of
meditation intervening had brought about a great change in Nietzsche's
views, his style of expressing them, and the form in which they
were cast. The Dionysian, overflowing with life, gives way to an
Apollonian thinker with a touch of pessimism. The long essay form is
abandoned, and instead we have a series of aphorisms, some tinged with
melancholy, others with satire, several, especially towards the end,
with Nietzschian wit at its best, and a few at the beginning so very
abstruse as to require careful study.

Since the Bayreuth festivals of 1876, Nietzsche had gradually come to
see Wagner as he really was. The ideal musician that Nietzsche had
pictured in his own mind turned out to be nothing more than a rather
dilettante philosopher, an opportunistic decadent with a suspicious
tendency towards Christianity. The young philosopher thereupon
proceeded to shake off the influence which the musician had exercised
upon him. He was successful in doing so, but not without a struggle,
just as he had formerly shaken off the influence of Schopenhauer.
Hence he writes in his autobiography:[1] "_Human, all-too-Human,_ is
the monument of a crisis. It is entitled: 'A book for _free_ spirits,'
and almost every line in it represents a victory--in its pages I freed
myself from everything foreign to my real nature. Idealism is foreign
to me: the title says, 'Where _you_ see ideal things, I see things
which are only--human alas! all-too-human!' I know man _better_--the
term 'free spirit' must here be understood in no other sense than this:
a _freed_ man, who has once more taken possession of himself."

The form of this book will be better understood when it is remembered
that at this period Nietzsche was beginning to suffer from stomach
trouble and headaches. As a cure for his complaints, he spent his time
in travel when he could get a few weeks' respite from his duties at
Basel University; and it was in the course of his solitary walks and
hill-climbing tours that the majority of these thoughts occurred to
him and were jotted down there and then. A few of them, however, date
further back, as he tells us in the preface to the second part of this
work. Many of them, he says, occupied his mind even before he published
his first book, _The Birth of Tragedy_ and several others, as we learn
from his notebooks and posthumous writings, date from the period of the
_Thoughts out of Season._

It must be clearly understood, however, that Nietzsche's disease must
not be looked upon in the same way as that of an ordinary man. People
are inclined to regard a sick man as rancorous; but any one who rights
with and conquers his disease, and even exploits it, as Nietzsche did,
benefits thereby to an extraordinary degree. In the first place, he has
passed through several stages of human psychology with which a healthy
man is entirely unacquainted; _e.g._ he has learnt by introspection
the spiteful and revengeful spirit of the sick man and his religion.
Secondly, in his moments of freedom from pain and gloom his thoughts
will be all the more brilliant.

In support of this last statement, one instance may be selected out of
hundreds that could be adduced. Heinrich Heine spent the greater part
of his life in exile from his native country, tortured by headaches,
and finally dying in a foreign land as the result of a spinal disease.
His splendid works were composed in his moments of respite from
illness, and during the last years of his life, when his health was
at its worst, he gave to the world his famous _Romancero._ We would
likewise do well to recollect Goethe's saying:

    Zart Gedicht, wie Regenbogen,
    Wird nur auf dunkelm Grund gezogen.[2]

Thus neither the form of this book--so startling at first to those who
have been brought up in the traditions of our own school--nor the
treat all men as equals, and proclaim the establishment of equal rights:

    so far a socialistic mode of thought which is based on
    _justice_ is possible; but, as has been said, only within
    the ranks of the governing classes, which in this case
    _practises_ justice with sacrifices and abnegations. On
    the other hand, to _demand_ equality of rights, as do the
    Socialists of the subject caste, is by no means the outcome
    of justice, but of covetousness. If you expose bloody pieces
    of flesh to a beast, and then withdraw them again until
    it finally begins to roar, do you think that the roaring
    implies justice?

Theologians on the other hand, as may be expected, will find no such
ready help in their difficulties from Nietzsche. They must, on the
contrary, be on their guard against so alert an adversary--a duty
which they are apparently not going to shirk; for theologians are
amongst the most ardent students of Nietzsche in this country. Their
attention may therefore be drawn to aphorism 630 of this book, dealing
with convictions and their origin, which will no doubt be successfully
refuted by the defenders of the true faith. In fact, there is not a
single paragraph in the book that does not deserve careful study by all
serious thinkers.

On the whole, however, this is a calm book, and those who are
accustomed to Nietzsche the out-spoken Immoralist, may be somewhat
astonished at the calm tone of the present volume. The explanation is
that Nietzsche was now just beginning to walk on his own philosophical
path. His life-long aim, the uplifting of the type man, was still in
view, but the way leading towards it was once more uncertain. Hence the
peculiarly calm, even melancholic, and what Nietzsche himself would
call Apollonian, tinge of many of these aphorisms, so different from
the style of his earlier and later writings. For this very reason,
however, the book may appeal all the more to English readers, who are
of course more Apollonian than Dionysian. Nietzsche is feeling his way,
and these aphorisms represent his first steps. As such--besides having
a high intrinsic value of themselves--they are enormous aids to the
study of his character and temperament.

                                                    J. M. KENNEDY.

[Footnote 1: _Ecce Homo,_ p. 75.]

[Footnote 2: "Tender poetry, like rainbows, can appear only on a dark
and sombre background."--J.M.K.]



I have been told frequently, and always with great surprise, that there
is something common and distinctive in all my writings, from the _Birth
of Tragedy_ to the latest published _Prelude to a Philosophy of the
Future._ They all contain, I have been told, snares and nets for unwary
birds, and an almost perpetual unconscious demand for the inversion
of customary valuations and valued customs. What? _Everything_
only--human-all-too-human? People lay down my writings with this sigh,
not without a certain dread and distrust of morality itself, indeed
almost tempted and encouraged to become advocates of the _worst_
things: as being perhaps only the _best_ disparaged? My writings have
been called a school of suspicion and especially of disdain, more
happily, also, a school of courage and even of audacity. Indeed, I
myself do not think that any one has ever looked at the world with such
a profound suspicion; and not only as occasional Devil's Advocate, but
equally also, to speak theologically, as enemy and impeacher of God;
and he who realises something of the consequences involved, in every
profound suspicion, something of the chills and anxieties of loneliness
to which every uncompromising _difference of outlook_ condemns him
who is affected therewith, will also understand how often I sought
shelter in some kind of reverence or hostility, or scientificality
or levity or stupidity, in order to recover from myself, and, as it
were, to obtain temporary self-forgetfulness; also why, when I did not
find what I _needed,_ I was obliged to manufacture it, to counterfeit
and to imagine it in a suitable manner (and what else have poets ever
done? And for what purpose has all the art in the world existed?).
What I always required most, however, for my cure and self-recovery,
was the belief that I was _not_ isolated in such circumstances, that I
did not _see_ in an isolated manner--a magic suspicion of relationship
and similarity to others in outlook and desire, a repose in the
confidence of friendship, a blindness in both parties without suspicion
or note of interrogation, an enjoyment of foregrounds, and surfaces
of the near and the nearest, of all that has colour, epidermis, and
outside appearance. Perhaps I might be reproached in this respect
for much "art" and fine false coinage; for instance, for voluntarily
and knowingly shutting my eyes to Schopenhauer's blind will to
morality at a time when I had become sufficiently clear-sighted about
morality; also for deceiving myself about Richard Wagner's incurable
romanticism, as if it were a beginning and not an end; also about
the Greeks, also about the Germans and their future--and there would
still probably be quite a long list of such alsos? Supposing however,
that this were all true and that I were reproached with good reason,
what do _you_ know, what _could_ you know as to how much artifice of
self-preservation, how much rationality and higher protection there is
in such self-deception,--and how much falseness I still _require_ in
order to allow myself again and again the luxury of _my_ sincerity?
... In short, I still live; and life, in spite of ourselves, is not
devised by morality; it _demands_ illusion, it _lives_ by illusion
... but----There! I am already beginning again and doing what I have
always done, old immoralist and bird-catcher that I am,--I am talking
un-morally, ultra-morally, "beyond good and evil"?...


Thus then, when I found it necessary, I _invented_ once on a time the
"free spirits," to whom this discouragingly encouraging book with
the title _Human, all-too-Human,_ is dedicated. There are no such
"free spirits" nor have there been such, but, as already said, I then
required them for company to keep me cheerful in the midst of evils
(sickness, loneliness, foreignness,--_acedia,_ inactivity) as brave
companions and ghosts with whom I could laugh and gossip when so
inclined and send to the devil when they became bores,--as compensation
for the lack of friends. That such free spirits _will be possible_ some
day, that our Europe _will_ have such bold and cheerful wights amongst
her sons of to-morrow and the day after to-morrow, as the shadows of
a hermit's phantasmagoria--_I_ should be the last to doubt thereof.
Already I see them _coming,_ slowly, slowly; and perhaps I am doing
something to hasten their coming when I describe in advance under what
auspices I _see_ them originate, and upon what paths I _see_ them come.


One may suppose that a spirit in which the type "free spirit" is to
become fully mature and sweet, has had its decisive event in a _great
emancipation,_ and that it was all the more fettered previously and
apparently bound for ever to its corner and pillar. What is it that
binds most strongly? What cords are almost unrendable? In men of a
lofty and select type it will be their duties; the reverence which is
suitable to youth, respect and tenderness for all that is time-honoured
and worthy, gratitude to the land which bore them, to the hand which
led them, to the sanctuary where they learnt to adore,--their most
exalted moments themselves will bind them most effectively, will lay
upon them the most enduring obligations. For those who are thus bound
the great emancipation comes suddenly, like an earthquake; the young
soul is all at once convulsed, unloosened and extricated--it does not
itself know what is happening. An impulsion and-compulsion sway and
over-master it like a command; a will and a wish awaken, to go forth
on their course, anywhere, at any cost; a violent, dangerous curiosity
about an undiscovered world flames and flares in every sense. "Better
to die than live _here_"--says the imperious voice and seduction, and
this "here," this "at home" is all that the soul has hitherto loved! A
sudden fear and suspicion of that which it loved, a flash of disdain
for what was called its "duty," a rebellious, arbitrary, volcanically
throbbing longing for travel, foreignness, estrangement, coldness,
disenchantment, glaciation, a hatred of love, perhaps a sacrilegious
clutch and look _backwards,_ to where it hitherto adored and loved,
perhaps a glow of shame at what it was just doing, and at the same
time a rejoicing _that_ it was doing it, an intoxicated, internal,
exulting thrill which betrays a triumph--a triumph? Over what? Over
whom? An enigmatical, questionable, doubtful triumph, but the _first_
triumph nevertheless;--such evil and painful incidents belong to the
history of the great emancipation. It is, at the same time, a disease
which may destroy the man, this first outbreak of power and will to
self-decision, self-valuation, this will to _free_ will; and how much
disease is manifested in the wild attempts and eccentricities by which
the liberated and emancipated one now seeks to demonstrate his mastery
over things! He roves about raging with unsatisfied longing; whatever
he captures has to suffer for the dangerous tension of his pride;
he tears to pieces whatever attracts him. With a malicious laugh he
twirls round whatever he finds veiled or guarded by a sense of shame;
he tries how these things look when turned upside down. It is a matter
of arbitrariness with him, and pleasure in arbitrariness, if he now
perhaps bestow his favour on what had hitherto a bad repute,--if he
inquisitively and temptingly haunt what is specially forbidden. In the
background of his activities and wanderings --for he is restless and
aimless in his course as in a desert--stands the note of interrogation
of an increasingly dangerous curiosity. "Cannot _all_ valuations be
reversed? And is good perhaps evil? And God only an invention and
artifice of the devil? Is everything, perhaps, radically false? And
if we are the deceived, are we not thereby also deceivers? _Must_ we
not also be deceivers?"--Such thoughts lead and mislead him more and
more, onward and away. Solitude encircles and engirdles him, always
more threatening, more throttling, more heart-oppressing, that terrible
goddess and _mater sæva cupidinum_--but who knows nowadays what
_solitude_ is?...


From this morbid solitariness, from the desert of such years of
experiment, it is still a long way to the copious, overflowing safety
and soundness which does not care to dispense with disease itself as
an instrument and angling-hook of knowledge;--to that _mature_ freedom
of spirit which is equally self-control and discipline of the heart,
and gives access to many and opposed modes of thought;--to that inward
comprehensiveness and daintiness of superabundance, which excludes any
danger of the spirit's becoming enamoured and lost in its own paths,
and lying intoxicated in some corner or other; to that excess of
plastic, healing, formative, and restorative powers, which is exactly
the sign of _splendid_ health, that excess which gives the free spirit
the dangerous prerogative of being entitled to live by _experiments_
and offer itself to adventure; the free spirit's prerogative of
mastership! Long years of convalescence may lie in between, years full
of many-coloured, painfully-enchanting magical transformations, curbed
and led by a tough _will to health,_ which often dares to dress and
disguise itself as actual health. There is a middle condition therein,
which a man of such a fate never calls to mind later on without
emotion; a pale, delicate light and a sunshine-happiness are peculiar
to him, a feeling of bird-like freedom, prospect, and haughtiness, a
_tertium quid_ in which curiosity and gentle disdain are combined. A
"free spirit"--this cool expression does good in every condition, it
almost warms. One no longer lives, in the fetters of love and hatred,
without Yea, without Nay, voluntarily near, voluntarily distant,
preferring to escape, to turn aside, to flutter forth, to fly up and
away; one is fastidious like every one who has once seen an immense
variety _beneath_ him,--and one has become the opposite of those who
trouble themselves about things which do not concern them. In fact, it
is nothing but things which now concern the free spirit,--and how many
things!--which no longer _trouble_ him!


A step further towards recovery, and the free spirit again draws
near to life; slowly, it is true, and almost stubbornly, almost
distrustfully. Again it grows warmer around him, and, as it were,
yellower; feeling and sympathy gain depth,. thawing winds of every
kind pass lightly over him. He almost feels as if his eyes were now
first opened to what is _near._ He marvels and is still; where has
he been? The near and nearest things, how changed they appear to
him! What a bloom and magic they have acquired meanwhile! He looks
back gratefully,--grateful to his wandering, his austerity and
self-estrangement, his far-sightedness and his bird-like flights
in cold heights. What a good thing that he did not always stay "at
home," "by himself," like a sensitive, stupid tenderling. He has been
_beside himself,_ there is no doubt. He now sees himself for the first
time,--and what surprises he feels thereby! What thrills unexperienced
hitherto! What joy even in the weariness, in the old illness, in the
relapses of the convalescent! How he likes to sit still and suffer, to
practise patience, to lie in the sun! Who is as familiar as he with the
joy of winter, with the patch of sunshine upon the wall! They are the
most grateful animals in the world, and also the most unassuming, these
lizards of convalescents with their faces half-turned towards life once
more:--there are those amongst them who never let a day pass without
hanging a little hymn of praise on its trailing fringe. And, speaking
seriously, it is a radical _cure_ for all pessimism (the well-known
disease of old idealists and falsehood-mongers) to become ill after
the manner of these free spirits, to remain ill a good while, and then
grow well (I mean "better") for a still longer period. It is wisdom,
practical wisdom, to prescribe even health for one's self for a long
time only in small doses.


About this time it may at last happen, under the sudden illuminations
of still disturbed and changing health, that the enigma of that great
emancipation begins to reveal itself to the free, and ever freer,
spirit,--that enigma which had hitherto lain obscure, questionable,
and almost intangible, in his memory. If for a long time he scarcely
dared to ask himself, "Why so apart? So alone? denying everything that
I revered? denying reverence itself? Why this hatred, this suspicion,
this severity towards my own virtues?"--he now dares and asks the
questions aloud, and already hears something like an answer to them--
"Thou shouldst become master over thyself and master also of thine own
virtues. Formerly _they_ were thy masters; but they are only entitled
to be thy tools amongst other tools. Thou shouldst obtain power over
thy pro and contra, and learn how to put them forth and withdraw them
again in accordance with thy higher purpose. Thou shouldst learn how
to take the proper perspective of every valuation--the shifting,
distortion, and apparent teleology of the horizons and everything that
belongs to perspective; also the amount of stupidity which opposite
values involve, and all the intellectual loss with which every pro
and every contra has to be paid for. Thou shouldst learn how much
_necessary_ injustice there is in every for and against, injustice
as inseparable from life, and life itself as _conditioned_ by the
perspective and its injustice. Above all thou shouldst see clearly
where the injustice is always greatest:--namely, where life has
developed most punily, restrictedly, necessitously, and incipiently,
and yet cannot help regarding _itself_ as the purpose and standard of
things, and for the sake of self-preservation, secretly, basely, and
continuously wasting away and calling in question the higher, greater,
and richer,--thou shouldst see clearly the problem of gradation of
rank, and how power and right and amplitude of perspective grow up
together. Thou shouldst----" But enough; the free spirit _knows_
henceforth which "thou shalt" he has obeyed, and also what he _can_ now
_do,_ what he only now--_may do_....


Thus doth the free spirit answer himself with regard to the riddle of
emancipation, and ends therewith, while he generalises his case, in
order thus to decide with regard to his experience. "As it has happened
to _me_," he says to himself, "so must it happen to every one in whom
a _mission_ seeks to embody itself and to 'come into the world.'" The
secret power and necessity of this mission will operate in and upon
the destined individuals like an unconscious pregnancy,--long before
they have had the mission itself in view and have known its name. Our
destiny rules over us, even when we are not yet aware of it; it is
the future that makes laws for our to-day. Granted that it is _the
problem of the gradations of rank,_ of which we may say that it is
_our_ problem, we free spirits; now only in the midday of our life do
we first understand what preparations, detours, tests, experiments,
and disguises the problem needed, before it _was permitted_ to rise
before us, and how we had first to experience the most manifold and
opposing conditions of distress and happiness in soul and body, as
adventurers and circumnavigators of the inner world called "man," as
surveyors of all the "higher" and the "one-above-another," also called
"man"--penetrating everywhere, almost without fear, rejecting nothing,
losing nothing, tasting everything, cleansing everything from all that
is accidental, and, as it were, sifting it out--until at last we could
say, we free spirits, "Here--a _new_ problem! Here a long ladder,
the rungs of which we ourselves have sat upon and mounted,--which we
ourselves at some time have _been_! Here a higher place, a lower place,
an under-us, an immeasurably long order, a hierarchy which we _see;_
here--_our_ problem!"


No psychologist or augur will be in doubt for a moment as to what stage
of the development just described the following book belongs (or is
assigned to). But where are these psychologists nowadays? In France,
certainly; perhaps in Russia; assuredly not in Germany. Reasons are
not lacking why the present-day Germans could still even count this
as an honour to them--bad enough, surely, for one who in this respect
is un-German in disposition and constitution! This _German_ book,
which has been able to find readers in a wide circle of countries
and nations--it has been about ten years going its rounds--and must
understand some sort of music and piping art, by means of which
even coy foreign ears are seduced into listening,--it is precisely
in Germany that this book has been most negligently read, and worst
_listened to;_ what is the reason?" It demands too much, "I have been
told," it appeals to men free from the pressure of coarse duties, it
wants refined and fastidious senses, it needs superfluity--superfluity
of time, of clearness of sky and heart, of _otium_ in the boldest
sense of the term:--purely good things, which we Germans of to-day do
not possess and therefore cannot give." After such a polite answer
my philosophy advises me to be silent and not to question further;
besides, in certain cases, as the proverb points out, one only
_remains_ a philosopher by being--silent.[1]

NICE, _Spring_ 1886.

[Footnote 1: An allusion to the mediæval Latin distich:

O si tacuisses,
Philosophus mansisses.--J.M.K.





CHEMISTRY OF IDEAS AND SENSATIONS.--Philosophical problems adopt in
almost all matters the same form of question as they did two thousand
years ago; how can anything spring from its opposite? for instance,
reason out of unreason, the sentient out of the dead, logic out of
unlogic, disinterested contemplation out of covetous willing, life for
others out of egoism, truth out of error? Metaphysical philosophy has
helped itself over those difficulties hitherto by denying the origin of
one thing in another, and assuming a miraculous origin for more highly
valued things, immediately out of the kernel and essence of the "thing
in itself." Historical philosophy, on the contrary, which is no longer
to be thought of as separate from physical science, the youngest of all
philosophical methods, has ascertained in single cases (and presumably
this will happen in everything) that there are no opposites except in
the usual exaggeration of the popular or metaphysical point of view,
and that an error of reason lies at the bottom of the opposition:
according to this explanation, strictly understood, there is neither
an unegoistical action nor an entirely disinterested point of view,
they are both only sublimations in which the fundamental element
appears almost evaporated, and is only to be discovered by the closest
observation. All that we require, and which can only be given us by the
present advance of the single sciences, is a _chemistry_ of the moral,
religious, æsthetic ideas and sentiments, as also of those emotions
which we experience in ourselves both in the great and in the small
phases of social and intellectual intercourse, and even in solitude;
but what if this chemistry should result in the fact that also in this
case the most beautiful colours have been obtained from base, even
despised materials? Would many be inclined to pursue such examinations?
Humanity likes to put all questions as to origin and beginning out
of its mind; must one not be almost dehumanised to feel a contrary
tendency in one's self?


INHERITED FAULTS OF PHILOSOPHERS.--All philosophers have the common
fault that they start from man in his present state and hope to attain
their end by an analysis of him. Unconsciously they look upon "man"
as an _cetema Veritas,_ as a thing unchangeable in all commotion, as
a sure standard of things. But everything that the philosopher says
about man is really nothing more than testimony about the man of a
_very limited_ space of time. A lack of the historical sense is the
hereditary fault of all philosophers; many, indeed, unconsciously
mistake the very latest variety of man, such as has arisen under the
influence of certain religions, certain political events, for the
permanent form from which one must set out. They will not learn that
man has developed, that his faculty of knowledge has developed also;
whilst for some of them the entire world is spun out of this faculty
of knowledge. Now everything _essential_ in human development happened
in pre-historic times, long before those four thousand years which we
know something of; man may not have changed much during this time. But
the philosopher sees "instincts" in the present man and takes it for
granted that this is one of the unalterable facts of mankind, and,
consequently, can furnish a key to the understanding of the world; the
entire teleology is so constructed that man of the last four thousand
years is spoken of as an _eternal_ being, towards which all things in
the world have from the beginning a natural direction. But everything
has evolved; there are _no eternal facts,_ as there are likewise no
absolute truths. Therefore, _historical philosophising_ is henceforth
necessary, and with it the virtue of diffidence.


culture to value the little unpretentious truths, which have been
found by means of strict method, more highly than the joy-diffusing
and dazzling errors which spring from metaphysical and artistic times
and peoples. First of all one has scorn on the lips for the former,
as if here nothing could have equal privileges with anything else,
so unassuming, simple, bashful, apparently discouraging are they,
so beautiful, stately, intoxicating, perhaps even animating, are
the others. But the hardly attained, the certain, the lasting, and
therefore of great consequence for all wider knowledge, is still
the higher; to keep one's self to that is manly and shows bravery,
simplicity, and forbearance. Gradually not only single individuals
but the whole of mankind will be raised to this manliness, when
it has at last accustomed itself to the higher appreciation of
durable, lasting knowledge, and has lost all belief in inspiration
and the miraculous communication of truths. Respecters of _forms,_
certainly, with their standard of the beautiful and noble, will first
of all have good reasons for mockery, as soon as the appreciation of
unpretentious truths, and the scientific spirit, begin to obtain the
mastery; but only because their eye has either not yet recognised the
charm of the _simplest_ form, or because men educated in that spirit
are not yet completely and inwardly saturated by it, so that they
still thoughtlessly imitate old forms (and badly enough, as one does
who no longer cares much about the matter). Formerly the spirit was
not occupied with strict thought, its earnestness then lay in the
spinning out of symbols and forms. This is changed; that earnestness
in the symbolical has become the mark of a lower culture. As our arts
themselves grow evermore intellectual, our senses more spiritual, and
as, for instance, people now judge concerning what sounds well to the
senses quite differently from how they did a hundred years ago, so the
forms of our life grow ever more _spiritual,_ to the eye of older ages
perhaps _uglier,_ but only because it is incapable of perceiving how
the kingdom of the inward, spiritual beauty constantly grows deeper
and wider, and to what extent the inner intellectual look may be of
more importance to us all than the most beautiful bodily frame and the
noblest architectural structure.


ASTROLOGY AND THE LIKE.--It is probable that the objects of religious,
moral, æsthetic and logical sentiment likewise belong only to the
surface of things, while man willingly believes that here, at least,
he has touched the heart of the world; he deceives himself, because
those things enrapture him so profoundly, and make him so profoundly
unhappy, and he therefore shows the same pride here as in astrology.
For astrology believes that the firmament moves round the destiny of
man; the moral man, however, takes it for granted that what he has
essentially at heart must also be the essence and heart of things.


MISUNDERSTANDING OF DREAMS.--In the ages of a rude and primitive
civilisation man believed that in dreams he became acquainted with
a _second actual world_; herein lies the origin of all metaphysics.
Without dreams there could have been found no reason for a division of
the world. The distinction, too, between soul and body is connected
with the most ancient comprehension of dreams, also the supposition of
an imaginary soul-body, therefore the origin of all belief in spirits,
and probably also the belief in gods. "The dead continues to live,
_for_ he appears to the living in a dream": thus men reasoned of old
for thousands and thousands of years.


_smallest_ subdivisions of science taken separately are dealt with
purely in relation to themselves,--the general, great sciences, on the
contrary, regarded as a whole, call up the question--certainly a very
non-objective one--"Wherefore? To what end?" It is this utilitarian
consideration which causes them to be dealt with less impersonally
when taken as a whole than when considered in their various parts.
In philosophy, above all, as the apex of the entire, pyramid of
science, the question as to the utility of knowledge is involuntarily
brought forward, and every philosophy has the unconscious intention of
ascribing to it the _greatest_ usefulness. For this reason there is so
much high-flying metaphysics in all philosophies and such a shyness of
the apparently unimportant solutions of physics; for the importance
of knowledge for life _must_ appear as great as possible. Here is the
antagonism between the separate provinces of science and philosophy.
The latter desires, what art does, to give the greatest possible depth
and meaning to life and actions; in the former one seeks knowledge and
nothing further, whatever may emerge thereby. So far there has been no
philosopher in whose hands philosophy has not grown into an apology
for knowledge; on this point, at least, every one is an optimist, that
the greatest usefulness must be ascribed to knowledge. They are all
tyrannised over by logic, and this is optimism--in its essence.


THE KILL-JOY IN SCIENCE.--Philosophy separated from science when it
asked the question, "Which is the knowledge of the world and of life
which enables man to live most happily?" This happened in the Socratic
schools; the veins of scientific investigation were bound up by the
point of view of _happiness,_--and are so still.


PNEUMATIC EXPLANATION OF NATURE.--Metaphysics explains the writing of
Nature, so to speak, _pneumatically,_ as the Church and her learned men
formerly did with the Bible. A great deal of understanding is required
to apply to Nature the same method of strict interpretation as the
philologists have now established for all books with the intention
of clearly understanding what the text means, but not suspecting a
_double_ sense or even taking it for granted. Just, however, as with
regard to books, the bad art of interpretation is by no means overcome,
and in the most cultivated society one still constantly comes across
the remains of allegorical and mystic interpretation, so it is also
with regard to Nature, indeed it is even much worse.


THE METAPHYSICAL WORLD.--It is true that there _might_ be a
metaphysical world; the absolute possibility of it is hardly to be
disputed. We look at everything through the human head and cannot cut
this head off; while the question remains, What would be left of the
world if it had been cut off? This is a purely scientific problem,
and one not very likely to trouble mankind; but everything which
has hitherto made metaphysical suppositions _valuable, terrible,
delightful_ for man, what has produced them, is passion, error, and
self-deception; the very worst methods of knowledge, not the best,
have taught belief therein. When these methods have been discovered as
the foundation of all existing religions and metaphysics, they have
been refuted. Then there still always remains that possibility; but
there is nothing to be done with it, much less is it possible to let
happiness, salvation, and life depend on the spider-thread of such a
possibility. For nothing could be said of the metaphysical world but
that it would be a different condition, a condition inaccessible and
incomprehensible to us; it would be a thing of negative qualities.
Were the existence of such a world ever so well proved, the fact would
nevertheless remain that it would be precisely the most irrelevant
of all forms of knowledge: more irrelevant than the knowledge of the
chemical analysis of water to the sailor in danger in a storm.


of religion, art, and morals have been so described that one can
perfectly explain them without having recourse to metaphysical concepts
at the beginning and in the course of the path, the strongest interest
in the purely theoretical problem of the "thing-in-itself" and the
"phenomenon" ceases. For however it may be here, with religion, art,
and morals we do not touch the "essence of the world in itself"; we are
in the domain of representation, no "intuition" can carry us further.
With the greatest calmness we shall leave the question as to how our
own conception of the world can differ so widely from the revealed
essence of the world, to physiology and the history of the evolution of
organisms and ideas.


LANGUAGE AS A PRESUMPTIVE SCIENCE.--The importance of language for
the development of culture lies in the fact that in language man has
placed a world of his own beside the other, a position which he deemed
so fixed that he might therefrom lift the rest of the world off its
hinges, and make himself master of it. Inasmuch as man has believed in
the ideas and names of things as _æternæ veritates_ for a great length
of time, he has acquired that pride by which he has raised himself
above the animal; he really thought that in language he possessed
the knowledge of the world. The maker of language was not modest
enough to think that he only gave designations to things, he believed
rather that with his words he expressed the widest knowledge of the
things; in reality language is the first step in the endeavour after
science. Here also it is belief in ascertained truth, from which the
mightiest sources of strength have flowed. Much later--only now--it
is dawning upon men that they have propagated a tremendous error in
their belief in language. Fortunately it is now too late to reverse
the development of reason, which is founded upon that belief. _Logic,_
also, is founded upon suppositions to which nothing in the actual
world corresponds,--for instance, on the supposition of the equality
of things, and the identity of the same thing at different points of
time,--but that particular science arose out of the contrary belief
(that such things really existed in the actual world). It is the same
with mathematics, which would certainly not have arisen if it had been
known from the beginning that in Nature there are no exactly straight
lines, no real circle, no absolute standard of size.


DREAM AND CULTURE.--The function of the brain which is most influenced
by sleep is the memory; not that it entirely ceases; but it is brought
back to a condition of imperfection, such as everyone may have
experienced in pre-historic times, whether asleep or awake. Arbitrary
and confused as it is, it constantly confounds things on the ground
of the most fleeting resemblances; but with the same arbitrariness
and confusion the ancients invented their mythologies, and even at
the present day travellers are accustomed to remark how prone the
savage is to forgetfulness, how, after a short tension of memory, his
mind begins to sway here and there from sheer weariness and gives
forth lies and nonsense. But in dreams we all resemble the savage;
bad recognition and erroneous comparisons are the reasons of the
bad conclusions, of which we are guilty in dreams: so that, when we
clearly recollect what we have dreamt, we are alarmed at ourselves at
harbouring so much foolishness within us. The perfect distinctness of
all dream-representations, which pre-suppose absolute faith in their
reality, recall the conditions that appertain, to primitive man,
in whom hallucination was extraordinarily frequent, and sometimes
simultaneously seized entire communities, entire nations. Therefore, in
sleep and in dreams we once more carry out the task of early humanity.


THE LOGIC OF DREAMS.--In sleep our nervous system is perpetually
excited by numerous inner occurrences; nearly all the organs are
disjointed and in a state of activity, the blood runs its turbulent
course, the position of the sleeper causes pressure on certain limbs,
his coverings influence his sensations in various ways, the stomach
digests and by its movements it disturbs other organs, the intestines
writhe, the position of the head occasions unaccustomed play of
muscles, the feet, unshod, not pressing upon the floor with the soles,
occasion the feeling of the unaccustomed just as does the different
clothing of the whole body: all this, according to its daily change
and extent, excites by its extraordinariness the entire system to the
very functions of the brain, and thus there are a hundred occasions
for the spirit to be surprised and to seek for the _reasons_ of this
excitation;--the dream, however, is _the seeking and representing of
the causes_ of those excited sensations,--that is, of the supposed
causes. A person who, for instance, binds his feet with two straps
will perhaps dream that two serpents are coiling round his feet; this
is first hypothesis, then a belief, with an accompanying _mental_
picture and interpretation--" These serpents must be the _causa_ of
those sensations which I, the sleeper, experience,"--so decides the
mind of the sleeper. The immediate past, so disclosed, becomes to him
the present through his excited imagination. Thus every one knows
from experience how quickly the dreamer weaves into his dream a
loud sound that he hears, such as the ringing of bells or the firing
of cannon, that is to say, explains it from _afterwards_ so that he
first _thinks_ he experiences the producing circumstances and then
that sound. But how does it happen that the mind of the dreamer is
always so mistaken, while the same mind when awake is accustomed to be
so temperate, careful, and sceptical with regard to its hypotheses?
so that the first random hypothesis for the explanation of a feeling
suffices for him to believe immediately in its truth? (For in dreaming
we believe in the dream as if it were a reality, _i.e._ we think our
hypothesis completely proved.) I hold, that as man now still reasons in
dreams, so men reasoned also _when awake_ through thousands of years;
the first _causa_ which occurred to the mind to explain anything that
required an explanation, was sufficient and stood for truth. (Thus,
according to travellers' tales, savages still do to this very day.)
This ancient element in human nature still manifests itself in our
dreams, for it is the foundation upon which the higher reason has
developed and still develops in every individual; the dream carries
us back into remote conditions of human culture, and provides a ready
means of understanding them better. Dream-thinking is now so easy to
us because during immense periods of human development we have been
so well drilled in this form of fantastic and cheap explanation,
by means of the first agreeable notions. In so far, dreaming is a
recreation for the brain, which by day has to satisfy the stern
demands of thought, as they are laid down by the higher culture. We
can at once discern an allied process even in our awakened state, as
the door and ante-room of the dream. If we shut our eyes, the brain
produces a number of impressions of light and colour, probably as a
kind of after-play and echo of all those effects of light which crowd
in upon it by day. Now, however, the understanding, together with
the imagination, instantly works up this play of colour, shapeless
in itself, into definite figures, forms, landscapes, and animated
groups. The actual accompanying process thereby is again a kind of
conclusion from the effect to the cause: since the mind asks, "Whence
come these impressions of light and colour?" it supposes those figures
and forms as causes; it takes them for the origin of those colours and
lights, because in the daytime, with open eyes, it is accustomed to
find a producing cause for every colour, every effect of light. Here,
therefore, the imagination constantly places pictures before the mind,
since it supports itself on the visual impressions of the day in their
production, and the dream-imagination does just the same thing,--that
is, the supposed cause is deduced from the effect and represented after
the effect; all this happens with extraordinary rapidity, so that here,
as with the conjuror, a confusion of judgment may arise and a sequence
may look like something simultaneous, or even like a reversed sequence.
From these circumstances we may gather _how lately_ the more acute
logical thinking, the strict discrimination of cause and effect has
been developed, when our reasoning and understanding faculties _still_
involuntarily hark back to those primitive forms of deduction, and
when we pass about half our life in this condition. The poet, too, and
the artist assign causes for their moods and conditions which are by
no means the true ones; in this they recall an older humanity and can
assist us to the understanding of it.


CO-ECHOING.--All _stronger_ moods bring with them a co-echoing of
kindred sensations and moods, they grub up the memory, so to speak.
Along with them something within us remembers and becomes conscious
of similar conditions and their origin. Thus there are formed quick
habitual connections of feelings and thoughts, which eventually, when
they follow each other with lightning speed, are no longer felt as
complexes but as _unities._ In this sense one speaks of the moral
feeling, of the religious feeling, as if they were absolute unities: in
reality they are streams with a hundred sources and tributaries. Here
also, as so often happens, the unity of the word is no security for the
unity of the thing.


NO INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL IN THE WORLD.--As Democritus transferred the
concepts "above" and "below" to endless space where they have no sense,
so philosophers in general have transferred the concepts "Internal"
and "External" to the essence and appearance of the world; they think
that with deep feelings one can penetrate deeply into the internal and
approach the heart of Nature. But these feelings are only deep in so
far as along with them, barely noticeable, certain complicated groups
of thoughts, which we call deep, are regularly excited; a feeling
is deep because we think that the accompanying thought is deep. But
the "deep" thought can nevertheless be very far from the truth, as,
for instance, every metaphysical one; if one take away from the deep
feeling the commingled elements of thought, then the _strong_ feeling
remains, and this guarantees nothing for knowledge but itself, just
as strong faith proves only its strength and not the truth of what is
believed in.


PHENOMENON AND THING-IN-ITSELF.--Philosophers are in the habit of
setting themselves before life and experience--before that which they
call the world of appearance--as before a picture that is once for
all unrolled and exhibits unchangeably fixed the same process,--this
process, they think, must be rightly interpreted in order to come to
a conclusion about the being that produced the picture: about the
thing-in-itself, therefore, which is always accustomed to be regarded
as sufficient ground for the world of phenomenon. On the other hand,
since one always makes the idea of the metaphysical stand definitely
as that of the unconditioned, _consequently_ also unconditioning, one
must directly disown all connection between the unconditioned (the
metaphysical world) and the world which is known to us; so that the
thing-in-itself should most certainly _not_ appear in the phenomenon,
and every conclusion from the former as regards the latter is to be
rejected. Both sides overlook the fact that that picture--that which
we now call human life and experience--has gradually evolved,--nay,
is still in the full process of evolving,--and therefore should not
be regarded as a fixed magnitude from which a conclusion about its
originator might be deduced (the sufficing cause) or even merely
neglected. It is because for thousands of years we have looked into
the world with moral, æsthetic, and religious pretensions, with blind
inclination, passion, or fear, and have surfeited ourselves in the
vices of illogical thought, that this world has gradually _become_ so
marvellously motley, terrible, full of meaning and of soul, it has
acquired colour--but we were the colourists; the human intellect,
on the basis of human needs, of human emotions, has caused this
"phenomenon" to appear and has carried its erroneous fundamental
conceptions into things. Late, very late, it takes to thinking, and
now the world of experience and the thing-in-itself seem to it so
extraordinarily different and separated, that it gives up drawing
conclusions from the former to the latter--or in a terribly mysterious
manner demands the renunciation of our intellect, of our personal
will, in order _thereby_ to reach the essential, that one may _become
essential._ Again, others have collected all the characteristic
features of our world of phenomenon,--that is, the idea of the world
spun out of intellectual errors and inherited by us,--and _instead of
accusing the intellect_ as the offenders, they have laid the blame on
the nature of things as being the cause of the hard fact of this very
sinister character of the world, and have preached the deliverance
from Being. With all these conceptions the constant and laborious
process of science (which at last celebrates its greatest triumph in a
_history of the origin of thought_) becomes completed in various ways,
the result of which might perhaps run as follows:--"That which we now
call the world is the result of a mass of errors and fantasies which
arose gradually in the general development of organic being, which
are inter-grown with each other, and are now inherited by us as the
accumulated treasure of all the past,--as a treasure, for the value of
our humanity depends upon it. From this world of representation strict
science is really only able to liberate us to a very slight extent--as
it is also not at all desirable--inasmuch as it cannot essentially
break the power of primitive habits of feeling; but it can gradually
elucidate the history of the rise of that world as representation,--and
lift us, at least for moments, above and beyond the whole process.
Perhaps we shall then recognise that the thing in itself is worth a
Homeric laugh; that it _seemed_ so much, indeed everything, and _is_
really empty, namely, empty of meaning."


METAPHYSICAL EXPLANATIONS.--The young man values metaphysical
explanations, because they show him something highly significant
in things which he found unpleasant or despicable, and if he is
dissatisfied with himself, the feeling becomes lighter when he
recognises the innermost world-puzzle or world-misery in that which he
so strongly disapproves of in himself. To feel himself less responsible
and at the same time to find things more interesting--that seems to
him a double benefit for which he has to thank metaphysics. Later on,
certainly, he gets distrustful of the whole metaphysical method of
explanation; then perhaps it grows clear to him that those results can
be obtained equally well and more scientifically in another way: that
physical and historical explanations produce the feeling of personal
relief to at least the same extent, and that the interest in life and
its problems is perhaps still more aroused thereby.


of thought comes to be written, a new light will be thrown on the
following statement of a distinguished logician:--"The primordial
general law of the cognisant subject consists in the inner necessity
of recognising every object in itself in its own nature, as a thing
identical with itself, consequently self-existing and at bottom
remaining ever the same and unchangeable: in short, in recognising
everything as a substance." Even this law, which is here called
"primordial," has evolved: it will some day be shown how gradually this
tendency arises in the lower organisms, how the feeble mole-eyes of
their organisations at first see only the same thing,--;how then, when
the various awakenings of pleasure and displeasure become noticeable,
various substances are gradually distinguished, but each with one
attribute, _i.e._ one single relation to such an organism. The first
step in logic is the judgment,--the nature of which, according to the
decision of the best logicians, consists in belief. At the bottom of
all belief lies _the sensation of the pleasant or the painful_ in
relation to the _sentient subject._ A new third sensation as the result
of two previous single sensations is the judgment in its simplest
form. We organic beings have originally no interest in anything but
its relation to _us_ in connection with pleasure and pain. Between
the moments (the states of feeling) when we become conscious of
this connection, lie moments of rest, of non-feeling; the world and
everything is then without interest for us, we notice no change in it
(as even now a deeply interested person does not notice when any one
passes him). To the plant, things are as a rule tranquil and eternal,
everything like itself. From the period of the lower organisms man
has inherited the belief that _similar things_ exist (this theory
is only contradicted by the matured experience of the most advanced
science). The primordial belief of everything organic from the
beginning is perhaps even this, that all the rest of the world is one
and immovable. The point furthest removed from those early beginnings
of logic is the idea of _Causality,_--indeed we still really think
that all sensations and activities are acts of the free will; when the
sentient individual contemplates himself, he regards every sensation,
every alteration as something _isolated,_ that is to say, unconditioned
and disconnected,--it rises up in us without connection with anything
foregoing or following. We are hungry, but do not originally think that
the organism must be nourished; the feeling seems to make itself felt
_without cause and purpose,_ it isolates itself and regards itself as
arbitrary. Therefore, belief in the freedom of the will is an original
error of everything organic, as old as the existence of the awakenings
of logic in it; the belief in unconditioned substances and similar
things is equally a primordial as well as an old error of everything
organic. But inasmuch as all metaphysics has concerned itself chiefly
with substance and the freedom of will, it may be designated as the
science which treats of the fundamental errors of mankind, but treats
of them as if they were fundamental truths.


NUMBER.--The discovery of the laws of numbers is made upon the ground
of the original, already prevailing error, that there are many similar
things (but in reality there is nothing similar), at least, that there
are things (but there is no "thing"). The supposition of plurality
always presumes that there is something which appears frequently,--but
here already error reigns, already we imagine beings, unities,
which do not exist. Our sensations of space and time are false, for
they lead--examined in sequence--to logical contradictions. In all
scientific determinations we always reckon inevitably with certain
false quantities, but as these quantities are at least constant, as,
for instance, our sensation of time and space, the conclusions of
science have still perfect accuracy and certainty in their connection
with one another; one may continue to build upon them--until that final
limit where the erroneous original suppositions, those constant faults,
come into conflict with the conclusions, for instance in the doctrine
of atoms. There still we always feel ourselves compelled to the
acceptance of a "thing" or material "sub-stratum" that is moved, whilst
the whole scientific procedure has pursued the very task of resolving
everything substantial (material) into motion; here, too, we still
separate with our sensation the mover and the moved and cannot get
out of this circle, because the belief in things has from immemorial
times been bound up with our being. When Kant says, "The understanding
does not derive its laws from Nature, but dictates them to her," it is
perfectly true with regard to the idea of Nature which we are compelled
to associate with her (Nature = World as representation, that is to
say as error), but which is the summing up of a number of errors of
the understanding. The laws of numbers are entirely inapplicable to a
world which is not our representation--these laws obtain only in the
human world.


A FEW STEPS BACK.--A degree of culture, and assuredly a very high one,
is attained when man rises above superstitious and religious notions
and fears, and, for instance, no longer believes in guardian angels or
in original sin, and has also ceased to talk of the salvation of his
soul,--if he has attained to this degree of freedom, he has still also
to overcome metaphysics with the greatest exertion of his intelligence.
Then, however, a _retrogressive movement_ is necessary; he must
understand the historical justification as well as the psychological in
such representations, he must recognise how the greatest advancement
of humanity has come therefrom, and how, without such a retrocursive
movement, we should have been robbed of the best products of hitherto
existing mankind. With regard to philosophical metaphysics, I always
see increasing numbers who have attained to the negative goal (that
all positive metaphysics is error), but as yet few who climb a few
rungs backwards; one ought to look out, perhaps, over the last steps of
the ladder, but not try to stand upon them. The most enlightened only
succeed so far as to free themselves from metaphysics and look back
upon it with superiority, while it is necessary here, too, as in the
hippodrome, to turn round the end of the course.


CONJECTURAL VICTORY OF SCEPTICISM.--For once let the sceptical
starting-point be accepted,--granted that there were no other
metaphysical world, and all explanations drawn from metaphysics about
the only world we know were useless to us, in what light should we
then look upon men and things? We can think this out for ourselves, it
is useful, even though the question whether anything metaphysical has
been scientifically proved by Kant and Schopenhauer were altogether set
aside. For it is quite possible, according to historical probability,
that some time or other man, as a general rule, may grow _sceptical;_
the question will then be this: What form will human society take under
the influence of such a mode of thought? Perhaps the _scientific proof_
of some metaphysical world or other is already so _difficult_ that
mankind will never get rid of a certain distrust of it. And when there
is distrust of metaphysics, there are on the whole the same results as
if it had been directly refuted and _could_ no longer be believed in.
The historical question with regard to an unmetaphysical frame of mind
in mankind remains the same in both cases.


which accompanies the cessation of metaphysical views lies in the fact
that the individual looks upon his short span of life too exclusively
and receives no stronger incentives to build durable institutions
intended to last for centuries,--he himself wishes to pluck the fruit
from the tree which he plants, and therefore he no longer plants those
trees which require regular care for centuries, and which are destined
to afford shade to a long series of generations. For metaphysical
views furnish the belief that in them the last conclusive foundation
has been given, upon which henceforth all the future of mankind is
compelled to settle down and establish itself; the individual furthers
his salvation, when, for instance, he founds a church or convent, he
thinks it will be reckoned to him and recompensed to him in the eternal
life of the soul, it is work for the soul's eternal salvation. Can
science also arouse such faith in its results? As a matter of fact, it
needs doubt and distrust as its most faithful auxiliaries; nevertheless
in the course of time, the sum of inviolable truths--those, namely,
which have weathered all the storms of scepticism, and all destructive
analysis--may have become so great (in the regimen of health, for
instance), that one may determine to found thereupon "eternal" works.
For the present the _contrast_ between our excited ephemeral existence
and the long-winded repose of metaphysical ages still operates too
strongly, because the two ages still stand too closely together;
the individual man himself now goes through too many inward and
outward developments for him to venture to arrange his own lifetime
permanently, and once and for all. An entirely modern man, for
instance, who is going to build himself a house, has a feeling as if
he were going to immure himself alive in a mausoleum.


THE AGE OF COMPARISON.--The less men are fettered by tradition, the
greater becomes the inward activity of their motives; the greater,
again, in proportion thereto, the outward restlessness, the confused
flux of mankind, the polyphony of strivings. For whom is there still an
absolute compulsion to bind himself and his descendants to one place?
For whom is there still anything strictly compulsory? As all styles of
arts are imitated simultaneously, so also are all grades and kinds of
morality, of customs, of cultures. Such an age obtains its importance
because in it the various views of the world, customs, and cultures can
be compared and experienced simultaneously,--which was formerly not
possible with the always localised sway of every culture, corresponding
to the rooting of all artistic styles in place and time. An increased
æsthetic feeling will now at last decide amongst so many forms
presenting themselves for comparison; it will allow the greater number,
that is to say all those rejected by it, to die out. In the same way
a selection amongst the forms and customs of the higher moralities is
taking place, of which the aim can be nothing else than the downfall of
the lower moralities. It is the age of comparison! That is its pride,
but more justly also its grief. Let us not be afraid of this grief!
Rather will we comprehend as adequately as possible the task our age
sets us: posterity will bless us for doing so,--a posterity which knows
itself to be as much above the terminated original national cultures as
above the culture of comparison, but which looks back with gratitude on
both kinds of culture as upon antiquities worthy of veneration.


THE POSSIBILITY OF PROGRESS.--When a scholar of the ancient culture
forswears the company of men who believe in progress, he does quite
right. For the greatness and goodness of ancient culture lie behind
it, and historical education compels one to admit that they can never
be fresh again; an unbearable stupidity or an equally insufferable
fanaticism would be necessary to deny this. But men can _consciously_
resolve to develop themselves towards a new culture; whilst formerly
they only developed unconsciously and by chance, they can now create
better conditions for the rise of human beings, for their nourishment,
education and instruction; they can administer the earth economically
as a whole, and can generally weigh and restrain the powers of man.
This new, conscious culture kills the old, which, regarded as a whole,
has led an unconscious animal and plant life; it also kills distrust
in progress,--progress is _possible._ I must say that it is over-hasty
and almost nonsensical to believe that progress must _necessarily_
follow; but how could one deny that it is possible? On the other hand,
progress in the sense and on the path of the old culture is not even
thinkable. Even if romantic fantasy has also constantly used the word
"progress" to denote its aims (for instance, circumscribed primitive
national cultures), it borrows the picture of it in any case from the
past; its thoughts and ideas on this subject are entirely without


PRIVATE AND ŒCUMENICAL MORALITY.--Since the belief has ceased that
a God directs in general the fate of the world and, in spite of all
apparent crookedness in the path of humanity, leads it on gloriously,
men themselves must set themselves œcumenical aims embracing the
whole earth. The older morality, especially that of Kant, required
from the individual actions which were desired from all men,--that was
a delightfully naïve thing, as if each one knew off-hand what course
of action was beneficial to the whole of humanity, and consequently
which actions in general were desirable; it is a theory like that
of free trade, taking for granted that the general harmony _must_
result of itself according to innate laws of amelioration. Perhaps a
future contemplation of the needs of humanity will show that it is
by no means desirable that all men should act alike; in the interest
of œcumenical aims it might rather be that for whole sections of
mankind, special, and perhaps under certain circumstances even evil,
tasks would have to be set. In any case, if mankind is not to destroy
itself by such a conscious universal rule, there must previously be
found, as a scientific standard for œcumenical aims, a _knowledge of
the conditions of culture_ superior to what has hitherto been attained.
Herein lies the enormous task of the great minds of the next century.


REACTION AS PROGRESS.--Now and again there appear rugged, powerful,
impetuous, but nevertheless backward-lagging minds which conjure up
once more a past phase of mankind; they serve to prove that the new
tendencies against which they are working are not yet sufficiently
strong, that they still lack something, otherwise they would show
better opposition to those exorcisers. Thus, for example, Luther's
Reformation bears witness to the fact that in his century all the
movements of the freedom of the spirit were still uncertain, tender,
and youthful; science could not yet lift up its head. Indeed the whole
Renaissance seems like an early spring which is almost snowed under
again. But in this century also, Schopenhauer's Metaphysics showed
that even now the scientific spirit is not yet strong enough; thus the
whole mediæval Christian view of the world and human feeling could
celebrate its resurrection in Schopenhauer's doctrine, in spite of
the long achieved destruction of all Christian dogmas. There is much
science in his doctrine, but it does not dominate it: it is rather
the old well-known "metaphysical requirement" that does so. It is
certainly one of the greatest and quite invaluable advantages which
we gain from Schopenhauer, that he occasionally forces our sensations
back into older, mightier modes of contemplating the world and man, to
which no other path would so easily lead us. The gain to history and
justice is very great,--I do not think that any one would so easily
succeed now in doing justice to Christianity and its Asiatic relations
without Schopenhauer's assistance, which is specially impossible
from the basis of still existing Christianity. Only after this great
_success of justice,_ only after we have corrected so essential a point
as the historical mode of contemplation which the age of enlightenment
brought with it, may we again bear onward the banner of enlightenment,
the banner with the three names, Petrarch, Erasmus, Voltaire. We have
turned reaction into progress.


A SUBSTITUTE FOR RELIGION.--It is believed that something good
is said of philosophy when it is put forward as a substitute for
religion for the people. As a matter of fact, in the spiritual economy
there is need, at times, of an _intermediary_ order of thought: the
transition from religion to scientific contemplation is a violent,
dangerous leap, which is not to be recommended. To this extent the
recommendation is justifiable. But one should eventually learn that
the needs which have been satisfied by religion and are now to be
satisfied by philosophy are not unchangeable; these themselves can be
_weakened_ and _eradicated._ Think, for instance, of the Christian's
distress of soul, his sighing over inward corruption, his anxiety
for salvation,--all notions which originate only in errors of reason
and deserve not satisfaction but destruction. A philosophy can serve
either to _satisfy_ those needs or to _set them aside_; for they are
acquired, temporally limited needs, which are based upon suppositions
contradictory to those of science. Here, in order to make a transition,
_art_ is far rather to be employed to relieve the mind overburdened
with emotions; for those notions receive much less support from it than
from a metaphysical philosophy. It is easier, then, to pass over from
art to a really liberating philosophical science.


ILL-FAMED WORDS.--Away with those wearisomely hackneyed terms
Optimism and Pessimism! For the occasion for using them becomes less
and less from day to day; only the chatterboxes still find them so
absolutely necessary. For why in all the world should any one wish to
be an optimist unless he had a God to defend who _must_ have created
the best of worlds if he himself be goodness and perfection,--what
thinker, however, still needs the hypothesis of a God? But every
occasion for a pessimistic confession of faith is also lacking when
one has no interest in being annoyed at the advocates of God (the
theologians, or the theologising philosophers), and in energetically
defending the opposite view, that evil reigns, that pain is greater
than pleasure, that the world is a bungled piece of work, the
manifestation of an ill-will to life. But who still bothers about the
theologians now--except the theologians? Apart from all theology and
its contentions, it is quite clear that the world is not good and not
bad (to say nothing of its being the best or the worst), and that the
terms "good" and "bad" have only significance with respect to man, and
indeed, perhaps, they are not justified even here in the way they are
usually employed; in any case we must get rid of both the calumniating
and the glorifying conception of the world.


INTOXICATED BY THE SCENT OF THE BLOSSOMS.--It is supposed that the ship
of humanity has always a deeper draught, the heavier it is laden; it is
believed that the deeper a man thinks, the more delicately he feels,
the higher he values himself, the greater his distance from the other
animals,--the more he appears as a genius amongst the animals,--all
the nearer will he approach the real essence of the world and its
knowledge; this he actually does too, through science, but he _means_
to do so still more through his religions and arts. These certainly
are blossoms of the world, but by no means any _nearer to the root of
the world_ than the stalk; it is not possible to understand the nature
of things better through them, although almost every one believes he
can. _Error_ has made man so deep, sensitive, and inventive that he has
put forth such blossoms as religions and arts. Pure knowledge could
not have been capable of it. Whoever were to unveil for us the essence
of the world would give us all the most disagreeable disillusionment.
Not the world as thing-in-itself, but the world as representation (as
error) is so full of meaning, so deep, so wonderful, bearing happiness
and unhappiness in its bosom. This result leads to a philosophy of the
logical denial of the world, which, however, can be combined with a
practical world-affirming just as well as with its opposite.


BAD HABITS IN REASONING.--The usual false conclusions of mankind are
these: a thing exists, therefore it has a right to exist. Here there
is inference from the ability to live to its suitability; from its
suitability to its rightfulness. Then: an opinion brings happiness;
therefore it is the true opinion. Its effect is good; therefore it is
itself good and true. To the effect is here assigned the predicate
beneficent, good, in the sense of the useful, and the cause is then
furnished with the same predicate good, but here in the sense of the
logically valid. The inversion of the sentences would read thus: an
affair cannot be carried through, or maintained, therefore it is
wrong; an opinion causes pain or excites, therefore it is false. The
free spirit who learns only too often the faultiness of this mode
of reasoning, and has to suffer from its consequences, frequently
gives way to the temptation to draw the very opposite conclusions,
which, in general, are naturally just as false: an affair cannot be
carried through, therefore it is good; an opinion is distressing and
disturbing, therefore it is true.


THE ILLOGICAL NECESSARY.--One of those things that may drive a thinker
into despair is the recognition of the fact that the illogical is
necessary for man, and that out of the illogical comes much that is
good. It is so firmly rooted in the passions, in language, in art,
in religion, and generally in everything that gives value to life,
that it cannot be withdrawn without thereby hopelessly injuring these
beautiful things. It is only the all-too-naïve people who can believe
that the nature of man can be changed into a purely logical one; but
if there were degrees of proximity to this goal, how many things would
not have to be lost on this course! Even the most rational man has need
of nature again from time to time, _i.e._ his _illogical fundamental
attitude_ towards all things.


INJUSTICE NECESSARY.--All judgments on the value of life are
illogically developed, and therefore unjust. The inexactitude of
the judgment lies, firstly, in the manner in which the material is
presented, namely very imperfectly; secondly, in the manner in which
the conclusion is formed out of it; and thirdly, in the fact that every
separate element of the material is again the result of vitiated
recognition, and this, too, of necessity. For instance, no experience
of an individual, however near he may stand to us, can be perfect, so
that we could have a logical right to make a complete estimate of him;
all estimates are rash, and must be so. Finally, the standard by which
we measure, our nature, is not of unalterable dimensions,--we have
moods and vacillations, and yet we should have to recognise ourselves
as a fixed standard in order to estimate correctly the relation of any
thing whatever to ourselves. From this it will, perhaps, follow that
we should make no judgments at all; if one could only live without
making estimations, without having likes and dislikes! For all dislike
is connected with an estimation, as well as all inclination. An
impulse towards or away from anything without a feeling that something
advantageous is desired, something injurious avoided, an impulse
without any kind of conscious valuation of the worth of the aim does
not exist in man. We are from the beginning illogical, and therefore
unjust beings, _and can recognise this_; it is one of the greatest and
most inexplicable discords of existence.


ERROR ABOUT LIFE NECESSARY FOR LIFE.--Every belief in the value and
worthiness of life is based on vitiated thought; it is only possible
through the fact that sympathy for the general life and suffering of
mankind is very weakly developed in the individual. Even the rarer
people who think outside themselves do not contemplate this general
life, but only a limited part of it. If one understands how to direct
one's attention chiefly to the exceptions,--I mean to the highly gifted
and the rich souls,--if one regards the production of these as the aim
of the whole world-development and rejoices in its operation, then
one may believe in the value of life, because one thereby _overlooks_
the other men--one consequently thinks fallaciously. So too, when
one directs one's attention to all mankind, but only considers _one_
species of impulses in them, the less egoistical ones, and excuses
them with regard to the other instincts, one may then again entertain
hopes of mankind in general and believe so far in the value of life,
consequently in this case also through fallaciousness of thought. Let
one, however, behave in this or that manner: with such behaviour one
is an _exception_ amongst men. Now, most people bear life without any
considerable grumbling, and consequently _believe_ in the value of
existence, but precisely because each one is solely self-seeking and
self-affirming, and does not step out of himself like those exceptions;
everything extra-personal is imperceptible to them, or at most seems
only a faint shadow. Therefore on this alone is based the value of
life for the ordinary everyday man, that he regards himself as more
important than the world. The great lack of imagination from which
he suffers is the reason why he cannot enter into the feelings of
other beings, and therefore sympathises as little as possible with
their fate and suffering. He, on the other hand, who really _could_
sympathise therewith, would have to despair of the value of life; were
he to succeed in comprehending and feeling in himself the general
consciousness of mankind, he would collapse with a curse on existence;
for mankind as a whole has _no_ goals, consequently man, in considering
his whole course, cannot find in it his comfort and support, but his
despair. If, in all that he does, he considers the final aimlessness
of man, his own activity assumes in his eyes the character of
wastefulness. But to feel one's self just as much wasted as humanity
(and not only as an individual) as we see the single blossom of nature
wasted, is a feeling above all other feelings. But who is capable
of it? Assuredly only a poet, and poets always know how to console


FOR TRANQUILLITY.--But does not our philosophy thus become a tragedy?
Does not truth become hostile to life, to improvement? A question seems
to weigh upon our tongue and yet hesitate to make itself heard: whether
one _can_ consciously remain in untruthfulness? or, supposing one were
_obliged_ to do this, would not death be preferable? For there is no
longer any "must"; morality, in so far as it had any "must" or "shalt",
has been destroyed by our mode of contemplation, just as religion has
been destroyed. Knowledge can only allow pleasure and pain, benefit and
injury to subsist as motives; but how will these motives agree with
the sense of truth? They also contain errors (for, as already said,
inclination and aversion, and their very incorrect determinations,
practically regulate our pleasure and pain). The whole of human life
is deeply immersed in untruthfulness; the individual cannot draw it
up out of this well, without thereby taking a deep dislike to his
whole past, without finding his present motives--those of honour,
for instance--inconsistent, and without opposing scorn and disdain
to the passions which conduce to happiness in the future. Is it true
that there remains but one sole way of thinking which brings after it
despair as a personal experience, as a theoretical result, a philosophy
of dissolution, disintegration, and self-destruction? I believe that
the decision with regard to the after-effects of the knowledge will
be given through the _temperament_ of a man; I could imagine another
after-effect, just as well as that one described, which is possible in
certain natures, by means of which a life would arise much simpler,
freer from emotions than is the present one, so that though at first,
indeed, the old motives of passionate desire might still have strength
from old hereditary habit, they would gradually become weaker under
the influence--of purifying knowledge. One would live at last amongst
men, and with one's self as with _Nature,_ without praise, reproach,
or agitation, feasting one's eyes, as if it were a _play,_ upon much
of which one was formerly afraid. One would be free from the emphasis,
and would no longer feel the goading, of the thought that one is not
only nature or more than nature. Certainly, as already remarked, a
good temperament would be necessary for this, an even, mild, and
naturally joyous soul, a disposition which would not always need to be
on its guard against spite and sudden outbreaks, and would not convey
in its utterances anything of a grumbling or sudden nature,--those
well-known vexatious qualities of old dogs and men who have been long
chained up. On the contrary, a man from whom the ordinary fetters of
life have so far fallen that he continues to live only for the sake of
ever better knowledge must be able to renounce without envy and regret:
much, indeed almost everything that is precious to other men, he must
regard as the _all-sufficing_ and the most desirable condition; the
free, fearless soaring over men, customs, laws, and the traditional
valuations of things. The joy of this condition he imparts willingly,
and he _has_ perhaps nothing else to impart,--wherein, to be sure,
there is more privation and renunciation. If, nevertheless, more is
demanded from him, he will point with a friendly shake of his head to
his brother, the free man of action, and will perhaps not conceal a
little derision, for as regards this "freedom" it is a very peculiar




all-too-human--or, according to the learned expression, psychological
observation--is one of the means by which one may lighten the burden
of life, that exercise in this art produces presence of mind in
difficult circumstances, in the midst of tiresome surroundings, even
that from the most thorny and unpleasant periods of one's own life
one may gather maxims and thereby feel a little better: all this
was believed, was known in former centuries. Why was it forgotten
by our century, when in Germany at least, even in all Europe, the
poverty of psychological observation betrays itself by many signs? Not
exactly in novels, tales, and philosophical treatises,--they are the
work of exceptional individuals,--rather in the judgments on public
events and personalities; but above all there is a lack of the art of
psychological analysis and summing-up in every rank of society, in
which a great deal is talked about men, but nothing about _man._ Why
do we allow the richest and most harmless subject of conversation to
escape us? Why are not the great masters of psychological maxims more
read? For, without any exaggeration, the educated man in Europe who has
read La Rochefoucauld and his kindred in mind and art, is rarely found,
and still more rare is he who knows them and does not blame them. It
is probable, however, that even this exceptional reader will find much
less pleasure in them than the form of this artist should afford him;
for even the clearest head is not capable of rightly estimating the
art of shaping and polishing maxims unless he has really been brought
up to it and has competed in it. Without this practical teaching one
deems this shaping and polishing to be easier than it is; one has not
a sufficient perception of fitness and charm. For this reason the
present readers of maxims find in them a comparatively small pleasure,
hardly a mouthful of pleasantness, so that they resemble the people who
generally look at cameos, who praise because they cannot love, and are
very ready to admire, but still more ready to run away.


OBJECTION.--Or should there be a counter-reckoning to that theory
that places psychological observation amongst the means of charming,
curing, and relieving existence? Should one have sufficiently convinced
one's self of the unpleasant consequences of this art to divert from
it designedly the attention of him who is educating himself in it? As
a matter of fact, a certain blind belief in the goodness of human
nature, an innate aversion to the analysis of human actions, a kind
of shame-facedness with respect to the nakedness of the soul may
really be more desirable for the general well-being of a man than that
quality, useful in isolated cases, of psychological sharp-sightedness;
and perhaps the belief in goodness, in virtuous men and deeds, in an
abundance of impersonal goodwill in the world, has made men better
inasmuch as it has made them less distrustful. When one imitates
Plutarch's heroes with enthusiasm, and turns with disgust from a
suspicious examination of the motives for their actions, it is not
truth which benefits thereby, but the welfare of human society; the
psychological mistake and, generally speaking, the insensibility
on this matter helps humanity forwards, while the recognition of
truth gains more through the stimulating power of hypothesis than La
Rochefoucauld has said in his preface to the first edition of his
"_Sentences et maximes morales." ... "Ce que le monde nomme vertu n'est
d'ordinaire qu'un fantôme formé par nos passions, à qui on donne un
nom honnête pour faire impunément ce qu'on veut."_ La Rochefoucauld
and those other French masters of soul-examination who have lately
been joined by a German, the author of _Psychological Observations_[1]
resemble good marksmen who again and again hit the bull's-eye; but it
is the bull's-eye of human nature. Their art arouses astonishment; but
in the end a spectator who is not led by the spirit of science, but
by humane intentions, will probably execrate an art which appears to
implant in the soul the sense of the disparagement and suspicion of


NEVERTHELESS.--However it may be with reckoning and counter-reckoning,
in the present condition of philosophy the awakening of moral
observation is necessary. Humanity can no longer be spared the cruel
sight of the psychological dissecting-table with its knives and
forceps. For here rules that science which inquires into the origin and
history of the so-called moral sentiments, and which, in its progress,
has to draw up and solve complicated sociological problems:--the older
philosophy knows the latter one not at all, and has always avoided the
examination of the origin and history of moral sentiments on any feeble
pretext. With what consequences it is now very easy to see, after
it has been shown by many examples how the mistakes of the greatest
philosophers generally have their starting-point in a wrong explanation
of certain human actions and sensations, just as on the ground of an
erroneous analysis--for instance, that of the so-called unselfish
actions a false ethic is built up; then, to harmonise with this again,
religion and mythological confusion are brought in to assist, and
finally the shades of these dismal spirits fall also over physics and
the general mode of regarding the world. If it is certain, however,
that superficiality in psychological observation has laid, and still
lays, the most dangerous snares for human judgments and conclusions,
then there is need now of that endurance of work which does not grow
weary of piling stone upon stone, pebble on pebble; there is need of
courage not to be ashamed of such humble work and to turn a deaf ear
to scorn. And this is also true,--numberless single observations on
the human and all-too-human have first been discovered, and given
utterance to, in circles of society which were accustomed to offer
sacrifice therewith to a clever desire to please, and not to scientific
knowledge,--and the odour of that old home of the moral maxim, a very
seductive odour, has attached itself almost inseparably to the whole
species, so that on its account the scientific man involuntarily
betrays a certain distrust of this species and its earnestness. But
it is sufficient to point to the consequences, for already it begins
to be seen what results of a serious kind spring from the ground of
psychological observation. What, after all, is the principal axiom
to which the boldest and coldest thinker, the author of the book
_On the Origin of Moral Sensations_[2] has attained by means of his
incisive and decisive analyses of human actions? "The moral man," he
says, "is no nearer to the intelligible (metaphysical) world than
is the physical man." This theory, hardened and sharpened under the
hammer-blow of historical knowledge, may some time or other, perhaps
in some future period, serve as the axe which is applied to the root
of the "metaphysical need" of man,--whether _more_ as a blessing than
a curse to the general welfare it is not easy to say, but in any case
as a theory with the most important consequences, at once fruitful and
terrible, and looking into the world with that Janus-face which all
great knowledge possesses.


HOW FAR USEFUL.--It must remain for ever undecided whether
psychological observation is advantageous or disadvantageous to
man; but it is certain that it is necessary, because science cannot
do without it. Science, however, has no consideration for ultimate
purposes, any more than Nature has, but just as the latter occasionally
achieves things of the greatest suitableness without intending to do
so, so also true science, as the _imitator of nature in ideas,_ will
occasionally and in many ways further the usefulness and welfare of
man,--_but also without intending to do so._

But whoever feels too chilled by the breath of such a reflection has
perhaps too little fire in himself; let him look around him meanwhile
and he will become aware of illnesses which have need of ice-poultices,
and of men who are so "kneaded together" of heat and spirit that
they can hardly find an atmosphere that is cold and biting enough.
Moreover, as individuals and nations that are too serious have need of
frivolities, as others too mobile and excitable have need occasionally
of heavily oppressing burdens for the sake of their health, should not
we, the more _intellectual_ people of this age, that grows visibly more
and more inflamed, seize all quenching and cooling means that exist, in
order that we may at least remain as constant, harmless, and moderate
as we still are, and thus, perhaps, serve some time or other as mirror
and self-contemplation for this age?


THE FABLE OF INTELLIGIBLE FREEDOM.--The history of the sentiments by
means of which we make a person responsible consists of the following
principal phases. First, all single actions are called good or bad
without any regard to their motives, but only on account of the useful
or injurious consequences which result for the community. But soon the
origin of these distinctions is forgotten, and it is deemed that the
qualities "good" or "bad" are contained in the action itself without
regard to its consequences, by the same error according to which
language describes the stone as hard, the tree as green,--with which,
in short, the result is regarded as the cause. Then the goodness or
badness is implanted in the motive, and the action in itself is looked
upon as morally ambiguous. Mankind even goes further, and applies
the predicate good or bad no longer to single motives, but to the
whole nature of an individual, out of whom the motive grows as the
plant grows out of the earth. Thus, in turn, man is made responsible
for his operations, then for his actions, then for his motives, and
finally for his nature. Eventually it is discovered that even this
nature cannot be responsible, inasmuch as it is an absolutely necessary
consequence concreted out of the elements and influences of past and
present things,--that man, therefore, cannot be made responsible for
anything, neither for his nature, nor his motives, nor his actions, nor
his effects. It has therewith come to be recognised that the history
of moral valuations is at the same time the history of an error, the
error of responsibility, which is based upon the error of the freedom
of will. Schopenhauer thus decided against it: because certain actions
bring ill humour ("consciousness of guilt") in their train, there
must be a responsibility; for there would be _no reason_ for this ill
humour if not only all human actions were not done of necessity,--which
is actually the case and also the belief of this philosopher,--but
man himself from the same necessity is precisely the _being_ that
he is--which Schopenhauer denies. From the fact of that ill humour
Schopenhauer thinks he can prove a liberty which man must somehow
have had, not with regard to actions, but with regard to nature;
liberty, therefore, to _be_ thus or otherwise, not to _act_ thus or
otherwise. From the _esse,_ the sphere of freedom and responsibility,
there results, in his opinion, the _operari,_ the sphere of strict
causality, necessity, and irresponsibility. This ill humour is
apparently directed to the _operari,_--in so far it is erroneous,--but
in reality it is directed to the _esse,_ which is the deed of a free
will, the fundamental cause of the existence of an individual, man
becomes that which he _wishes_ to be, his will is anterior to his
existence. Here the mistaken conclusion is drawn that from the fact
of the ill humour, the justification, the reasonable _admissableness_
of this ill humour is presupposed; and starting from this mistaken
conclusion, Schopenhauer arrives at his fantastic sequence of the
so-called intelligible freedom. But the ill humour after the deed is
not necessarily reasonable, indeed it is assuredly not reasonable, for
it is based upon the erroneous presumption that the action need _not_
have inevitably followed. Therefore, it is only because man _believes_
himself to be free, not because he is free, that he experiences remorse
and pricks of conscience. Moreover, this ill humour is a habit that can
be broken off; in many people it is entirely absent in connection with
actions where others experience it. It is a very changeable thing, and
one which is connected with the development of customs and culture,
and probably only existing during a comparatively short period of the
world's history. Nobody is responsible for his actions, nobody for his
nature; to judge is identical with being unjust. This also applies when
an individual judges himself. The theory is as clear as sunlight, and
yet every one prefers to go back into the shadow and the untruth, for
fear of the consequences.


THE SUPER-ANIMAL.--The beast in us wishes to be deceived; morality is
a lie of necessity in order that we may not be torn in pieces by it.
Without the errors which lie in the assumption of morality, man would
have remained an animal. Thus, however, he has considered himself as
something higher and has laid strict laws upon himself. Therefore he
hates the grades which have remained nearer to animalness, whereby the
former scorn of the slave, as a not-yet-man, is to be explained as a


THE UNCHANGEABLE CHARACTER.--That the character is unchangeable is
not true in a strict sense; this favourite theory means, rather, that
during the short lifetime of an individual the new influencing motives
cannot penetrate deeply enough to destroy the ingrained marks of many
thousands of years. But if one were to imagine a man of eighty thousand
years, one would have in him an absolutely changeable character, so
that a number of different individuals would gradually develop out
of him. The shortness of human life misleads us into forming many
erroneous ideas about the qualities of man.


THE ORDER OF POSSESSIONS AND MORALITY.--The once-accepted hierarchy
of possessions, according as this or the other is coveted by a lower,
higher, or highest egoism, now decides what is moral or immoral. To
prefer a lesser good (for instance, the gratification of the senses)
to a more highly valued good (for instance, health) is accounted
immoral, and also to prefer luxury to liberty. The hierarchy of
possessions, however, is not fixed and equal at all times; if any one
prefers vengeance to justice he is moral according to the standard of
an earlier civilisation, but immoral according to the present one. To
be "immoral," therefore, denotes that an individual has not felt, or
not felt sufficiently strongly, the higher, finer, spiritual motives
which have come in with a new culture; it marks one who has remained
behind, but only according to the difference of degrees. The order of
possessions itself is _not_ raised and lowered according to a moral
point of view; but each time that it is fixed it supplies the decision
as to whether an action is moral or immoral.


cruel nowadays must be accounted for by us as the grades of earlier
civilisations which have survived; here are exposed those deeper
formations in the mountain of humanity which usually remain concealed.
They are backward people whose brains, through all manner of accidents
in the course of inheritance, have not been developed in so delicate
and manifold a way. They show us what we all _were_ and horrify us, but
they themselves are as little responsible as is a block of granite for
being granite. There must, too, be grooves and twists in our brains
which answer to that condition of mind, as in the form of certain
human organs there are supposed to be traces of a fish-state. But these
grooves and twists are no longer the bed through which the stream of
our sensation flows.


GRATITUDE AND REVENGE.--The reason why the powerful man is grateful
is this: his benefactor, through the benefit he confers, has mistaken
and intruded into the sphere of the powerful man,--now the latter,
in return, penetrates into the sphere of the benefactor by the act of
gratitude. It is a milder form of revenge. Without the satisfaction of
gratitude, the powerful man would have shown himself powerless, and
would have been reckoned as such ever after. Therefore every society of
the good, which originally meant the powerful, places gratitude amongst
the first duties.--Swift propounded the maxim that men were grateful in
the same proportion as they were revengeful.


and evil has a twofold early history, namely, _once_ in the soul of
the ruling tribes and castes. Whoever has the power of returning
good for good, evil for evil, and really practises requital, and who
is, therefore, grateful and revengeful, is called good; whoever is
powerless, and unable to requite, is reckoned as bad. As a good man one
is reckoned among the "good," a community which has common feelings
because the single individuals are bound to one another by the sense
of requital. As a bad man one belongs to the "bad," to a party of
subordinate, powerless people who have no common feeling. The good are
a caste, the bad are a mass like dust. Good and bad have for a long
time meant the same thing as noble and base, master and slave. On the
other hand, the enemy is not looked upon as evil, he can requite. In
Homer the Trojan and the Greek are both good. It is not the one who
injures us, but the one who is despicable, who is called bad. Good is
inherited in the community of the good; it is impossible that a bad man
could spring from such good soil. If, nevertheless, one of the good
ones does something which is unworthy of the good, refuge is sought in
excuses; the guilt is thrown upon a god, for instance; it is said that
he has struck the good man with blindness and madness.--

_Then_ in the soul of the oppressed and powerless. Here every _other_
man is looked upon as hostile, inconsiderate, rapacious, cruel,
cunning, be he noble or base; evil is the distinguishing word for man,
even for every conceivable living creature, _e.g._ for a god; human,
divine, is the same thing as devilish, evil. The signs of goodness,
helpfulness, pity, are looked upon with fear as spite, the prelude to
a terrible result, stupefaction and out-witting,--in short, as refined
malice. With such a disposition in the individual a community could
hardly exist, or at most it could exist only in its crudest form, so
that in all places where this conception of good and evil obtains,
the downfall of the single individuals, of their tribes and races, is
at hand.--Our present civilisation has grown up on the soil of the
_ruling_ tribes and castes.


SYMPATHY STRONGER THAN SUFFERING.--There are cases when sympathy is
stronger than actual suffering. For instance, we are more pained when
one of our friends is guilty of something shameful than when we do
it ourselves. For one thing, we have more faith in the purity of his
character than he has himself; then our love for him, probably on
account of this very faith, is stronger than his love for himself. And
even if his egoism suffers more thereby than our egoism, inasmuch as it
has to bear more of the bad consequences of his fault, the un-egoistic
in us--this word is not to be taken too seriously, but only as a
modification of the expression--is more deeply wounded by his guilt
than is the un-egoistic in him.


HYPOCHONDRIA.--There are people who become hypochondriacal through
their sympathy and concern for another person; the kind of sympathy
which results therefrom is nothing but a disease. Thus there is
also a Christian hypochondria, which afflicts those solitary,
religiously-minded people who keep constantly before their eyes the
sufferings and death of Christ.


ECONOMY OF GOODNESS.--Goodness and love, as the most healing herbs and
powers in human intercourse, are such costly discoveries that one would
wish as much economy as possible to be exercised in the employment of
these balsamic means; but this is impossible. The economy of goodness
is the dream of the most daring Utopians.


GOODWILL.--Amongst the small, but countlessly frequent and therefore
very effective, things to which science should pay more attention than
to the great, rare things, is to be reckoned goodwill; I mean that
exhibition of a friendly disposition in intercourse, that smiling
eye, that clasp of the hand, that cheerfulness with which almost all
human actions are usually accompanied. Every teacher, every official,
adds this to whatever is his duty; it is the perpetual occupation
of humanity, and at the same time the waves of its light, in which
everything grows; in the narrowest circle, namely, within the family,
life blooms and flourishes only through that goodwill. Kindliness,
friendliness, the courtesy of the heart, are ever-flowing streams of
un-egoistic impulses, and have given far more powerful assistance to
culture than even those much more famous demonstrations which are
called pity, mercy, and self-sacrifice. But they are thought little
of, and, as a matter of fact, there is not much that is un-egoistic
in them. The _sum_ of these small doses is nevertheless mighty, their
united force is amongst the strongest forces. Thus one finds much more
happiness in the world than sad eyes see, if one only reckons rightly,
and does not forget all those moments of comfort in which every day is
rich, even in the most harried of human lives.


THE WISH TO AROUSE PITY.--In the most remarkable passage of his
auto--portrait (first printed in 1658), La Rochefoucauld assuredly
hits the nail on the head when he warns all sensible people against
pity, when he advises them to leave that to those orders of the people
who have need of passion (because it is not ruled by reason), and to
reach the point of helping the suffering and acting energetically in an
accident; while pity, according to his (and Plato's) judgment, weakens
the soul. Certainly we should _exhibit_ pity, but take good care not
to _feel_ it, for the unfortunate are so _stupid_ that to them the
exhibition of pity is the greatest good in the world. One can, perhaps,
give a more forcible warning against this feeling of pity if one looks
upon that need of the unfortunate not exactly as stupidity and lack of
intellect, a kind of mental derangement which misfortune brings with
it (and as such, indeed, La Rochefoucauld appears to regard it), but
as something quite different and more serious. Observe children, who
cry and scream _in order_ to be pitied, and therefore wait for the
moment when they will be noticed; live in intercourse with the sick and
mentally oppressed, and ask yourself whether that ready complaining and
whimpering, that making a show of misfortune, does not, at bottom, aim
at _making the spectators miserable;_ the pity which the spectators
then exhibit is in so far a consolation for the weak and suffering in
that the latter recognise therein that they _possess still one power,_
in spite of their weakness, _the power of giving pain._ The unfortunate
derives a sort of pleasure from this feeling of superiority, of which
the exhibition of pity makes him conscious; his imagination is exalted,
he is still powerful enough to give the world pain. Thus the thirst for
pity is the thirst for self-gratification, and that, moreover, at the
expense of his fellow-men; it shows man in the whole inconsiderateness
of his own dear self, but not exactly in his "stupidity," as La
Rochefoucauld thinks. In society-talk three-fourths of all questions
asked and of all answers given are intended to cause the interlocutor
a little pain; for this reason so many people pine for company; it
enables them to feel their power. There is a powerful charm of life
in such countless but very small doses in which malice makes itself
felt, just as goodwill, spread in the same way throughout the world, is
the ever-ready means of healing. But are there many honest people who
will admit that it is pleasing to give pain? that one not infrequently
amuses one's self--and amuses one's self very well--in causing
mortifications to others, at least in thought, and firing off at them
the grape-shot of petty malice? Most people are too dishonest, and a
few are too good, to know anything of this _pudendum_ these will always
deny that Prosper Mérimée is right when he says, "_Sachez aussi qu'il
n'y a rien de plus commun que de faire le mal pour le plaisir de le


HOW APPEARANCE BECOMES ACTUALITY.--The actor finally reaches such a
point that even in the deepest sorrow he cannot cease from thinking
about the impression made by his own person and the general scenic
effect; for instance, even at the funeral of his child, he will weep
over his own sorrow and its expression like one of his own audience.
The hypocrite, who always plays one and the same part, ceases at
last to be a hypocrite; for instance, priests, who as young men are
generally conscious or unconscious hypocrites, become at last natural,
and are then really without any affectation, just priests; or if the
father does not succeed so far, perhaps the son does, who makes use
of his father's progress and inherits his habits. If any one long and
obstinately desires to _appear_ something, he finds it difficult at
last to _be_ anything else. The profession of almost every individual,
even of the artist, begins with hypocrisy, with an imitating from
without, with a copying of the effective. He who always wears the
mask of a friendly expression must eventually obtain a power over
well-meaning dispositions without which the expression of friendliness
is not to be compelled,--and finally, these, again, obtain a power
over him, he _is_ well-meaning.


THE POINT OF HONOUR IN DECEPTION.--In all great deceivers one thing
is noteworthy, to which they owe their power. In the actual act of
deception, with all their preparations, the dreadful voice, expression,
and mien, in the midst of their effective scenery they are overcome
by their _belief in themselves_ it is this, then, which speaks so
wonderfully and persuasively to the spectators. The founders of
religions are distinguished from those great deceivers in that they
never awake from their condition of self-deception; or at times, but
very rarely, they have an enlightened moment when doubt overpowers
them; they generally console themselves, however, by ascribing these
enlightened moments to the influence of the Evil One. There must
be self-deception in order that this and that may _produce_ great
_effects._ For men believe in the truth of everything that is visibly,
strongly believed in.


THE NOMINAL DEGREES OF TRUTH.--One of the commonest mistakes is this:
because some one is truthful and honest towards us, he must speak the
truth. Thus the child believes in its parents' judgment, the Christian
in the assertions of the Founder of the Church. In the same way men
refuse to admit that all those things which men defended in former ages
with the sacrifice of life and happiness were nothing but errors; it
is even said, perhaps, that they were degrees of the truth. But what
is really meant is that when a man has honestly believed in something,
and has fought and died for his faith, it would really be too _unjust_
if he had only been inspired by an error. Such a thing seems a
contradiction of eternal justice; therefore the heart of sensitive man
ever enunciates against his head the axiom: between moral action and
intellectual insight there must absolutely be a necessary connection.
It is unfortunately otherwise; for there is no eternal justice.


FALSEHOOD.--Why do people mostly speak the truth in daily
life?--Assuredly not because a god has forbidden falsehood. But,
firstly, because it is more convenient, as falsehood requires
invention, deceit, and memory. (As Swift says, he who tells a lie is
not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for in order to uphold
one lie he must invent twenty others.) Therefore, because it is
advantageous in upright circumstances to say straight out, "I want
this, I have done that," and so on; because, in other words, the path
of compulsion and authority is surer than that of cunning. But if a
child has been brought up in complicated domestic circumstances, he
employs falsehood, naturally and unconsciously says whatever best suits
his interests; a sense of truth and a hatred of falsehood are quite
foreign and unknown to him, and so he lies in all innocence.


maintained when it is only represented by hypocrites; no matter how
many "worldly" elements the Catholic Church possesses, its strength
lies in those still numerous priestly natures who render life hard
and full of meaning for themselves, and whose glance and worn bodies
speak of nocturnal vigils, hunger, burning prayers, and perhaps even of
scourging; these move men and inspire them with fear. What if it were
_necessary_ to live thus? This is the terrible question which their
aspect brings to the lips. Whilst they spread this doubt they always
uprear another pillar of their power; even the free-thinker does not
dare to withstand such unselfishness with hard words of truth, and to
say, "Thyself deceived, deceive not others!" Only the difference of
views divides them from him, certainly no difference of goodness or
badness; but men generally treat unjustly that which they do not like.
Thus we speak of the cunning and the infamous art of the Jesuits, but
overlook the self-control which every individual Jesuit practises, and
the fact that the lightened manner of life preached by Jesuit books
is by no means for their benefit, but for that of the laity. We may
even ask whether, with precisely similar tactics and organisation,
we enlightened ones would make equally good tools, equally admirable
through self-conquest, indefatigableness, and renunciation.


VICTORY OF KNOWLEDGE OVER RADICAL EVIL.--It is of great advantage to
him who desires to be wise to have witnessed for a time the spectacle
of a thoroughly evil and degenerate man; it is false, like the contrary
spectacle, but for whole long periods it held the mastery, and its
roots have even extended and ramified themselves to us and our world.
In order to understand _ourselves_ we must understand _it_ but then, in
order to mount higher we must rise above it. We recognise, then, that
there exist no sins in the metaphysical sense; but, in the same sense,
also no virtues; we recognise that the entire domain of ethical ideas
is perpetually tottering, that there are higher and deeper conceptions
of good and evil, of moral and immoral. He who does not desire much
more from things than a knowledge of them easily makes peace with his
soul, and will make a mistake (or commit a sin, as the world calls
it) at the most from ignorance, but hardly from covetousness. He will
no longer wish to excommunicate and exterminate desires; but his
only, his wholly dominating ambition, to _know_ as well as possible
at all times, will make him cool and will soften all the savageness
in his disposition. Moreover, he has been freed from a number of
tormenting conceptions, he has no more feeling at the mention of the
words "punishments of hell," "sinfulness," "incapacity for good," he
recognises in them only the vanishing shadow-pictures of false views of
the world and of life.


really has his heart in his work, wishes that some one could come
and annihilate him by representing the same thing in a clearer way
and answering without more ado the problems therein proposed. The
loving girl wishes she could prove the self-sacrificing faithfulness
of her love by the unfaithfulness of her beloved. The soldier hopes
to die on the field of battle for his victorious fatherland; for his
loftiest desires triumph in the victory of his country. The mother
gives to the child that of which she deprives herself--sleep, the best
food, sometimes her health and fortune. But are all these un-egoistic
conditions? Are these deeds of morality _miracles,_ because, to use
Schopenhauer's expression, they are "impossible and yet performed"? Is
it not clear that in all four cases the individual loves _something
of himself,_ a thought, a desire, a production, better than _anything
else of himself;_ that he therefore divides his nature and to one part
sacrifices all the rest? Is it something _entirely_ different when an
obstinate man says, "I would rather be shot than move a step out of
my way for this man"? The _desire for something_ (wish, inclination,
longing) is present in all the instances mentioned; to give way to it,
with all its consequences, is certainly not "un-egoistic."--In ethics
man does not consider himself as _Individuum_ but as _dividuum._


WHAT ONE MAY PROMISE.--One may promise actions, but no sentiments, for
these are involuntary. Whoever promises to love or hate a person, or be
faithful to him for ever, promises something which is not within his
power; he can certainly promise such actions as are usually the results
of love, hate, or fidelity, but which may also spring from other
motives; for many ways and motives lead to one and the same action.
The promise to love some one for ever is, therefore, really: So long
as I love you I will act towards you in a loving way; if I cease to
love you, you will still receive the same treatment from me, although
inspired by other motives, so that our fellow-men will still be deluded
into the belief that our love is unchanged and ever the same. One
promises, therefore, the continuation of the semblance of love, when,
without self-deception, one speaks vows of eternal love.


INTELLECT AND MORALITY.--One must have a good memory to be able to keep
a given promise. One must have a strong power of imagination to be
able to feel pity. So closely is morality bound to the goodness of the


TO WISH FOR REVENGE AND TO TAKE REVENGE.--To have a revengeful thought
and to carry it into effect is to have a violent attack of fever,
which passes off, however,--but to have a revengeful thought without
the strength and courage to carry it out is a chronic disease, a
poisoning of body and soul which we have to bear about with us.
Morality, which only takes intentions into account, considers the
two cases as equal; usually the former case is regarded as the worse
(because of the evil consequences which may perhaps result from the
deed of revenge). Both estimates are short-sighted.


THE POWER OF WAITING.--Waiting is so difficult that even great poets
have not disdained to take incapability of waiting as the motive for
their works. Thus Shakespeare in Othello or Sophocles in Ajax, to whom
suicide, had he been able to let his feelings cool down for one day,
would no longer have seemed necessary, as the oracle intimated; he
would probably have snapped his fingers at the terrible whisperings
of wounded vanity, and said to himself, "Who has not already, in
my circumstances, mistaken a fool for a hero? Is it something so
very extraordinary?" On the contrary, it is something very commonly
human; Ajax might allow himself that consolation. Passion will not
wait; the tragedy in the lives of great men frequently lies _not_ in
their conflict with the times and the baseness of their fellow-men,
but in their incapacity of postponing their work for a year or two;
they cannot wait. In all duels advising friends have one thing to
decide, namely whether the parties concerned can still wait awhile;
if this is not the case, then a duel is advisable, inasmuch as each
of the two says, "Either I continue to live and that other man must
die immediately, or _vice versa_." In such case waiting would mean a
prolonged suffering of the terrible martyrdom of wounded honour in the
face of the insulter, and this may entail more suffering than life is


REVELLING IN VENGEANCE.--Coarser individuals who feel themselves
insulted, make out the insult to be as great as possible, and relate
the affair in greatly exaggerated language, in order to be able to
revel thoroughly in the rarely awakened feelings of hatred and revenge.


THE VALUE OF DISPARAGEMENT.--In order to maintain their self-respect
in their own eyes and a certain thoroughness of action, not a few men,
perhaps even the majority, find it absolutely necessary to run down and
disparage all their acquaintances. But as mean natures are numerous,
and since it is very important whether they possess that thoroughness
or lose it, hence----


THE MAN IN A PASSION.--We must beware of one who is in a passion
against us as of one who has once sought our life; for the fact that
we still live is due to the absence of power to kill,--if looks would
suffice, we should have been dead long ago. It is a piece of rough
civilisation to force some one into silence by the exhibition of
physical savageness and the inspiring of fear. That cold glance which
exalted persons employ towards their servants is also a relic of that
caste division between man and man, a piece of rough antiquity; women,
the preservers of ancient things, have also faithfully retained this
_survival_ of an ancient habit.


WHITHER HONESTY CAN LEAD.--Somebody had the bad habit of occasionally
talking quite frankly about the motives of his actions, which were as
good and as bad as the motives of most men. He first gave offence,
then aroused suspicion, was then gradually excluded from society and
declared a social outlaw, until at last justice remembered such an
abandoned creature, on occasions when it would otherwise have had no
eyes, or would have closed them. The lack of power to hold his tongue
concerning the common secret, and the irresponsible tendency to see
what no one wishes to see--himself--brought him to a prison and an
early death.


PUNISHABLE, BUT NEVER PUNISHED.--Our crime against criminals lies in
the fact that we treat them like rascals.


_SANCTA SIMPLICITAS_ OF VIRTUE.--Every virtue has its privileges; for
example, that of contributing its own little faggot to the scaffold of
every condemned man.


MORALITY AND CONSEQUENCES.--It is not only the spectators of a deed
who frequently judge of its morality or immorality according to its
consequences, but the doer of the deed himself does so. For the motives
and intentions are seldom sufficiently clear and simple, and sometimes
memory itself seems clouded by the consequences of the deed, so that
one ascribes the deed to false motives or looks upon unessential
motives as essential. Success often gives an action the whole honest
glamour of a good conscience; failure casts the shadow of remorse
over the most estimable deed. Hence arises the well-known practice
of the politician, who thinks, "Only grant me success, with that I
bring all honest souls over to my side and make myself honest in my
own eyes." In the same way success must replace a better argument.
Many educated people still believe that the triumph of Christianity
over Greek philosophy is a proof of the greater truthfulness of
the former,--although in this case it is only the coarser and more
powerful that has triumphed over the more spiritual and delicate.
Which possesses the greater truth may be seen from the fact that the
awakening sciences have agreed with Epicurus' philosophy on point after
point, but on point after point have rejected Christianity.


LOVE AND JUSTICE.--Why do we over-estimate love to the disadvantage
of justice, and say the most beautiful things about it, as if it were
something very much higher than the latter? Is it not visibly more
stupid than justice? Certainly, but precisely for that reason all the
_pleasanter_ for every one. It is blind, and possesses an abundant
cornucopia, out of which it distributes its gifts to all, even if they
do not deserve them, even if they express no thanks for them. It is as
impartial as the rain, which, according to the Bible and experience,
makes not only the unjust, but also occasionally the just wet through
to the skin.


EXECUTION.--How is it that every execution offends us more than does a
murder? It is the coldness of the judges, the painful preparations, the
conviction that a human being is here being used as a warning to scare
others. For the guilt is not punished, even if it existed--it lies with
educators, parents, surroundings, in ourselves, not in the murderer--I
mean the determining circumstances.


HOPE.--Pandora brought the box of ills and opened it. It was the gift
of the gods to men, outwardly a beautiful and seductive gift, and
called the Casket of Happiness. Out of it flew all the evils, living
winged creatures, thence they now circulate and do men injury day and
night. One single evil had not yet escaped from the box, and by the
will of Zeus Pandora closed the lid and it remained within. Now for
ever man has the casket of happiness in his house and thinks he holds a
great treasure; it is at his disposal, he stretches out his hand for it
whenever he desires; for he does not know the box which Pandora brought
was the casket of evil, and he believes the ill which remains within to
be the greatest blessing,--it is hope. Zeus did not wish man, however
much he might be tormented by the other evils, to fling away his life,
but to go on letting himself be tormented again and again. Therefore he
gives man hope,--in reality it is the worst of all evils, because it
prolongs the torments of man.


have or have not had certain disturbing views and impressions--for
instance, an unjustly executed, killed, or martered father; a faithless
wife; a cruel hostile attack--it depends whether our passions reach
fever heat and influence our whole life or not. No one knows to
what he may be driven by circumstances, pity, or indignation; he
does not know the degree of his own inflammability. Miserable little
circumstances make us miserable; it is generally not the quantity of
experiences, but their quality, on which lower and higher man depends,
in good and evil.


THE MARTYR IN SPITE OF HIMSELF.--There was a man belonging to a party
who was too nervous and cowardly ever to contradict his comrades; they
made use of him for everything, they demanded everything from him,
because he was more afraid of the bad opinion of his companions than
of death itself; his was a miserable, feeble soul. They recognised
this, and on the ground of these qualities they made a hero of him, and
finally even a martyr. Although the coward inwardly always said No,
with his lips he always said Yes, even on the scaffold, when he was
about to die for the opinions of his party; for beside him stood one of
his old companions, who so tyrannised over him by word and look that
he really suffered death in the most respectable manner, and has ever
since been celebrated as a martyr and a great character.


I THE EVERY-DAY STANDARD.--One will seldom go wrong if one attributes
extreme actions to vanity, average ones to habit, and petty ones to


in connection with pleasure, as is the case with a man who has a
pleasure-seeking youth behind him, imagines that virtue must be
connected with absence of pleasure.--Whoever, on the contrary, has been
much plagued by his passions and vices, longs to find in virtue peace
and the soul's happiness. Hence it is possible for two virtuous persons
not to understand each other at all.


THE ASCETIC.--The ascetic makes a necessity of virtue.


sacrifice for the benefit of one's neighbour are generally honoured,
wherever they are manifested. Thereby we multiply the valuation of
things which are thus loved, or for which we sacrifice ourselves,
although perhaps they are not worth much in themselves. A brave army is
convinced of the cause for which it fights.


lacking in those natures which have no ambition. The ambitious manage
without it, with almost the same results. For this reason the sons of
unpretentious, unambitious families, when once they lose the moral
sense, generally degenerate very quickly into complete scamps.


VANITY ENRICHES.--How poor would be the human mind without vanity!
Thus, however, it resembles a well-stocked and constantly replenished
bazaar which attracts buyers of every kind. There they can find almost
everything, obtain almost everything, provided that they bring the
right sort of coin, namely admiration.


OLD AGE AND DEATH.--Apart from the commands of religion, the question
may well be asked, Why is it more worthy for an old man who feels his
powers decline, to await his slow exhaustion and extinction than with
full consciousness to set a limit to his life? Suicide in this case is
a perfectly natural, obvious action, which should justly arouse respect
as a triumph of reason, and did arouse it in those times when the heads
of Greek philosophy and the sturdiest patriots used to seek death
through suicide. The seeking, on the contrary, to prolong existence
from day to day, with anxious consultation of doctors and painful mode
of living, without the power of drawing nearer to the actual aim of
life, is far less worthy. Religion is rich in excuses to reply to the
demand for suicide, and thus it ingratiates itself with those who wish
to cling to life.


ERRORS OF THE SUFFERER AND THE DOER.--When a rich man deprives a poor
man of a possession (for instance, a prince taking the sweetheart of
a plebeian), an error arises in the mind of the poor man; he thinks
that the rich man must be utterly infamous to take away from him the
little that he has. But the rich man does not estimate so highly the
value of a _single_ possession, because he is accustomed to have many;
hence he cannot imagine himself in the poor man's place, and does not
commit nearly so great a wrong as the latter supposes. They each have a
mistaken idea of the other. The injustice of the powerful, which, more
than anything else, rouses indignation in history, is by no means so
great as it appears. Alone the mere inherited consciousness of being a
higher creation, with higher claims, produces a cold temperament, and
leaves the conscience quiet; we all of us feel no injustice when the
difference is very great between ourselves and another creature, and
kill a fly, for instance, without any pricks of conscience. Therefore
it was no sign of badness in Xerxes (whom even all Greeks describe
as superlatively noble) when he took a son away from his father and
had him cut in pieces, because he had expressed a nervous, ominous
distrust of the whole campaign; in this case the individual is put out
of the way like an unpleasant insect; he is too lowly to be allowed
any longer to cause annoyance to a ruler of the world. Yes, every
cruel man is not so cruel as the ill-treated one imagines the idea of
pain is not the same as its endurance. It is the same thing in the
case of unjust judges, of the journalist who leads public opinion
astray by small dishonesties. In all these cases cause and effect are
surrounded by entirely different groups of feelings and thoughts; yet
one unconsciously takes it for granted that doer and sufferer think and
feel alike, and according to this supposition we measure the guilt of
the one by the pain of the other.


THE SKIN OF THE SOUL.--As the bones, flesh, entrails, and blood-vessels
are enclosed within a skin, which makes the aspect of man endurable, so
the emotions and passions of the soul are enwrapped with vanity,--it is
the skin of the soul.


THE SLEEP OF VIRTUE.--When virtue has slept, it will arise again all
the fresher.


THE REFINEMENT OF SHAME.--People are not ashamed to think something
foul, but they are ashamed when they think these foul thoughts are
attributed to them.


MALICE IS RARE.--Most people are far too much occupied with themselves
to be malicious.


THE TONGUE IN THE BALANCE.--We praise or blame according as the one or
the other affords more opportunity for exhibiting our power of judgment.


ST. LUKE XVIII. 14, IMPROVED.--He that humbleth himself wishes to be


THE PREVENTION OF SUICIDE.--There is a certain right by which we may
deprive a man of life, but none by which we may deprive him of death;
this is mere cruelty.


VANITY.--We care for the good opinion of men, firstly because they are
useful to us, and then because we wish to please them (children their
parents, pupils their teachers, and well-meaning people generally their
fellow-men). Only where the good opinion of men is of importance to
some one, apart from the advantage thereof or his wish to please, can
we speak of vanity. In this case the man wishes to please himself,
but at the expense of his fellow-men, either by misleading them into
holding a false opinion about him, or by aiming at a degree of "good
opinion" which must be painful to every one else (by arousing envy).
The individual usually wishes to corroborate the opinion he holds of
himself by the opinion of others, and to strengthen it in his own
eyes; but the strong habit of authority--a habit as old as man himself
--induces many to support by authority their belief in themselves: that
is to say, they accept it first from others; they trust the judgment
of others more than their own. The interest in himself, the wish to
please himself, attains to such a height in a vain man that he misleads
others into having a false, all too elevated estimation of him, and yet
nevertheless sets store by their authority,--thus causing an error and
yet believing in it. It must be confessed, therefore, that vain people
do not wish to please others so much as themselves, and that they go
so far therein as to neglect their advantage, for they often endeavour
to prejudice their fellow-men unfavourably, inimicably, enviously,
consequently injuriously against themselves, merely in order to have
pleasure in themselves, personal pleasure.


THE LIMITS OF HUMAN LOVE.--A man who has declared that another is an
idiot and a bad companion, is angry when the latter eventually proves
himself to be otherwise.


_MORALITÉ LARMOYANTE._--What a great deal of pleasure morality gives!
Only think what a sea of pleasant tears has been shed over descriptions
of noble and unselfish deeds! This charm of life would vanish if the
belief in absolute irresponsibility were to obtain supremacy.


THE ORIGIN OF JUSTICE.--Justice (equity) has, its origin amongst powers
which are fairly equal, as Thucydides (in the terrible dialogue between
the Athenian and Melian ambassadors) rightly comprehended: that is to
say, where there is no clearly recognisable supremacy, and where a
conflict would be useless and would injure both sides, there arises the
thought of coming to an understanding and settling the opposing claims;
the character of _exchange_ is the primary character of justice. Each
party satisfies the other, as each obtains what he values more than the
other. Each one receives that which he desires, as his own henceforth,
and whatever is desired is received in return. Justice, therefore,
is recompense and exchange based on the hypothesis of a fairly equal
degree of power,--thus, originally, revenge belongs to the province
of justice, it is an exchange. Also gratitude.--Justice naturally is
based on the point of view of a judicious self-preservation, on the
egoism, therefore, of that reflection, "Why should I injure myself
uselessly and perhaps not attain my aim after all?" So much about the
_origin_ of justice. Because man, according to his intellectual custom,
has _forgotten_ the original purpose of so-called just and reasonable
actions, and particularly because for hundreds of years children have
been taught to admire and imitate such actions, the idea has gradually
arisen that such an action is un-egoistic; upon this idea, however, is
based the high estimation in which it is held: which, moreover, like
all valuations, is constantly growing, for something that is valued
highly is striven after, imitated, multiplied, and increases, because
the value of the output of toil and enthusiasm of each individual is
added to the value of the thing itself. How little moral would the
world look without this forgetfulness! A poet might say that God had
placed forgetfulness as door-keeper in the temple of human dignity.


THE RIGHT OF THE WEAKER.--When any one submits under certain
conditions to a greater power, as a besieged town for instance, the
counter-condition is that one can destroy one's self, burn the town,
and so cause the mighty one a great loss. Therefore there is a kind of
_equalisation_ here, on the basis of which rights may be determined.
The enemy has his advantage in maintaining it. In so far there are
also rights between slaves and masters, that is, precisely so far as
the possession of the slave is useful and important to his master. The
_right_ originally extends _so far as_ one _appears_ to be valuable to
the other, essentially unlosable, unconquerable, and so forth. In so
far the weaker one also has rights, but lesser ones. Hence the famous
_unusquisque tantum juris habet, quantum potentia valet_ (or more
exactly, _quantum potentia valere creditur_).


sign that the animal has become man when its actions no longer have
regard only to momentary welfare, but to what is enduring, when it
grows _useful_ and _practical_; there the free rule of reason first
breaks out. A still higher step is reached when he acts according to
the principle of _honour_ by this means he brings himself into order,
submits to common feelings, and that exalts him still higher over
the phase in which he was led only by the idea of usefulness from a
personal point of view; he respects and wishes to be respected, _i.e._
he understands usefulness as dependent upon what he thinks of others
and what others think of him. Eventually he acts, on the highest step
of the _hitherto_ existing--morality, according to _his_ standard of
things and men; he himself decides for himself and others what is
honourable, what is useful; he has become the law-giver of opinions,
in accordance with the ever more highly developed idea of what is
useful and honourable. Knowledge enables him to place that which is
most useful, that is to say the general, enduring usefulness, above the
personal, the honourable recognition of general, enduring validity
above the momentary; he lives and acts as a collective individual.


THE MORALITY OF THE MATURE INDIVIDUAL.--The impersonal has hitherto
been looked upon as the actual distinguishing mark of moral action; and
it has been pointed out that in the beginning it was in consideration
of the common good that all impersonal actions were praised and
distinguished. Is not an important change in these views impending,
now when it is more and more recognised that it is precisely in the
_most personal_ possible considerations that the common good is the
greatest, so that a _strictly personal_ action now best illustrates
the present idea of morality, as utility for the mass? To make a
whole _personality_ out of ourselves, and in all that we do to keep
that personality's _highest good_ in view, carries us further than
those sympathetic emotions and actions for the benefit of others. We
all still suffer, certainly, from the too small consideration of the
personal in us; it is badly developed,--let us admit it; rather has
our mind been forcibly drawn away from it and offered as a sacrifice
to the State, to science, or to those who stand in need of help, as if
it were the bad part which must be sacrificed. We are still willing to
work for our fellow-men, but only so far as we find our own greatest
advantage in this work, no more and no less. It is only a question of
what we understand as _our advantage;_ the unripe, undeveloped, crude
individual will understand it in the crudest way.


CUSTOM AND MORALITY.--To be moral, correct, and virtuous is to be
obedient to an old-established law and custom. Whether we submit
with difficulty or willingly is immaterial, enough that we do so. He
is called "good" who, as if naturally, after long precedent, easily
and willingly, therefore, does what is right, according to whatever
this may be (as, for instance, taking revenge, if to take revenge be
considered as right, as amongst the ancient Greeks). He is called
good because he is good "for something"; but as goodwill, pity,
consideration, moderation, and such like, have come, with the change
in manners, to be looked upon as "good for something," as useful, the
good-natured and helpful have, later on, come to be distinguished
specially as "good." (In the beginning other and more important kinds
of usefulness stood in the foreground.) To be evil is to be "not
moral" (immoral), to be immoral is to be in opposition to tradition,
however sensible or stupid it may be; injury to the community (the
"neighbour" being understood thereby) has, however, been looked upon
by the social laws of all different ages as being eminently the actual
"immorality," so that now at the word "evil" we immediately think of
voluntary injury to one's neighbour. The fundamental antithesis which
has taught man the distinction between moral and immoral, between good
and evil, is not the "egoistic" and "un-egoistic," but the being bound
to the tradition, law, and solution thereof. How the tradition has
_arisen_ is immaterial, at all events without regard to good and evil
or any immanent categorical imperative, but above all for the purpose
of preserving a _community,_ a generation, an association, a people;
every superstitious custom that has arisen on account of some falsely
explained accident, creates a tradition, which it is moral to follow;
to separate one's self from it is dangerous, but more dangerous for the
_community_ than for the individual (because the Godhead punishes the
community for every outrage and every violation of its rights, and the
individual only in proportion). Now every tradition grows continually
more venerable, the farther off lies its origin, the more this is
lost sight of; the veneration paid it accumulates from generation to
generation, the tradition at last becomes holy and excites awe; and
thus in any case the morality of piety is a much older morality than
that which requires un-egoistic actions.


PLEASURE IN TRADITIONAL CUSTOM.--An important species of pleasure,
and therewith the source of morality, arises out of habit. Man does
what is habitual to him more easily, better, and therefore more
willingly; he feels a pleasure therein, and knows from experience
that the habitual has been tested, and is therefore useful; a custom
that we can live with is proved to be wholesome and advantageous in
contrast to all new and not yet tested experiments. According to
this, morality is the union of the pleasant and the useful; moreover,
it requires no reflection. As soon as man can use compulsion, he uses
it to introduce and enforce his _customs_; for in his eyes they are
proved as the wisdom of life. In the same way a company of individuals
compels each single one to adopt the same customs. Here the inference
is wrong; because we feel at ease with a morality, or at least
because we are able to carry on existence with it, therefore this
morality is necessary, for it seems to be the _only_ possibility of
feeling at ease; the ease of life seems to grow out of it alone. This
comprehension of the habitual as a necessity of existence is pursued
even to the smallest details of custom,--as insight into genuine
causality is very small with lower peoples and civilisations, they
take precautions with superstitious fear that everything should go in
its same groove; even where custom is difficult, hard, and burdensome,
it is preserved on account of its apparent highest usefulness. It is
not known that the same degree of well-being can also exist with other
customs, and that even higher degrees may be attained. We become aware,
however, that all customs, even the hardest, grow pleasanter and milder
with time, and that the severest way of life may become a habit and
therefore a pleasure.


PLEASURE AND SOCIAL INSTINCT.--Out of his relations with other men, man
obtains a new species of _pleasure_ in addition to those pleasurable
sensations which he derives from himself; whereby he greatly increases
the scope of enjoyment. Perhaps he has already taken too many of the
pleasures of this sphere from animals, which visibly feel pleasure
when they play with each other, especially the mother with her young.
Then consider the sexual relations, which make almost every female
interesting to a male with regard to pleasure, and _vice versa._ The
feeling of pleasure on the basis of human relations generally makes
man better; joy in common, pleasure enjoyed together is increased, it
gives the individual security, makes him good-tempered, and dispels
mistrust and envy, for we feel ourselves at ease and see others at
ease. _Similar manifestations of pleasure_ awaken the idea of the same
sensations, the feeling of being like something; a like effect is
produced by common sufferings, the same bad weather, dangers, enemies.
Upon this foundation is based the oldest alliance, the object of which
is the mutual obviating and averting of a threatening danger for the
benefit of each individual. And thus the social instinct grows out of


prompted by the instinct of preservation, or, more exactly, by the
desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain on the part of the
individual; thus prompted, but not evil. "To cause pain _per se_" does
not exist, except in the brains of philosophers, neither does "to give
pleasure _per se_" (pity in Schopenhauer's meaning). In the social
condition _before_ the State we kill the creature, be it ape or man,
who tries to take from us the fruit of a tree when we are hungry and
approach the tree, as we should still do with animals in inhospitable
countries. The evil actions which now most rouse our indignation, are
based upon the error that he who causes them has a free will, that he
had the option, therefore, of not doing us this injury. This belief in
option arouses hatred, desire for revenge, spite, and the deterioration
of the whole imagination, while we are much less angry with an animal
because we consider it irresponsible. To do injury, not from the
instinct of preservation, but as _requital,_ is the consequence of a
false judgment and therefore equally innocent. The individual can in
the condition which lies before the State, act sternly and cruelly
towards other creatures for the purpose of _terrifying,_ to establish
his existence firmly by such terrifying proofs of his power. Thus
act the violent, the mighty, the original founders of States, who
subdue the weaker to themselves. They have the right to do so, such
as the State still takes for itself; or rather, there is no right
that can hinder this. The ground for all-morality can only be made
ready when a stronger individual or a collective individual, for
instance society or the State, subdues the single individuals,.draws
them out of their singleness, and forms them into an association..
_Compulsion_ precedes morality, indeed morality itself is compulsion
for a time, to which one submits for the avoidance of pain. Later on
it becomes custom,--later still, free obedience, and finally almost
instinct,--then, like everything long accustomed and natural, it is
connected with pleasure--and is henceforth called _virtue_.


SHAME.--Shame exists everywhere where there is a "mystery"; this,
however, is a religious idea, which was widely extended in the older
times of human civilisation. Everywhere were found bounded domains
to which access was forbidden by divine right, except under certain
conditions ; at first locally, as, for example, certain spots that
ought not to be trodden by the feet of the uninitiated, in the
neighbourhood of which these latter experienced horror and fear.
This feeling was a good deal carried over into other relations, for
instance, the sex relations, which, as a privilege and _ἃδoυτον_ of
riper years, had to be withheld from the knowledge of the young for
their advantage, relations for the protection and sanctification of
which many gods were invented and were set up as guardians in the
nuptial chamber. (In Turkish this room is on this account called harem,
"sanctuary," and is distinguished with the same name, therefore, that
is used for the entrance courts of the mosques.) Thus the kingdom is as
a centre from which radiate power and glory, to the subjects a mystery
full of secrecy and shame, of which many after-effects may still be
felt among nations which otherwise do not by any means belong to the
bashful type. Similarly, the whole world of inner conditions, the
so-called "soul," is still a mystery for all who are not philosophers,
after it has been looked upon for endless ages as of divine origin and
as worthy of divine intercourse; according to this it is an _ἃδoυτον_
and arouses shame.


JUDGE NOT.--In considering earlier periods, care must be taken not
to fall into unjust abuse. The injustice in slavery, the cruelty in
the suppression of persons and nations, is not to be measured by our
standard. For the instinct of justice was not then so far developed.
Who dares to reproach the Genevese Calvin with the burning of the
physician Servet? It was an action following and resulting from his
convictions, and in the same way the Inquisition had a good right;
only the ruling views were false, and produced a result which seems
hard to us because those views have now grown strange to us. Besides,
what is the burning of a single individual compared with eternal
pains of hell for almost all! And yet this idea was universal at that
time, without essentially injuring by its dreadfulness the conception
of a God. With us, too, political sectarians are hardly and cruelly
treated, but because one is accustomed to believe in the necessity of
the State, the cruelty is not so deeply felt here as it is where we
repudiate the views. Cruelty to animals in children and Italians is
due to ignorance, _i.e._ the animal, through the interests of Church
teaching, has been placed too far behind man. Much that is dreadful and
inhuman in history, much that one hardly likes to believe, is mitigated
by the reflection that the one who commands and the one who carries
out are different persons,--the former does not behold the right and
therefore does not experience the strong impression on the imagination;
the latter obeys a superior and therefore feels no responsibility. Most
princes and military heads, through lack of imagination, easily appear
hard and cruel without really being so. _Egoism is not evil,_ because
the idea of the "neighbour"--the word is of Christian origin and does
not represent the truth--is very weak in us; and we feel ourselves
almost as free and irresponsible towards him as towards plants and
stones. We have yet to _learn_ that others suffer, and this can never
be completely learnt.


"MAN ALWAYS ACTS RIGHTLY."--We do not complain of nature as immoral
because it sends a thunderstorm and makes us wet,--why do we call those
who injure us immoral? Because in the latter case we take for granted
a free will functioning voluntarily; in the former we see necessity.
But this distinction is an error. Thus we do not call even intentional
injury immoral in all circumstances; for instance, we kill a fly
unhesitatingly and intentionally, only because its buzzing annoys us;
we punish a criminal intentionally and hurt him in order to protect
ourselves and society. In the first case it is the individual who, in
order to preserve himself, or even to protect himself from worry, does
intentional injury; in the second case it is the State. All morals
allow intentional injury _in the case of necessity,_ that is, when
it is a matter of _self-preservation_! But these two points of view
suffice to explain all evil actions committed by men against men, we
are desirous of obtaining pleasure or avoiding pain; in any case it is
always a question of self-preservation. Socrates and Plato are right:
whatever man does he always does well, that is, he does that which
seems to him good (useful) according to the degree of his intellect,
the particular standard of his reasonableness.


THE HARMLESSNESS OF MALICE.--The aim of malice is _not_ the suffering
of others in itself, but our own enjoyment; for instance, as the
feeling of revenge, or stronger nervous excitement. All teasing,
even, shows the pleasure it gives to exercise our power on others and
bring it to an enjoyable feeling of preponderance. Is it _immoral_ to
taste pleasure at the expense of another's pain? Is malicious joy[3]
devilish, as Schopenhauer says? We give ourselves pleasure in nature
by breaking off twigs, loosening stones, fighting with wild animals,
and do this in order to become thereby conscious of our strength. Is
the knowledge, therefore, that another suffers through us, the same
thing concerning which we otherwise feel irresponsible, supposed to
make us immoral? But if we did not know this we would not thereby have
the enjoyment of our own superiority, which can only _manifest_ itself
by the suffering of others, for instance in teasing. All pleasure
_per se_ is neither good nor evil; whence should come the decision
that in order to have pleasure ourselves we may not cause displeasure
to others? From the point of view of usefulness alone, that is, out
of consideration for the _consequences,_ for _possible_ displeasure,
when the injured one or the replacing State gives the expectation of
resentment and revenge: this only can have been the original reason
for denying ourselves such actions. _Pity_ aims just as little at
the pleasure of others as malice at the pain of others _per se._ For
it contains at least two (perhaps many more) elements of a personal
pleasure, and is so far self-gratification; in the first place as the
pleasure of emotion, which is the kind of pity that exists in tragedy,
and then, when it impels to action, as the pleasure of satisfaction
in the exercise of power. If, besides this, a suffering person is
very dear to us, we lift a sorrow from ourselves by the exercise of
sympathetic actions. Except by a few philosophers, pity has always been
placed very low in the scale of moral feelings, and rightly so.


SELF-DEFENCE.--If self-defence is allowed to pass as moral, then almost
all manifestations of the so-called immoral egoism must also stand;
men injure, rob, or kill in order to preserve or defend themselves,
to prevent personal injury; they lie where cunning and dissimulation
are the right means of self-preservation. _Intentional injury,_ when
our existence or safety (preservation of our comfort) is concerned, is
conceded to be moral; the State itself injures, according to this point
of view, when it punishes. In unintentional injury, of course, there
can be nothing immoral, that is ruled by chance. Is there, then, a kind
of intentional injury where our existence or the preservation of our
comfort is _not_ concerned? Is there an injuring out of pure _malice,_
for instance in cruelty? If one does not know how much an action hurts,
it is no deed of malice; thus the child is not malicious towards the
animal, not evil; he examines and destroys it like a toy. But _do_ we
ever know entirely how an action hurts another? As far as our nervous
system extends we protect ourselves from pain; if it extended farther,
to our fellow-men, namely, we should do no one an injury (except in
such cases as we injure ourselves, where we cut ourselves for the
sake of cure, tire and exert ourselves for the sake of health). We
_conclude_ by analogy that something hurts somebody, and through memory
and the strength of imagination we may suffer from it ourselves. But
still what a difference there is between toothache and the pain (pity)
that the sight of toothache calls forth! Therefore, in injury out of
so-called malice the _degree_ of pain produced is always unknown to
us; but inasmuch as there is _pleasure_ in the action (the feeling of
one's own power, one's own strong excitement), the action is committed,
in order to preserve the comfort of the individual, and is regarded,
therefore, from a similar point of view as defence and falsehood in
necessity. No life without pleasure; the struggle for pleasure is the
struggle for life. Whether the individual so fights this fight that
men call him good, or so that they call him evil, is determined by the
measure and the constitution of his _intellect._


RECOMPENSING JUSTICE.--Whoever has completely comprehended the doctrine
of absolute irresponsibility can no longer include the so-called
punishing and recompensing justice in the idea of justice, should this
consist of giving to each man his due. For he who is punished does
not deserve the punishment, he is only used as a means of henceforth
warning away from certain actions; equally so, he who is rewarded
does not merit this reward, he could not act otherwise than he did.
Therefore the reward is meant only as an encouragement to him and
others, to provide a motive for subsequent actions; words of praise are
flung to the runners on the course, not to the one who has reached
the goal. Neither punishment nor reward is anything that comes to one
as _one's own;_ they are given from motives of usefulness, without one
having a right to claim them. Hence we must say, "The wise man gives
no reward because the deed has been well done," just as we have said,
"The wise man does not punish because evil has been committed, but in
order that evil shall not be committed." If punishment and reward no
longer existed, then the strongest motives which deter men from certain
actions and impel them to certain other actions, would also no longer
exist; the needs of mankind require their continuance; and inasmuch as
punishment and reward, blame and praise, work most sensibly on vanity,
the same need requires the continuance of vanity.


AT THE WATERFALL.--In looking at a water-fall we imagine that there is
freedom of will and fancy in the countless turnings, twistings, and
breakings of the waves; but everything is compulsory, every movement
can be mathematically calculated. So it is also with human actions;
one would have to be able to calculate every single action beforehand
if one were all-knowing; equally so all progress of knowledge, every
error, all malice. The one who acts certainly labours under the
illusion of voluntariness; if the world's wheel were to stand still
for a moment and an all-knowing, calculating reason were there to make
use of this pause, it could foretell the future of every creature to
the remotest times, and mark out every track upon which that wheel
would continue to roll. The delusion of the acting agent about himself,
the supposition of a free will, belongs to this mechanism which still
remains to be calculated.


IRRESPONSIBILITY AND INNOCENCE.--The complete irresponsibility of
man for his actions and his nature is the bitterest drop which he
who understands must swallow if he was accustomed to see the patent
of nobility of his humanity in responsibility and duty. All his
valuations, distinctions, disinclinations, are thereby deprived of
value and become false,--his deepest feeling for the sufferer and
the hero was based on an error; he may no longer either praise or
blame, for it is absurd to praise and blame nature and necessity. In
the same way as he loves a fine work of art, but does not praise it,
because it can do nothing for itself; in the same way as he regards
plants, so must he regard his own actions and those of mankind. He can
admire strength, beauty, abundance, in themselves; but must find no
merit therein,--the chemical progress and the strife of the elements,
the torments of the sick person who thirsts after recovery, are all
equally as little merits as those struggles of the soul and states of
distress in which we are torn hither and thither by different impulses
until we finally decide for the strongest--as we say (but in reality
it is the strongest motive which decides for us). All these motives,
however, whatever fine names we may give them, have all grown out of
the same root, in which we believe the evil poisons to be situated;
between good and evil actions there is no difference of species, but
at most of degree. Good actions are sublimated evil ones; evil actions
are vulgarised and stupefied good ones. The single longing of the
individual for self-gratification (together with the fear of losing it)
satisfies itself in all circumstances: man may act as he can, that is
as he must, be it in deeds of vanity, revenge, pleasure, usefulness,
malice, cunning; be it in deeds of sacrifice, of pity, of knowledge.
The degrees of the power of judgment determine whither any one lets
himself be drawn through this longing; to every society, to every
individual, a scale of possessions is continually present, according to
which he determines his actions and judges those of others. But this
standard changes constantly; many actions are called evil and are only
stupid, because the degree of intelligence which decided for them was
very low. In a certain sense, even, _all_ actions are still stupid;
for the highest degree of human intelligence which can now be attained
will assuredly be yet surpassed, and then, in a retrospect, all our
actions and judgments will appear as limited and hasty as the actions
and judgments of primitive wild peoples now appear limited and hasty to
us. To recognise all this may be deeply painful, but consolation comes
after; such pains are the pangs of birth. The butterfly wants to break
through its chrysalis: it rends and tears it, and is then blinded and
confused by the unaccustomed light, the kingdom of liberty. In such
people as are _capable_ of such sadness--and how few are!--the first
experiment made is to see whether _mankind can change itself_ from a
_moral_ into a _wise_ mankind. The sun of a new gospel throws its rays
upon the highest point in the soul of each single individual, then
the mists gather thicker than ever, and the brightest light and the
dreariest shadow lie side by side. Everything is necessity--so says the
new knowledge, and this knowledge itself is necessity. Everything is
innocence, and knowledge is the road to insight into this innocence.
Are pleasure, egoism, vanity _necessary_ for the production of the
moral phenomena and their highest result, the sense for truth and
justice in knowledge; were error and the confusion of the imagination
the only means through which mankind could raise itself gradually to
this degree of self-enlightenment and self-liberation--who would dare
to undervalue these means? Who would dare to be sad if he perceived the
goal to which those roads led? Everything in the domain of morality
has evolved, is changeable, unstable, everything is dissolved, it is
true; but _everything is also streaming towards one goal._ Even if
the inherited habit of erroneous valuation, love and hatred, continue
to reign in us, yet under the influence of growing knowledge it will
become weaker; a new habit, that of comprehension, of not loving, not
hating, of overlooking, is gradually implanting itself in us upon the
same ground, and in thousands of years will perhaps be powerful enough
to give humanity the strength to produce wise, innocent (consciously
innocent) men, as it now produces unwise, guilt-conscious men,--_that
is the necessary preliminary step, not its opposite._

[Footnote 1: Dr. Paul Rée.--J.M.K.]

[Footnote 2: Dr. Paul Rée.--J.M.K.]

[Footnote 3: This is the untranslatable word _Schadenfreude,_ which
means joy at the misfortune of others.--J.M.K.]




THE DOUBLE FIGHT AGAINST EVIL.--When misfortune overtakes us we can
either pass over I it so lightly that its cause is removed, or so
that the result which it has on our temperament is altered, through a
changing, therefore, of the evil into a good, the utility of which is
perhaps not visible until later on. Religion and art (also metaphysical
philosophy) work upon the changing of the temperament, partly through
the changing of our judgment on events (for instance, with the help
of the phrase "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth"), partly through
the awakening of a pleasure in pain, in emotion generally (whence
the tragic art takes its starting-point). The more a man is inclined
to twist and arrange meanings the less he will grasp the causes of
evil and disperse them; the momentary mitigation and influence of
a narcotic, as for example in toothache, suffices him even in more
serious sufferings. The more the dominion of creeds and all arts
dispense with narcotics, the more strictly men attend to the actual
removing of the evil, which is certainly bad for writers of tragedy;
for the material for tragedy is growing scarcer because the domain of
pitiless, inexorable fate is growing ever narrower,--but worse still
for the priests, for they have hitherto lived on the narcotisation of
human woes.


SORROW IS KNOWLEDGE.--How greatly we should like to exchange the
false assertions of the priests, that there is a god who desires good
from us, a guardian and witness of every action, every moment, every
thought, who loves us and seeks our welfare in all misfortune,--how
greatly we would like to exchange these ideas for truths which would be
just as healing, pacifying and beneficial as those errors! But there
are no such truths; at most philosophy can oppose to them metaphysical
appearances (at bottom also untruths). The tragedy consists in the fact
that we cannot _believe_ those dogmas of religion and metaphysics,
if we have strict methods of truth in heart and brain: on the other
hand, mankind has, through development, become so delicate, irritable
and suffering, that it has need of the highest means of healing and
consolation; whence also the danger arises that man would bleed to
death from recognised truth, or, more correctly, from discovered error.
Byron has expressed this in the immortal lines:--

    Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most
    Must mourn the deepest o'er the fatal truth,
    The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.

For such troubles there is no better help than to recall the stately
levity of Horace, at least for the worst hours and eclipses of the
soul, and to say with him:

          ... quid æternis minorem
          consiliis animum fatigas?
    cur non sub alta vel platano vel hac
    pinu jacentes.[1]

But assuredly frivolity or melancholy of every degree is better than
a romantic retrospection and desertion of the flag, an approach to
Christianity in any form; for according to the present condition of
knowledge it is absolutely impossible to approach it without hopelessly
soiling our _intellectual conscience_ and giving ourselves away to
ourselves and others. Those pains may be unpleasant enough, but we
cannot become leaders and educators of mankind without pain; and woe
to him who would wish to attempt this and no longer have that clear


THE TRUTH IN RELIGION.--In the period of rationalism justice was not
done to the importance of religion, of that there is no doubt, but
equally there is no doubt that in the reaction that followed this
rationalism justice was far overstepped; for religions were treated
lovingly, even amorously, and, for instance, a deeper, even the
very deepest, understanding of the world was ascribed to them; which
science has only to strip of its dogmatic garment in order to possess
the "truth" in unmythical form. Religions should, therefore,--this
was the opinion of all opposers of rationalism,--_sensu allegorico,_
with all consideration for the understanding of the masses, give
utterance to that ancient wisdom which is wisdom itself, inasmuch
as all true science of later times has always led up to it instead
of away from it, so that between the oldest wisdom of mankind and
all later harmonies similarity of discernment and a progress of
knowledge--in case one should wish to speak of such a thing--rests
not upon the nature but upon the way of communicating it. This whole
conception of religion and science is thoroughly erroneous, and none
would still dare to profess it if Schopenhauer's eloquence had not
taken it under its protection; this resonant eloquence which, however,
only reached its hearers a generation later. As surely as from
Schopenhauer's religious-moral interpretations of men and the world
much may be gained for the understanding of the Christian and other
religions, so surely also is he mistaken about the _value of religion
for knowledge._ Therein he himself was only a too docile pupil of the
scientific teachers of his time, who all worshipped romanticism and had
forsworn the spirit of enlightenment; had he been born in our present
age he could not possibly have talked about the _sensus allegoricus_
of religion; he would much rather have given honour to truth, as he
used to do, with the words, "_no religion, direct or indirect, either
as dogma or as allegory, has ever contained a truth._" For each has
been born of fear and necessity, through the byways of reason did it
slip into existence; once, perhaps, when imperilled by science, some
philosophic doctrine has lied itself into its system in order that
it may be found there later, but this is a theological trick of the
time when a religion already doubts itself. These tricks of theology
(which certainly were practised in the early days of Christianity,
as the religion of a scholarly period steeped in philosophy) have
led to that superstition of the _sensus allegoricus,_ but yet more
the habits of the philosophers (especially the half-natures, the
poetical philosophers and the philosophising artists), to treat all the
sensations which they discovered in _themselves_ as the fundamental
nature of man in general, and hence to allow their own religious
feelings an important influence in the building up of their systems.
As philosophers frequently philosophised under the custom of religious
habits, or at least under the anciently inherited power of that
"metaphysical need," they developed doctrinal opinions which really
bore a great resemblance to the Jewish or Christian or Indian religious
views,--a resemblance, namely, such as children usually bear to their
mothers, only that in this case the fathers were not clear about that
motherhood, as happens sometimes,--but in their innocence romanced
about a family likeness between all religion and science. In reality,
between religions and real science there exists neither relationship
nor friendship, nor even enmity; they live on different planets. Every
philosophy which shows a religious comet's tail shining in the darkness
of its last prospects makes all the science it contains suspicious; all
this is presumably also religion, even though in the guise of science.
Moreover, if all nations were to agree about certain religious matters,
for instance the existence of a God (which, it may be remarked, is not
the case with regard to this point), this would only be an argument
_against_ those affirmed matters, for instance the existence of a God;
the _consensus gentium_ and _hominum_ in general can only take place in
case of a huge folly. On the other hand, there is no _consensus omnium
sapientium,_ with regard to any single thing, with that exception
mentioned in Goethe's lines:

    "Alle die Weisesten aller der Zeiten
    Lächeln und winken und stimmen mit ein:
    Thöricht, auf Bess'rung der Thoren zu harren!
    Kinder der Klugheit, o habet die Narren
    Eben zum Narren auch, wie sich's gehört!"[2]

Spoken without verse and rhyme and applied to our case, the _consensus
sapientium_ consists in this: that the _consensus gentium_ counts as a


THE ORIGIN OF THE RELIGIOUS CULT.--If we go back to the times in
which the religious life flourished to the greatest extent, we find a
fundamental conviction, which we now no longer share, and whereby the
doors leading to a religious life are closed to us once for all,--it
concerns Nature and intercourse with her. In those times people knew
nothing of natural laws; neither for earth nor for heaven is there a
"must"; a season, the sunshine, the rain may come or may not come. In
short, every idea of natural causality is lacking. When one rows, it
is not the rowing that moves the boat, but rowing is only a magical
ceremony by which one compels a _dæmon_ to move the boat. All maladies,
even death itself, are the result of magical influences. Illness
and death never happen naturally; the whole conception of "natural
sequence" is lacking,--it dawned first amongst the older Greeks, that
is, in a very late phase of humanity, in the conception of _Moira,_
enthroned above the gods. When a man shoots with a bow, there is still
always present an irrational hand and strength; if the wells suddenly
dry up, men think first of subterranean _dæmons_ and their tricks; it
must be the arrow of a god beneath whose invisible blow a man suddenly
sinks down. In India (says Lubbock) a carpenter is accustomed to offer
sacrifice to his hammer, his hatchet, and the rest of his tools; in
the same way a Brahmin treats the pen with which he writes, a soldier
the weapons he requires in the field of battle, a mason his trowel, a
labourer his plough. In the imagination of religious people all nature
is a summary of the actions of conscious and voluntary creatures,
an enormous complex of _arbitrariness._ No conclusion may be drawn
with regard to everything that is outside of us, that anything will
_be_ so and so, _must_ be so and so; the approximately sure, reliable
are _we,_--man is the _rule,_ nature is _irregularity,_--this theory
contains the fundamental conviction which obtains in rude, religiously
productive primitive civilisations. We latter-day men feel just
the contrary,--the richer man now feels himself inwardly, the more
polyphonous is the music and the noise of his soul the more powerfully
the symmetry of nature works upon him; we all recognise with Goethe
the great means in nature for the appeasing of the modern soul; we
listen to the pendulum swing of this greatest of clocks with a longing
for rest, for home and tranquillity, as if we could absorb this
symmetry into ourselves and could only thereby arrive at the enjoyment
of ourselves. Formerly it was otherwise; if we consider the rude,
early condition of nations, or contemplate present-day savages' at
close quarters, we find them most strongly influenced by _law_ and by
_tradition_: the individual is almost automatically bound to them, and
moves with the uniformity of a pendulum. To him Nature--uncomprehended,
terrible, mysterious Nature--must appear as the _sphere of liberty,_
of voluntariness, of the higher power, even as a superhuman degree
of existence, as God. In those times and conditions, however, every
individual felt that his existence, his happiness, and that of the
family and the State, and the success of all undertakings, depended
on those spontaneities of nature; certain natural events must appear
at the right time, others be absent at the right time. How can one
have any influence on these terrible unknown things, how can one
bind the sphere of liberty? Thus he asks himself, thus he inquires
anxiously;--is there, then, no means of making those powers as regular
through tradition and law as you are yourself? The aim of those who
believe in magic and miracles is to _impose a law on nature,_--and,
briefly, the religious cult is a result of this aim. The problem which
those people have set themselves is closely related to this: how can
the _weaker_ race dictate laws to the _stronger,_ rule it, and guide
its actions (in relation to the weaker)? One would first remember the
most harmless sort of compulsion, that compulsion which one exercises
when one has gained any one's affection. By imploring and praying, by
submission, by the obligation of regular taxes and gifts, by flattering
glorifications, it is also possible to exercise an influence upon the
powers of nature, inasmuch as one gains the affections; love binds and
becomes bound. Then one can make compacts by which one is mutually
bound to a certain behaviour, where one gives pledges and exchanges
vows. But far more important is a species of more forcible compulsion,
by magic and witchcraft. As with the sorcerer's help man is able to
injure a more powerful enemy and keep him in fear, as the love-charm
works at a distance, so the weaker man believes he can influence the
mightier spirits of nature. The principal thing in all witchcraft
is that we must get into our possession something that belongs to
some one, hair, nails, food from their table, even their portrait,
their name. With such apparatus we can then practise sorcery; for the
fundamental rule is, to everything spiritual there belongs something
corporeal; with the help of this we are able to bind the spirit, to
injure it, and destroy it; the corporeal furnishes the handles with
which we can grasp the spiritual. As man controls man, so he controls
some natural spirit or other; for this has also its corporeal part
by which it may be grasped. The tree and, compared with it, the seed
from which it sprang,--this enigmatical contrast seems to prove that
the same spirit embodied itself in both forms, now small, now large.
A stone that begins to roll suddenly is the body in which a spirit
operates; if there is an enormous rock lying on a lonely heath it seems
impossible to conceive human strength sufficient to have brought it
there, consequently the stone must have moved there by itself, that
is, it must be possessed by a spirit. Everything that has a body is
susceptible to witchcraft, therefore also the natural spirits. If a god
is bound to his image we can use the most direct compulsion against him
(through refusal of sacrificial food, scourging, binding in fetters,
and so on). In order to obtain by force the missing favour of their
god the lower classes in China wind cords round the image of the one
who has left them in the lurch, pull it down and drag it through the
streets in the dust and the dirt: "You dog of a spirit," they say, "we
gave you a magnificent temple to live in, we gilded you prettily, we
fed you well, we offered you sacrifice, and yet you are so ungrateful."
Similar forcible measures against pictures of the Saints and Virgin
when they refused to do their duty in pestilence or drought, have
been witnessed even during the present century in Catholic countries.
Through all these magic relations to nature, countless ceremonies
have been called into life; and at last, when the confusion has
grown too great, an endeavour has been made to order and systematise
them, in order that the favourable course of the whole progress of
nature, _i.e._ of the great succession of the seasons, may seem to
be guaranteed by a corresponding course of a system of procedure.
The essence of the religious cult is to determine and confine nature
to human advantage, _to impress it with a legality, therefore, which
it did not originally possess_; while at the present time we wish to
recognise the legality of nature in order to adapt ourselves to it.
In short, then, the religious cult is based upon the representations
of sorcery between man and man,--and the sorcerer is older than the
priest. But it is likewise based upon other and nobler representations;
it premises the sympathetic relation of man to man, the presence of
goodwill, gratitude, the hearing of pleaders, of treaties between
enemies, the granting of pledges, and the claim to the protection of
property. In very low stages of civilisation man does not stand in the
relation of a helpless slave to nature, he is _not_ necessarily its
involuntary, bondsman. In the _Greek_ grade of religion, particularly
in relation to the Olympian gods, there may even be imagined a common
life between two castes, a nobler and more powerful one, and one less
noble; but in their origin both belong to each other somehow, and
are of one kind; they need not be ashamed of each other. That is the
nobility of the Greek religion.


how many feelings are lost to us may be seen, for instance, in the
mingling of the _droll,_ even of the _obscene,_ with the religious
feeling. The sensation of the possibility of this mixture vanishes, we
only comprehend historically that it existed in the feasts of Demeter
and Dionysus, in the Christian Easter-plays and Mysteries. But we also
know that which is noble in alliance with burlesque and such like, the
touching mingled with the laughable, which perhaps a later age will not
be able to understand.


CHRISTIANITY AS ANTIQUITY.--When on a Sunday morning we hear the old
bells ring out, we ask ourselves, "Is it possible! This is done on
account of a Jew crucified two thousand years ago who said he was the
Son of God. The proof of such an assertion is wanting." Certainly in
our times the Christian religion is an antiquity that dates from
very early ages, and the fact that its assertions are still believed,
when otherwise all claims are subjected to such strict examination,
is perhaps the oldest part of this heritage. A God who creates a son
from a mortal woman; a sage who requires that man should no longer
work, no longer judge, but should pay attention to the signs of the
approaching end of the world; a justice that accepts an innocent being
as a substitute in sacrifice; one who commands his disciples to drink
his blood; prayers for miraculous intervention; sins committed against
a God and atoned for through a God; the fear of a future to which death
is the portal; the form of the cross in an age which no longer knows
the signification and the shame of the cross,[3] how terrible all this
appears to us, as if risen from the grave of the ancient past! Is it
credible that such things are still believed?


WHAT IS UN-GREEK IN CHRISTIANITY.--The Greeks did not regard the
Homeric gods as raised above them like masters, nor themselves as
being under them like servants, as the Jews did. They only saw, as
in a mirror, the most perfect examples of their own caste; an ideal,
therefore, and not an opposite of their own nature. There is a feeling
of relationship, a mutual interest arises, a kind of symmachy. Man
thinks highly of himself when he gives himself such gods, and places
himself in a relation like that of the lower nobility towards the
higher; while the Italian nations hold a genuine peasant-faith, with
perpetual fear of evil and mischievous powers and tormenting spirits.
Wherever the Olympian gods retreated into the background, Greek life
was more sombre and more anxious. Christianity, on the contrary,
oppressed man and crushed him utterly, sinking him as if in deep mire;
then into the feeling of absolute depravity it suddenly threw the light
of divine mercy, so that the surprised man, dazzled by forgiveness,
gave a cry of joy and for a moment believed that he bore all heaven
within himself. All psychological feelings of Christianity work upon
this unhealthy excess of sentiment, and upon the deep corruption of
head and heart it necessitates; it desires to destroy, break, stupefy,
confuse,--only one thing it does not desire, namely _moderation,_ and
therefore it is in the deepest sense barbaric, Asiatic, ignoble and


TO BE RELIGIOUS WITH ADVANTAGE.--There are sober and industrious people
on whom religion is embroidered like a hem of higher humanity; these
do well to remain religious, it beautifies them. All people who do
not understand some kind of trade in weapons--tongue and pen included
as weapons--become servile; for such the Christian religion is very
useful, for then servility assumes the appearance of Christian virtues
and is surprisingly beautified. People to whom their daily life appears
too empty and monotonous easily grow religious; this is comprehensible
and excusable, only they have no right to demand religious sentiments
from those whose daily life is not empty and monotonous.[4]


THE COMMONPLACE CHRISTIAN.--If Christianity were right, with its
theories of an avenging God, of general sinfulness, of redemption, and
the danger of eternal damnation, it would be a sign of weak intellect
and lack of character _not_ to become a priest, apostle or hermit,
and to work only with fear and trembling for one's own salvation; it
would be senseless thus to neglect eternal benefits for temporary
comfort. Taking it for granted that there _is belief,_ the commonplace
Christian is a miserable figure, a man that really cannot add two and
two together, and who, moreover, just because of his mental incapacity
for responsibility, did not deserve to be so severely punished as
Christianity has decreed.


OF THE WISDOM OF CHRISTIANITY.--It is a clever stroke on the part
of Christianity to teach the utter unworthiness, sinfulness, and
despicableness of mankind so loudly that the disdain of their
fellow-men is no longer possible. "He may sin as much as he likes, he
is not essentially different from me,--it is I who am unworthy and
despicable in every way," says the Christian to himself. But even
this feeling has lost its sharpest sting, because the Christian no
longer believes in his individual despicableness; he is bad as men are
generally, and comforts himself a little with the axiom, "We are all of
one kind."


CHANGE OF FRONT.--As soon as a religion triumphs it has for its enemies
all those who would have been its first disciples.


THE FATE OF CHRISTIANITY.--Christianity arose for the purpose of
lightening the heart; but now it must first make the heart heavy in
order afterwards to lighten it. Consequently it will perish.


THE PROOF OF PLEASURE.--The agreeable opinion is accepted as
true,--this is the proof of the pleasure (or, as the Church says, the
proof of the strength), of which all religions are so proud when they
ought to be ashamed of it. If Faith did not make blessed it would not
be believed in; of how little value must it be, then!


A DANGEROUS GAME.--Whoever now allows scope to his religious feelings
must also let them increase, he cannot do otherwise. His nature then
gradually changes; it favours whatever is connected with and near to
the religious element, the whole extent of judgment and feeling becomes
clouded, overcast with religious shadows. Sensation cannot stand still;
one must therefore take care.


THE BLIND DISCIPLES.--So long as one knows well the strength and
weakness of one's doctrine, one's art, one's religion, its power
is still small. The disciple and apostle who has no eyes for the
weaknesses of the doctrine, the religion, and so forth, dazzled by the
aspect of the master and by his reverence for him, has on that account
usually more power than the master himself. Without blind disciples the
influence of a man and his work has never yet become great. To help a
doctrine to victory often means only so to mix it with stupidity that
the weight of the latter carries off also the victory for the former.


CHURCH DISESTABLISHMENT.--There is not enough religion in the world
even to destroy religions.


THE SINLESSNESS OF MAN.--If it is understood how "sin came into the
world," namely through errors of reason by which men held each other,
even the single individual held himself, to be much blacker and much
worse than was actually the case, the whole sensation will be much
lightened, and man and the world will appear in a blaze of innocence
which it will do one good to contemplate. In the midst of nature man
is always the child _per se._ This child sometimes has a heavy and
terrifying dream, but when it opens its eyes it always finds itself
back again in Paradise.


THE IRRELIGIOUSNESS OF ARTISTS.--Homer is so much at home amongst
his gods, and is so familiar with them as a poet, that he must have
been deeply irreligious; that which the popular faith gave him--a
meagre, rude, partly terrible superstition--he treated as freely as
the sculptor does his clay, with the same unconcern, therefore, which
Æschylus and Aristophanes possessed, and by which in later times the
great artists of the Renaissance distinguished themselves, as also did
Shakespeare and Goethe.


torpors, and ecstasies of saints are well-known forms of disease,
which are only, by reason of deep-rooted religious and psychological
errors, differently _explained_ by him, namely not as diseases. Thus,
perhaps, the _Daimonion_ of Socrates was only an affection of the
ear, which he, in accordance with his ruling moral mode of thought,
_expounded_ differently from what would be the case now. It is the same
thing with the madness and ravings of the prophets and soothsayers; it
is always the degree of knowledge, fantasy, effort, morality in the
head and heart of the _interpreters_ which has _made_ so much of it.
For the greatest achievements of the people who are called geniuses and
saints it is necessary that they should secure interpreters by force,
who _misunderstand_ them for the good of mankind.


THE VENERATION OF INSANITY.--Because it was remarked that excitement
frequently made the mind clearer and produced happy inspirations it was
believed that the happiest inspirations and suggestions were called
forth by the greatest excitement; and so the insane were revered as
wise and oracular. This is based on a false conclusion.


THE PROMISES OF SCIENCE.--The aim of modern science is: as little
pain as possible, as long a life as possible,--a kind of eternal
blessedness, therefore; but certainly a very modest one as compared
with the promises of religions.


FORBIDDEN GENEROSITY.--There is not sufficient love and goodness in the
world to permit us to give some of it away to imaginary beings.


Catholic Church, and before that all antique cults, dominated the
entire range of means by which man was put into unaccustomed moods
and rendered incapable of the cold calculation of judgment or the
clear thinking of reason. A church quivering with deep tones; the
dull, regular, arresting appeals of a priestly throng, unconsciously
communicates its tension to the congregation and makes it listen almost
fearfully, as if a miracle were in preparation; the influence of the
architecture, which, as the dwelling of a Godhead, extends into the
uncertain and makes its apparition to be feared in all its sombre
spaces,--who would wish to bring such things back to mankind if the
necessary suppositions are no longer believed? But the _results_ of all
this are not lost, nevertheless; the inner world of noble, emotional,
deeply contrite dispositions, full of presentiments, blessed with hope,
is inborn in mankind mainly through this cult; what exists of it now in
the soul was then cultivated on a large scale as it germinated, grew
up and blossomed.


THE PAINFUL CONSEQUENCES OF RELIGION.--However much we may think we
have weaned ourselves from religion, it has nevertheless not been done
so thoroughly as to deprive us of pleasure in encountering religious
sensations and moods in music, for instance; and if a philosophy shows
us the justification of metaphysical hopes and the deep peace of
soul to be thence acquired, and speaks, for instance, of the "whole,
certain gospel in the gaze of Raphael's Madonnas," we receive such
statements and expositions particularly warmly; here the philosopher
finds it easier to prove; that which he desires to give corresponds
to a heart that desires to receive. Hence it may be observed how the
less thoughtful free spirits really only take offence at the dogmas,
but are well acquainted with the charm of religious sensations; they
are sorry to lose hold of the latter for the sake of the former.
Scientific philosophy must be very careful not to smuggle in errors on
the ground of that need,--a need which has grown up and is consequently
temporary,--even logicians speak of "presentiments" of truth in
ethics and in art (for instance, of the suspicion that "the nature
of things is one"), which should be forbidden to them Between the
carefully established truths and such "presaged" things there remains
the unbridgable chasm that those are due to intellect and these to
requirement Hunger does not prove that food _exists_ to satisfy it, but
that it desires food. To "presage" does not mean the acknowledgment of
the existence of a thing in any one degree, but its possibility, in so
far as it is desired or feared; "presage" does not advance one step
into the land of certainty. We believe involuntarily that the portions
of a philosophy which are tinged with religion are better proved than
others; but actually it is the contrary, but we have the inward desire
that it _may_ be so, that that which makes blessed, therefore, may be
also the true. This desire misleads us to accept bad reasons for good


OF THE CHRISTIAN NEED OF REDEMPTION.--With careful reflection it
must be possible to obtain an explanation free from mythology of
that process in the soul of a Christian which is called the need of
redemption, consequently a purely psychological explanation. Up to the
present, the psychological explanations of religious conditions and
processes have certainly been held in some disrepute, inasmuch as a
theology which called itself free carried on its unprofitable practice
in this domain; for here from the beginning (as the mind of its
founder, Schleiermacher, gives us reason to suppose) the preservation
of the Christian religion and the continuance of Christian theology
was kept in view; a theology which was to find a new anchorage in
the psychological analyses of religious "facts," and above all a new
occupation. Unconcerned about such predecessors we hazard the following
interpretation of the phenomenon in question. Man is conscious of
certain actions which stand far down in the customary rank of actions;
he even discovers in himself a tendency towards similar actions, a
tendency which appears to him almost as unchangeable as his whole
nature. How willingly would he try himself in that other species of
actions which in the general valuation are recognised as the loftiest
and highest, how gladly would he feel himself to be full of the good
consciousness which should follow an unselfish mode of thought! But
unfortunately he stops short at this wish, and the discontent at not
being able to satisfy it is added to all the other discontents which
his lot in life or the consequences of those above-mentioned evil
actions have aroused in him; so that a deep ill-humour is the result,
with the search for a physician who could remove this and all its
causes. This condition would not be felt so bitterly if man would only
compare himself frankly with other men,--then he would have no reason
for being dissatisfied with himself to a particular extent, he would
only bear his share of the common burden of human dissatisfaction and
imperfection. But he compares himself with a being who is said to be
capable only of those actions which are called un-egoistic, and to
live in the perpetual consciousness of an unselfish mode of thought,
_i.e._ with God; it is because he gazes into this clear mirror that his
image appears to him so dark, so unusually warped. Then he is alarmed
by the thought of that same creature, in so far as it floats before his
imagination as a retributive justice; in all possible small and great
events he thinks he recognises its anger and menaces, that he even
feels its scourge-strokes as judge and executioner. Who will help him
in this danger, which, by the prospect of an immeasurable duration of
punishment, exceeds in horror all the other terrors of the idea?


Before we examine the further consequences of this mental state, let
us acknowledge that it is not through his "guilt" and "sin" that man
has got into this condition, but through a series of errors of reason;
that it was the fault of the mirror if his image appeared so dark and
hateful to him, and that that mirror was _his_ work, the very imperfect
work of human imagination and power of judgment. In the first place,
a nature that is only capable of purely un-egoistic actions is more
fabulous than the phœnix; it cannot even be clearly imagined, just
because, when closely examined, the whole idea "un-egoistic action"
vanishes into air. No man _ever_ did a thing which was done only
for others and without any personal motive; how should he be _able_
to do anything which had no relation to himself, and therefore
without inward obligation (which must always have its foundation in
a personal need)? How could the _ego_ act without _ego_ A God who,
on the contrary, is _all_ love, as such a one is often represented,
would not be capable of a single un-egoistic action, whereby one is
reminded of a saying of Lichtenberg's which is certainly taken from
a lower sphere: "We cannot possibly _feel_ for others, as the saying
is; we feel only for ourselves. This sounds hard, but it is not so
really if it be rightly understood. We do not love father or mother
or wife or child, but the pleasant sensations they cause us;" or, as
Rochefoucauld says: "_Si on croit aimer sa maîtresse pour l'amour
d'elle, on est bien trompé._" To know the reason why actions of love
are valued more than others, not on account of their nature, namely,
but of their _usefulness,_ we should compare the examinations already
mentioned, _On the Origin of Moral Sentiments._ But should a man desire
to be entirely like that God of Love, to do and wish everything for
others and nothing for himself, the latter is impossible for the reason
that he must do _very much_ for himself to be able to do something
for the love of others. Then it is taken for granted that the other
is sufficiently egoistic to accept that sacrifice again and again,
that living for him,--so that the people of love and sacrifice have an
interest in the continuance of those who are loveless and incapable
of sacrifice, and, in order to exist, the highest morality would be
obliged positively to _compel_ the existence of un-morality (whereby
it would certainly annihilate itself). Further: the conception of a
God disturbs and humbles so long as it is believed in; but as to how
it arose there can no longer be any doubt in the present state of the
science of comparative ethnology; and with a comprehension of this
origin all belief falls to the ground. The Christian who compares his
nature with God's is like Don Quixote, who under-valued his own bravery
because his head was full of the marvellous deeds of the heroes of
the chivalric; romances,--the standard of measurement in both cases
belongs to the domain of fable. But if the idea of God is removed, so
is also the feeling of "sin" as a trespass against divine laws, as a
stain in a creature vowed to God. Then, perhaps, there still remains
that dejection which is intergrown and connected with the fear of the
punishment of worldly justice or of the scorn of men; the dejection of
the pricks of conscience, the sharpest thorn in the consciousness of
sin, is always removed if we recognise that though by our own deed we
have sinned against human descent, human laws and ordinances, still
that we have not imperilled the "eternal salvation of the Soul" and its
relation to the Godhead. And if man succeeds in gaining philosophic
conviction of the absolute necessity of all actions and their entire
irresponsibility, and absorbing this into his flesh and blood, even
those remains of the pricks of conscience vanish.


Now if the Christian, as we have said, has fallen into the way of
self-contempt in consequence of certain errors through a false,
unscientific interpretation of his actions and sensations, he must
notice with great surprise how that state of contempt, the pricks of
conscience and displeasure generally, does not endure, how sometimes
there come hours when all this is wafted away from his soul and he
feels himself once more free and courageous. In truth, the pleasure in
himself, the comfort of his own strength, together with the necessary
weakening through time of every deep emotion, has usually been
victorious; man loves himself once again, he feels it,--but precisely
this new love, this self-esteem, seems to him incredible, he can only
see in it the wholly undeserved descent of a stream of mercy from on
high. If he formerly believed that in every event he could recognise
warnings, menaces, punishments, and every kind of manifestation of
divine anger, he now finds divine goodness in all his experiences,
--this event appears to him to be full of love, that one a helpful
hint, a third, and, indeed, his whole happy mood, a proof that God is
merciful. As formerly, in his state of pain, he interpreted his actions
falsely, so now he misinterprets his experiences; his mood of comfort
he believes to be the working of a power operating outside of himself,
the love with which he really loves himself seems to him to be divine
love; that which he calls mercy, and the prologue to redemption, is
actually self-forgiveness, self-redemption.


Therefore: A certain false psychology, a certain kind of imaginative
interpretation of motives and experiences, is the necessary preliminary
for one to become a Christian and to feel the need of redemption. When
this error of reason and imagination is recognised, one ceases to be a


OF CHRISTIAN ASCETICISM AND HOLINESS.--As greatly as isolated thinkers
have endeavoured to depict as a miracle the rare manifestations of
morality, which are generally called asceticism and holiness, miracles
which it would be almost an outrage and sacrilege to explain by the
light of common sense, as strong also is the inclination towards
this outrage. A mighty impulse of nature has at all times led to a
protest against those manifestations; science, in so far as it is
an imitation of nature, at least allows itself to rise against the
supposed inexplicableness and unapproachableness of these objections.
So far it has certainly not succeeded: those appearances are still
unexplained, to the great joy of the above-mentioned worshippers of the
morally marvellous. For, speaking generally, the unexplained _must_
be absolutely inexplicable, the inexplicable absolutely unnatural,
supernatural, wonderful,--thus runs the demand in the souls of all
religious and metaphysical people (also of artists, if they should
happen to be thinkers at the same time); whilst the scientist sees
in this demand the "evil principle" in itself. The general, first
probability upon which one lights in the contemplation of holiness
and asceticism is this, that their nature is a _complicated_ one,
for almost everywhere, within the physical world as well as in the
moral, the apparently marvellous has been successfully traced back to
the complicated, the many-conditioned. Let us venture, therefore, to
isolate separate impulses from the soul of saints and ascetics, and
finally to imagine them as intergrown.


There is a _defiance of self,_ to the sublimest manifestation of which
belong many forms of asceticism. Certain individuals have such great
need of exercising their power and love of ruling that, in default of
other objects, or because they have never succeeded otherwise, they
finally ex-cogitate the idea of tyrannising over certain parts of their
own nature, portions or degrees of themselves. Thus many a thinker
confesses to views which evidently do not serve either to increase
or improve his reputation; many a one deliberately calls down the
scorn of others when by keeping silence he could easily have remained
respected; others contradict former opinions and do not hesitate to
be called inconsistent--on the contrary, they strive after this, and
behave like reckless riders who like a horse best when it has grown
wild, unmanageable, and covered with sweat. Thus man climbs dangerous
paths up the highest mountains in order that he may laugh to scorn his
own fear and his trembling knees; thus the philosopher owns to views
on asceticism, humility, holiness, in the brightness of which his own
picture shows to the worst possible disadvantage. This crushing of
one's self, this scorn of one's own nature, this _spernere se sperm,_
of which religion has made so much, is really a very high degree of
vanity. The whole moral of the Sermon on the Mount belongs here;
man takes a genuine delight in doing violence to himself by these
exaggerated claims, and afterwards idolising these tyrannical demands
of his soul. In every ascetic morality man worships one part of himself
as a God, and is obliged, therefore, to diabolise the other parts.


Man is not equally moral at all hours, this is well known. If his
morality is judged to be the capability for great self-sacrificing
resolutions and self-denial (which, when continuous and grown habitual,
are called holiness), he is most moral in the _passions;_ the higher
emotion provides him with entirely new motives, of which he, sober
and cold as usual, perhaps does not even believe himself capable. How
does this happen? Probably because of the proximity of everything
great and highly exciting; if man is once wrought up to a state of
extraordinary suspense, he is as capable of carrying out a terrible
revenge as of a terrible crushing of his need for revenge. Under the
influence of powerful emotion, he desires in any case the great, the
powerful, the immense; and if he happens to notice that the sacrifice
of himself satisfies him as well as, or better than, the sacrifice
of others, he chooses that. Actually, therefore, he only cares about
discharging his emotion; in order to ease his tension he seizes the
enemy's spears and buries them in his breast. That there was something
great in self-denial and not in revenge had to be taught to mankind by
long habit; a Godhead that sacrificed itself was the strongest, most
effective symbol of this kind of greatness. As the conquest of the most
difficult enemy, the sudden mastering of an affection--thus this denial
_appears_; and so far it passes for the summit of morality. In reality
it is a question of the confusion of one idea with another, while the
temperament maintains an equal height, an equal level. Temperate men
who are resting from their passions no longer understand the morality
of those moments; but the general admiration of those who had the same
experiences upholds them; pride is their consolation when affection
and the understanding of their deed vanish. Therefore, at bottom even
those actions of self-denial are not moral, inasmuch as they are not
done strictly with regard to others; rather the other only provides
the highly-strung temperament with an opportunity of relieving itself
through that denial.


In many respects the ascetic seeks to make life easy for himself,
usually by complete subordination to a strange will or a comprehensive
law and ritual; something like the way a Brahmin leaves nothing
whatever to his own decision but refers every moment to holy precepts.
This submission is a powerful means of attaining self-mastery: man
is occupied and is therefore not bored, and yet has no incitement to
self-will or passion; after a completed deed there is no feeling of
responsibility and with it no tortures of remorse. We have renounced
our own will once and for ever, and this is easier than only renouncing
it occasionally; as it is also easier to give up a desire entirely than
to keep it within bounds. When we remember the present relation of
man to the State, we find that, even here, unconditional obedience is
more convenient than conditional. The saint, therefore, makes his life
easier by absolute renunciation of his personality, and we are mistaken
if in that phenomenon we admire the loftiest heroism of morality.
In any case it is more difficult to carry one's personality through
without vacillation and unclearness than to liberate one's self from it
in the above-mentioned manner; moreover, it requires far more spirit
and consideration.


After having found in many of the less easily explicable actions
manifestations of that pleasure in _emotion per se,_ I should like
to recognise also in self-contempt, which is one of the signs of
holiness, and likewise in the deeds of self-torture (through hunger and
scourging, mutilation of limbs, feigning of madness) a means by which
those natures fight against the general weariness of their life-will
(their nerves); they employ the most painful irritants and cruelties
in order to emerge for a time, at all events, from that dulness and
boredom into which they so frequently sink through their great mental
indolence and that submission to a strange will already described.


The commonest means which the ascetic and saint employs to render
life still endurable and amusing consists in occasional warfare with
alternate victory and defeat. For this he requires an opponent, and
finds it in the so-called "inward enemy." He principally makes use
of his inclination to vanity, love of honour and rule, and of his
sensual desires, that he may be permitted to regard his life as a
perpetual battle and himself as a battlefield upon which good and evil
spirits strive with alternating success. It is well known that sensual
imagination is moderated, indeed almost dispelled, by regular sexual
intercourse, whereas, on the contrary, it is rendered unfettered and
wild by abstinence or irregularity. The imagination of many Christian
saints was filthy to an extraordinary degree; by virtue of those
theories that these desires were actual demons raging within them
they did not feel themselves to be too responsible; to this feeling
we owe the very instructive frankness of their self-confessions. It
was to their interest that this strife should always be maintained in
one degree or another, because, as we have already said, their empty
life was thereby entertained. But in order that the strife might
seem sufficiently important and arouse the enduring sympathy and
admiration of non-saints, it was necessary that sensuality should be
ever more reviled and branded, the danger of eternal damnation was so
tightly bound up with these things that it is highly probable that for
whole centuries Christians generated children with a bad conscience,
wherewith humanity has certainly suffered a great injury. And yet here
truth is all topsy-turvy, which is particularly unsuitable for truth.
Certainly Christianity had said that every man is conceived and born
in sin, and in the insupportable superlative-Christianity of Calderon
this thought again appears, tied up and twisted, as the most distorted
paradox there is, in the well-known lines--

    "The greatest sin of man
    Is that he was ever born."

In all pessimistic religions the act of generation was looked upon as
evil in itself. This is by no means the verdict of all mankind, not
even of all pessimists. For instance, Empedocles saw in all erotic
things nothing shameful, diabolical, or, sinful; but rather, in the
great plain of disaster he saw only one hopeful and redeeming figure,
that of Aphrodite; she appeared to him as a guarantee that the strife
should not endure eternally, but that the sceptre should one day be
given over to a gentler _dæmon._ The actual Christian pessimists had,
as has been said, an interest in the dominance of a diverse opinion;
for the solitude and spiritual wilderness of their lives they required
an ever living enemy, and a generally recognised enemy, through whose
fighting and overcoming they could constantly represent themselves to
the non-saints as incomprehensible, half--supernatural beings. But when
at last this enemy took to flight for ever in consequence of their
mode of life and their impaired health, they immediately understood
how to populate their interior with new dæmons. The rising and falling
of the scales of pride and humility sustained their brooding minds as
well as the alternations of desire and peace of soul. At that time
psychology served not only to cast suspicion upon everything human, but
to oppress, to scourge, to crucify; people _wished_ to find themselves
as bad and wicked as possible, they _sought_ anxiety for the salvation
of their souls, despair of their own strength. Everything natural with
which man has connected the idea of evil and sin (as, for instance,
he is still accustomed to do with regard to the erotic) troubles and
clouds the imagination, causes a frightened glance, makes man quarrel
with himself and uncertain and distrustful of himself. Even his dreams
have the flavour of a restless conscience. And yet in the reality
of things this suffering from what is natural is entirely without
foundation, it is only the consequence of opinions _about_ things. It
is easily seen how men grow worse by considering the inevitably-natural
as bad, and afterwards always feeling themselves made thus. It is the
trump-card of religion and metaphysics, which wish to have man evil and
sinful by nature, to cast suspicion on nature and thus really to _make_
him bad, for he learns to feel himself evil since he cannot divest
himself of the clothing of nature. After living for long a natural
life, he gradually comes to feel himself weighed down by such a burden
of sin that supernatural powers are necessary to lift this burden, and
therewith arises the so-called need of redemption, which corresponds to
no real but only to an imaginary sinfulness. If we survey the separate
moral demands of the earliest times of Christianity it will everywhere
be found that requirements are exaggerated in order that man _cannot_
satisfy them; the intention is not that he should become more moral,
but that he should feel himself as _sinful as possible._ If man had not
found this feeling _agreeable_--why would he have thought out such an
idea and stuck to it so long? As in the antique world an immeasurable
power of intellect and inventiveness was expended in multiplying the
pleasure of life by festive cults, so also in the age of Christianity
an immeasurable amount of intellect has been sacrificed to another
endeavour,--man must by all means be made to feel himself sinful and
thereby be excited, _enlivened, en-souled._ To excite, enliven, en-soul
at all costs--is not that the watchword of a relaxed, over-ripe,
over-cultured age? The range of all natural sensations had been gone
over a hundred times, the soul had grown weary, whereupon the saint
and the ascetic invented a new species of stimulants for life. They
presented themselves before the public eye, not exactly as an example
for the many, but as a terrible and yet ravishing spectacle, which took
place on that border-land between world and over-world, wherein at that
time all people believed they saw now rays of heavenly light and now
unholy tongues of flame glowing in the depths. The saint's eye, fixed
upon the terrible meaning of this short earthly life, upon the nearness
of the last decision concerning endless new spans of existence, this
burning eye in a half-wasted body made men of the old world tremble to
their very depths; to gaze, to turn shudderingly away, to feel anew the
attraction of the spectacle and to give way to it, to drink deep of it
till the soul quivered with fire and ague,--that was the last _pleasure
that antiquity invented_ after it had grown blunted even at the sight
of beast-baitings and human combats.


Now to sum up. That condition of soul in which the saint or embryo
saint rejoiced, was composed of elements which we all know well,
only that under the influence of other than religious conceptions
they exhibit themselves in other colours and are then accustomed to
encounter man's blame as fully as, with that decoration of religion
and the ultimate meaning of existence, they may reckon on receiving
admiration and even worship,--might reckon, at least, in former ages.
Sometimes the saint practises that defiance of himself which is a
near relative of domination at any cost and gives a feeling of power
even to the most lonely; sometimes his swollen sensibility leaps from
the desire to let his passions have full play into the desire to
overthrow them like wild horses under the mighty pressure of a proud
spirit; sometimes he desires a complete cessation of all disturbing,
tormenting, irritating sensations, a waking sleep, a lasting rest in
the lap of a dull, animal, and plant-like indolence; sometimes he seeks
strife and arouses it within himself, because boredom has shown him its
yawning countenance. He scourges his self-adoration with self-contempt
and cruelty, he rejoices in the wild tumult of his desires and the
sharp pain of sin, even in the idea of being lost; he understands how
to lay a trap for his emotions, for instance even for his keen love
of ruling, so that he sinks into the most utter abasement and his
tormented soul is thrown out of joint by this contrast; and finally,
if he longs for visions, conversations with the dead or with divine
beings, it is at bottom a rare kind of delight that he covets, perhaps
that delight in which all others are united. Novalis, an authority on
questions of holiness through experience and instinct, tells the whole
secret with naïve joy: "It is strange enough that the association of
lust, religion, and cruelty did not long ago draw men's attention to
their close relationship and common tendency."


That which gives the saint his historical value is not the thing he
_is,_ but the thing he _represents_ in the eyes of the unsaintly. It
was through the fact that errors were made about him, that the state
of his soul was _falsely interpreted,_ that men separated themselves
from him as much as possible, as from something incomparable and
strangely superhuman, that he acquired the extraordinary power which
he exercised over the imagination of whole nations and whole ages. He
did not know himself; he himself interpreted the writing of his moods,
inclinations, and actions according to an art of interpretation which
was as exaggerated and artificial as the spiritual interpretation
of the Bible. The distorted and diseased in his nature, with its
combination of intellectual poverty, evil knowledge, ruined health, and
over-excited nerves, remained hidden from his own sight as well as from
that of his spectators. He was not a particularly good man, and still
less was he a particularly wise one; but he _represented_ something
that exceeded the human standard in goodness and wisdom. The belief in
him supported the belief in the divine and miraculous, in a religious
meaning of all existence, in an impending day of judgment. In the
evening glory of the world's sunset, which glowed over the Christian
nations, the shadowy form of the saint grew to vast dimensions, it grew
to such a height that even in our own age, which no longer believes in
God, there are still thinkers who believe in the saint.


It need not be said that to this description of the saint which has
been made from an average of the whole species, there may be opposed
many a description which could give a more agreeable impression.
Certain exceptions stand out from among this species, it may be through
great mildness and philanthropy, it may be through the magic of unusual
energy; others are attractive in the highest degree, because certain
wild ravings have poured streams of light on their whole being, as is
the case, for instance, with the famous founder of Christianity, who
thought he was the Son of God and therefore felt himself sinless--so
that through this idea--which we must not judge too hardly because the
whole antique world swarms with sons of God--he reached that same goal,
that feeling of complete sinlessness, complete irresponsibility, which
every one can now acquire by means of science. Neither have I mentioned
the Indian saints, who stand midway between the Christian saint and the
Greek philosopher, and in so far represent no pure type. Knowledge,
science--such as existed then--the uplifting above other men through
logical discipline and training of thought, were as much fostered by
the Buddhists as distinguishing signs of holiness as the same qualities
in the Christian world are repressed and branded as signs of unholiness.

[Footnote 1: Why harass with eternal designs a mind too weak to compass
them? Why do we not, as we lie beneath a lofty plane-tree or this pine
[drink while we may]? HOR., _Odes_ III. ii. 11-14.--J.M.K.]

[Footnote 2:

    "All greatest sages of all latest ages
       Will chuckle and slily agree,
    'Tis folly to wait till a fool's empty pate
       Has learnt to be knowing and free:
    So children of wisdom, make use of the fools
    And use them whenever you can as your tools."--J.M.K.

[Footnote 3: It may be remembered that the cross was the gallows of the
ancient world.--J.M.K.]

[Footnote 4: This may give us one of the reasons for the religiosity
still happily prevailing in England and the United States.--J.M.K.]




THE PERFECT SHOULD NOT HAVE GROWN.--With regard to everything that is
perfect we are accustomed to omit the question as to how perfection has
been acquired, and we only rejoice in the present as if it had sprung
out of the ground by magic. Probably with regard to this matter we are
still under the effects of an ancient mythological feeling. It still
_almost_ seems to us (in such a Greek temple, for instance, as that of
Pæstum) as if one morning a god in sport had built his dwelling of such
enormous masses, at other times it seems as if his spirit had suddenly
entered into a stone and now desired to speak through it. The artist
knows that his work is only fully effective if it arouses the belief
in an improvisation, in a marvellous instantaneousness of origin; and
thus he assists this illusion and introduces into art those elements
of inspired unrest, of blindly groping disorder, of listening dreaming
at the beginning of creation, as a means of deception, in order so to
influence the soul of the spectator or hearer that it may believe in
the sudden appearance of the perfect. It is the business of the science
of art to contradict this illusion most decidedly, and to show up the
mistakes and pampering of the intellect, by means of which it falls
into the artist's trap.


THE ARTIST'S SENSE OF TRUTH.--With regard to recognition of truths, the
artist has a weaker morality than the thinker; he will on no account
let himself be deprived of brilliant and profound interpretations
of life, and defends himself against temperate and simple methods
and results. He is apparently fighting for the higher worthiness
and meaning of mankind; in reality he will not renounce the _most
effective_ suppositions for his art, the fantastical, mythical,
uncertain, extreme, the sense of the symbolical, the over-valuation
of personality, the belief that genius is something miraculous,--he
considers, therefore, the continuance of his art of creation as more
important than the scientific devotion to truth in every shape, however
simple this may appear.


ART AS RAISER OF THE DEAD.--Art also fulfils the task of preservation
and even of brightening up extinguished and faded memories; when it
accomplishes this task it weaves a rope round the ages and causes
their spirits to return. It is, certainly, only a phantom-life that
results therefrom, as out of graves, or like the return in dreams of
our beloved dead, but for some moments, at least, the old sensation
lives again and the heart beats to an almost forgotten time. Hence,
for the sake of the general usefulness of art, the artist himself must
be excused if he does not stand in the front rank of the enlightenment
and progressive civilisation of humanity; all his life long he has
remained a child or a youth, and has stood still at the point where he
was overcome by his artistic impulse; the feelings of the first years
of life, however, are acknowledged to be nearer to those of earlier
times than to those of the present century. Unconsciously it becomes
his mission to make mankind more childlike; this is his glory and his


POETS AS THE LIGHTENERS OF LIFE.--Poets, inasmuch as they desire to
lighten the life of man, either divert his gaze from the wearisome
present, or assist the present to acquire new colours by means of a
life which they cause to shine out of the past. To be able to do this,
they must in many respects themselves be beings who are turned towards
the past, so that they can be used as bridges to far distant times
and ideas, to dying or dead religions and cultures. Actually they
are always and of necessity _epigoni._ There are, however, certain
drawbacks to their means of lightening life,--they appease and heal
only temporarily, only for the moment; they even prevent men from
labouring towards a genuine improvement in their conditions, inasmuch
as they remove and apply palliatives to precisely that passion of
discontent that induces to action.


THE SLOW ARROW OF BEAUTY.--The noblest kind of beauty is that which
does not transport us suddenly, which does not make stormy and
intoxicating impressions (such a kind easily arouses disgust), but
that which slowly filter into our minds, which we take away with us
almost unnoticed, and which we encounter again in our dreams; but
which, however, after having long lain modestly on our hearts, takes
entire possession of us, fills our eyes with tears and our hearts with
longing. What is it that we long for at the sight of beauty? We long to
be beautiful, we fancy it must bring much happiness with it. But that
is a mistake.


THE ANIMATION OF ART.--Art raises its head where creeds relax. It takes
over many feelings and moods engendered by religion, lays them to its
heart, and itself becomes deeper, more full of soul, so that it is
capable of transmitting exultation and enthusiasm, which it previously
was not able to do. The abundance of religious feelings which have
grown into a stream are always breaking forth again and desire to
conquer new kingdoms, but the growing enlightenment has shaken the
dogmas of religion and inspired a deep mistrust,--thus the feeling,
thrust by enlightenment out of the religious sphere, throws itself upon
art, in a few cases into political life, even straight into science.
Everywhere where human endeavour wears a loftier, gloomier aspect, it
may be assumed that the fear of spirits, incense, and church-shadows
have remained attached to it.


HOW RHYTHM BEAUTIFIES.--Rhythm casts a veil over reality; it causes
various artificialities of speech and obscurities of thought; by the
shadow it throws upon thought it sometimes conceals it, and sometimes
brings it into prominence. As shadow is necessary to beauty, so the
"dull" is necessary to lucidity. Art makes the aspect of life endurable
by throwing lover it the veil of obscure thought.


THE ART OF THE UGLY SOUL.--Art is confined within too narrow limits if
it be required that only the orderly, respectable, well-behaved soul
should be allowed to express itself therein. As in the plastic arts, so
also in music and poetry: there is an art of the ugly soul side by side
with the art of the beautiful soul; and the mightiest effects of art,
the crushing of souls, moving of stones and humanising of beasts, have
perhaps been best achieved precisely by that art.


need is and how difficult nature renders our departure from it may be
seen from the fact that even in the free spirit, when he has cast off
everything metaphysical, the loftiest effects of art can easily produce
a resounding of the long silent, even broken, metaphysical string,--it
may be, for instance, that at a passage in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
he feels himself floating above the earth in a starry dome with the
dream of _immortality_ in his heart; all the stars seem to shine round
him, and the earth to sink farther and farther away.--If he becomes
conscious of this state, he feels a deep pain at his heart, and sighs
for the man who will lead back to him his lost darling, be it called
religion or metaphysics. In such moments his intellectual character is
put to the test.


PLAYING WITH LIFE.--The lightness and frivolity of the Homeric
imagination was necessary to calm and occasionally to raise the
immoderately passionate temperament and acute intellect of the Greeks.
If their intellect speaks, how harsh and cruel does life then appear!
They do not deceive themselves, but they intentionally weave lies
round life. Simonides advised his countrymen to look upon life as
a game; earnestness was too well-known to them as pain (the gods so
gladly hear the misery of mankind made the theme of song), and they
knew that through art alone misery might be turned into pleasure. As
a punishment for this insight, however, they were so plagued with the
love of romancing that it was difficult for them in everyday life to
keep themselves free from falsehood and deceit; for all poetic nations
have such a love of falsehood, and yet are innocent withal. Probably
this occasionally drove the neighbouring nations to desperation.


THE BELIEF IN INSPIRATION.--It is to the interest of the artist that
there should be a belief in sudden suggestions, so-called inspirations;
as if the idea of a work of art, of poetry, the fundamental thought of
a philosophy shone down from heaven like a ray of grace. In reality
the imagination of the good artist or thinker constantly produces
good, mediocre, and bad, but his _judgment,_ most clear and practised,
rejects and chooses and joins together, just as we now learn from
Beethoven's notebooks that he gradually composed the most beautiful
melodies, and in a manner selected them, from many different attempts.
He who makes less severe distinctions, and willingly abandons himself
to imitative memories, may under certain circumstances become a great
improvisatore; but artistic improvisation ranks low in comparison with
serious and laboriously chosen artistic thoughts. All great men were
great workers, unwearied not only in invention but also in rejection,
reviewing, transforming, and arranging.


INSPIRATION AGAIN.--If the productive power has been suspended for a
length of time, and has been hindered in its outflow by some obstacle,
there comes at last such a sudden out-pouring, as if an immediate
inspiration were taking place without previous inward working,
consequently a miracle. This constitutes the familiar deception, in
the continuance of which, as we have said, the interest of all artists
is rather too much concerned. The capital has only _accumulated,_ it
has not suddenly fallen down from heaven. Moreover, such apparent
inspirations are seen elsewhere, for instance in the realm of goodness,
of virtue and of vice.


THE SUFFERING OF GENIUS AND ITS VALUE.--The artistic genius desires
to give pleasure, but if his mind is on a very high plane he does not
easily find any one to share his pleasure; he offers entertainment
but nobody accepts it. This gives him, in certain circumstances, a
comically touching pathos; for he has really no right to force pleasure
on men. He pipes, but none will dance: can that be tragic? Perhaps.--As
compensation for this deprivation, however, he finds more pleasure in
creating than the rest of mankind experiences in all other species
of activity. His sufferings are considered as exaggerated, because
the sound of his complaints is louder and his tongue more eloquent;
and yet _sometimes_ his sufferings are really very great; but only
because his ambition and his envy are so great. The learned genius,
like Kepler and Spinoza, is usually not so covetous and does not make
such an exhibition of his really greater sufferings and deprivations.
He can reckon with greater certainty on future fame and can afford to
do without the present, whilst an artist who does this always plays a
desperate game that makes his heart ache. In very rare cases, when in
one and the same individual are combined the genius of power and of
knowledge and the moral genius, there is added to the above-mentioned
pains that species of pain which must be regarded as the most
curious exception in the world; those extra- and super-personal
sensations which are experienced on behalf of a nation, of humanity,
of all civilisation, all suffering existence, which acquire their
value through the connection with particularly difficult and remote
perceptions (pity in itself is worth but little). But what standard,
what proof is there for its genuineness? Is it not almost imperative to
be mistrustful of all who _talk_ of feeling sensations of this kind?


THE DESTINY OF GREATNESS.--Every great phenomenon is followed by
degeneration, especially in the world of art. The example of the great
tempts vainer natures to superficial imitation or exaggeration; all
great gifts have the fatality of crushing many weaker forces and germs,
and of laying waste all nature around them. The happiest arrangement in
the development of an art is for several geniuses mutually to hold one
another within bounds; in this strife it generally happens that light
and air are also granted to the weaker and more delicate natures.


ART DANGEROUS FOR THE ARTIST.--When art takes strong hold of an
individual it draws him back to the contemplation of those times when
art flourished best, and it has then a retrograde effect. The artist
grows more and more to reverence sudden inspirations; he believes
in gods and dæmons, he spiritualises all nature, hates science, is
changeable in his moods like the ancients, and longs for an overthrow
of all existing conditions which are not favourable to art, and does
this with the impetuosity and unreasonableness of a child. Now, in
himself, the artist is already a backward nature, because he halts at a
game that belongs properly to youth and childhood; to this is added the
fact that he is educated back into former times. Thus there gradually
arises a fierce antagonism between him and his contemporaries, and
a sad ending; according to the accounts of the ancients, Homer and
Æschylus spent their last years, and died, in melancholy.


CREATED INDIVIDUALS.--When it is said that the dramatist (and the
artist above all) _creates_ real characters, it is a fine deception and
exaggeration, in the existence and propagation of which art celebrates
one of its unconscious but at the same time abundant triumphs. As a
matter of fact, we do not understand much about a real, living man,
and we generalise very superficially when we ascribe to him this and
that character; this _very imperfect_ attitude of ours towards man
is represented by the poet, inasmuch as he makes into men (in this
sense "creates") outlines as _superficial_ as our knowledge of man is
superficial. There is a great deal of delusion about these created
characters of artists; they are by no means living productions of
nature, but are like painted men, somewhat too thin, they will not
bear a close inspection. And when it is said that the character of
the ordinary living being contradicts itself frequently, and that
the one created by the dramatist is the original model conceived by
nature, this is quite wrong. A genuine man is something absolutely
_necessary_ (even in those so-called contradictions), but we do not
always recognise this necessity. The imaginary man, the phantasm,
signifies something necessary, but only to those who understand a
real man only in a crude, unnatural simplification, so that a few
strong, oft-repeated traits, with a great deal of light and shade
and half-light about them, amply satisfy their notions. They are,
therefore, ready to treat the phantasm as a genuine, necessary man,
because with real men they are accustomed to regard a phantasm, an
outline, an intentional abbreviation as the whole. That the painter
and the sculptor express the "idea" of man is a vain imagination and
delusion; whoever says this is in subjection to the eye, for this only
sees the' surface, the epidermis of the human body,--the inward body,
however, is equally a part of the idea. Plastic art wishes to make
character visible on the surface; histrionic art employs speech for
the same purpose, it reflects character in sounds. Art starts from the
natural _ignorance_ of man about his interior condition (in body and
character); it is not meant for philosophers or natural scientists.


PHILOSOPHERS.--We are all prone to think that the excellence of a
work of art or of an artist is proved when it moves and touches us.
But there _our own excellence_ in judgment and sensibility must have
been proved first, which is not the case. In all plastic art, who
had greater power to effect a charm than Bernini, who made a greater
effect than the orator that appeared after Demosthenes introduced the
Asiatic style and gave it a predominance which lasted throughout two
centuries? This predominance during whole centuries is not a proof of
the excellence and enduring validity of a style; therefore we must
not be too certain in our good opinion of any artist,--this is not
only belief in the truthfulness of our sensations but also in the
infallibility of our judgment, whereas judgment or sensation, or even
both, may be too coarse or too fine, exaggerated or crude. Neither are
the blessings and blissfulness of a philosophy or of a religion proofs
of its truth; just as little as the happiness which an insane person
derives from his fixed idea is a proof of the reasonableness of this


THE CULT OF GENIUS FOR THE SAKE OF VANITY.--Because we think well of
ourselves, but nevertheless do not imagine that we are capable of the
conception of one of Raphael's pictures or of a scene such as those of
one of Shakespeare's dramas, we persuade ourselves that the faculty for
doing this is quite extraordinarily wonderful, a very rare case, or,
if we are religiously inclined, a grace from above. Thus the cult of
genius fosters our vanity, our self-love, for it is only when we think
of it as very far removed from us, as a _miraculum,_ that it does not
wound us (even Goethe, who was free from envy, called Shakespeare a
star of the farthest heavens, whereby we are reminded of the line "die
Sterne, die begehrt man nicht".[1]) But, apart from those suggestions
of our vanity, the activity of a genius does not seem so radically
different from the activity of a mechanical inventor, of an astronomer
or historian or strategist. All these forms of activity are explicable
if we realise men whose minds are active in one special direction, who
make use of everything as material, who always eagerly study their
own inward life and that of others, who find types and incitements
everywhere, who never weary in the employment of their means. Genius
does nothing but learn how to lay stones, then to build, always to
seek for material and always to work upon it. Every human activity is
marvellously complicated, and not only that of genius, but it is no
"miracle." Now whence comes the belief that genius is found only in
artists, orators, and philosophers, that they alone have "intuition"
(by which we credit them with a kind of magic glass by means of which
they see straight into one's "being")? It is clear that men only speak
of genius where the workings of a great intellect are most agreeable
to them and they have no desire to feel envious. To call any one
"divine" is as much as saying "here we have no occasion for rivalry."
Thus it is that everything completed and perfect is stared at, and
everything incomplete is undervalued. Now nobody can see how the work
of an artist has _developed_; that is its advantage, for everything of
which the development is seen is looked on coldly The perfected art of
representation precludes all thought of its development, it tyrannises
as present perfection. For this reason artists of representation are
especially held to be possess of genius, but not scientific men. In
reality, however, the former valuation and the latter under-valuation
are only puerilities of reason.


THE EARNESTNESS OF HANDICRAFT.--Do not talk of gifts, of inborn
talents! We could mention great men of all kinds who were but little
gifted. But they _obtained_ greatness, became "geniuses" (as they are
called), through qualities of the lack of which nobody who is conscious
of them likes to speak. They all had that thorough earnestness for work
which learns first how to form the different parts perfectly before it
ventures to make a great whole; they gave themselves time for this,
because they took more pleasure in doing small, accessory things well
than in the effect of a dazzling whole. For instance, the recipe for
becoming a good novelist is easily given, but the carrying out of the
recipe presupposes qualities which we are in the habit of overlooking
when we say, "I have not sufficient talent." Make a hundred or more
sketches of novel-plots, none more than two pages long, but of such
clearness that every word in them is necessary; write down anecdotes
every day until you learn to find the most pregnant, most effective
form; never weary of collecting and delineating human types and
characters; above all, narrate things as often as possible and listen
to narrations with a sharp eye and ear for the effect upon other people
present; travel like a landscape painter and a designer of costumes;
take from different sciences everything that is artistically effective,
if it be well represented; finally, meditate on the motives for human
actions, scorn not even the smallest point of instruction on this
subject, and collect similar matters by day and night. Spend some ten
years in these various exercises: then the creations of your study may
be allowed to see the light of day. But what do most people do, on the
contrary? They do not begin with the part, but with the whole. Perhaps
they make one good stroke, excite attention, and ever afterwards their
work grows worse and worse, for good, natural reasons. But sometimes,
when intellect and character are lacking for the formation of such an
artistic career, fate and necessity take the place of these qualities
and lead the future master step by step through all the phases of his


superior, fertile minds is not necessarily, but still very frequently,
connected with that wholly or partly religious superstition that
those spirits are of superhuman origin and possess certain marvellous
faculties, by means of which they obtained their knowledge in ways
quite different from the rest of mankind. They are credited with
having an immediate insight into the nature of the world, through
a peep-hole in the mantle of the phenomenon as it were, and it is
believed that, without the trouble and severity of science, by virtue
of this marvellous prophetic sight, they could impart something final
and decisive about mankind and the world. So long as there are still
believers in miracles in the world of knowledge it may perhaps be
admitted that the believers themselves derive a benefit therefrom,
inasmuch as by their absolute subjection to great minds they obtain the
best discipline and schooling for their own minds during the period of
development. On the other hand, it may at least be questioned whether
the superstition of genius, of its privileges and special faculties,
is useful for a genius himself when it implants itself in him. In any
case it is a dangerous sign when man shudders at his own self, be it
that famous Cæsarian shudder or the shudder of genius which applies to
this case, when the incense of sacrifice, which by rights is offered
to a God alone, penetrates into the brain of the genius, so that he
begins to waver and to look upon himself as something superhuman. The
slow consequences are: the feeling of irresponsibility, the exceptional
rights, the belief that mere intercourse with him confers a favour,
and frantic rage at any attempt to compare him with others or even
to place him below them and to bring into prominence whatever is
unsuccessful in his work. Through the fact that he ceases to criticise
himself one pinion after another falls out of his plumage,--that
superstition undermines the foundation of his strength and even makes
him a hypocrite after his power has failed him. For great minds it
is, therefore, perhaps better when they come to an understanding about
their strength and its source, when they comprehend what purely human
qualities are mingled in them, what a combination they are of fortunate
conditions: thus once it was continual energy, a decided application
to individual aims, great personal courage, and then the good fortune
of an education, which at an early period provided the best teachers,
examples, and methods. Assuredly, if its aim is to make the greatest
possible _effect,_ abstruseness has always done much for itself and
that gift of partial insanity; for at all times that power has been
admired and envied by means of which men were deprived of will and
imbued with the fancy that they were preceded by supernatural leaders.
Truly, men are exalted and inspired by the belief that some one among
them is endowed with supernatural powers, and in this respect insanity,
as Plato says, has brought the greatest blessings to mankind. In a
few rare cases this form of insanity may also have been the means
by which an all-round exuberant nature was kept within bounds; in
individual life the imaginings of frenzy frequently exert the virtue of
remedies which are poisons in themselves; but in every "genius" that
believes in his own divinity the poison shows itself at last in the
same proportion as the "genius" grows old; we need but recollect the
example of Napoleon, for it was most assuredly through his faith in
himself and his star, and through his scorn of mankind, that he grew
to that mighty unity which distinguished him from all modern men, until
at last, however, this faith developed into an almost insane fatalism,
robbed him of his quickness of comprehension and penetration, and was
the cause of his downfall.


GENIUS AND NULLITY.--It is precisely the _original_ artists, those who
create out of their own heads, who in certain circumstances can bring
forth complete _emptiness_ and husk, whilst the more dependent natures,
the so-called talented ones, are full of memories of all manner of
goodness, and even in a state of weakness produce something tolerable.
But if the original ones are abandoned by themselves, memory renders
them no assistance; they become empty.


THE PUBLIC.--The people really demands nothing more from tragedy than
to be deeply affected, in order to have a good cry occasionally; the
artist, on the contrary, who sees the new tragedy, takes pleasure in
the clever technical inventions and tricks, in the management and
distribution of the material, in the novel arrangement of old motives
and old ideas. His attitude is the æsthetic attitude towards a work of
art, that of the creator; the one first described, with regard solely
to the material, is that of he people. Of the individual who stands
between the two nothing need be said: he is neither "people" nor
artist, and does not know what he wants--therefore his pleasure is also
clouded and insignificant.


THE ARTISTIC EDUCATION OF THE PUBLIC.--If the same _motif_ is not
employed in a hundred ways by different masters, the public never
learns to get beyond their interest in the subject; but at last, when
it is well acquainted with the _motif_ through countless different
treatments, and no longer finds in it any charm of novelty or
excitement, it will then begin to grasp and enjoy the various shades
and delicate new inventions in its treatment.


grade of style to another must be so slow that not only the artists but
also the auditors and spectators can follow it and know exactly what is
going on. Otherwise there will suddenly appear that great chasm between
the artist, who creates his work upon a height apart, and the public,
who cannot rise up to that height and finally sinks discontentedly
deeper. For when the artist no longer raises his public it rapidly
sinks downwards, and its fall is the deeper and more dangerous in
proportion to the height to which genius has carried it, like the
eagle, out of whose talons a tortoise that has been borne up into the
clouds falls to its destruction.


THE SOURCE OF THE COMIC ELEMENT.--If we consider that for many
thousands of years man was an animal that was susceptible in the
highest degree to fear, and that everything sudden and unexpected had
to find him ready for battle, perhaps even ready for death; that even
later, in social relations, all security was based on the expected,
on custom in thought and action, we need not be surprised that at
everything sudden and unexpected in word and deed, if it occurs without
danger or injury, man becomes exuberant and passes over into the very
opposite of fear--the terrified, trembling, crouching being shoots
upward, stretches itself: man laughs. This transition from momentary
fear into short-lived exhilaration is called the _Comic._ On the other
hand, in the tragic phenomenon, man passes quickly from great enduring
exuberance into great fear; but as amongst mortals great and lasting
exuberance is much rarer than the cause for fear, there is far more
comedy than tragedy in the world; we laugh much offener than we are


THE ARTIST'S AMBITION.--The Greek artists, the tragedians for instance,
composed in order to conquer; their whole art cannot be imagined
without rivalry,--the good Hesiodian Eris, Ambition, gave wings to
their genius. This ambition further demanded that their work should
achieve the greatest excellence _in their own eyes,_ as they understood
excellence, _without any regard_ for the reigning taste and the
general opinion about excellence in a work of art; and thus it was
long before Æschylus and Euripides achieved any success, until at
last they _educated_ judges of art, who valued their work according
to the standards which they themselves appointed. Hence they strove
for victory over rivals according to their own valuation, they really
wished to _be_ more excellent; they demanded assent from without to
this self-valuation, the confirmation of this verdict. To achieve
honour means in this case "to make one's self superior to others, and
to desire that this should be recognised publicly." Should the former
condition be wanting, and the latter nevertheless desired, it is then
called _vanity._ Should the latter be lacking and not missed, then it
is named _pride_.


WHAT IS NEEDFUL TO A WORK OF ART.--Those who talk so much about the
needful factors of a work of art exaggerate; if they are artists they
do so _in majorem artis gloriam,_ if they are laymen, from ignorance.
The form of a work of art, which gives speech to their thoughts and is,
therefore, their mode of talking, is always somewhat uncertain, like
all kinds of speech. The sculptor can add or omit many little traits,
as can also the exponent, be he an actor or, in music, a performer or
conductor. These many little traits and finishing touches afford him
pleasure one day and none the next, they exist more for the sake of the
artist than the art; for he also has occasionally need of sweetmeats
and playthings to prevent him from becoming morose with the severity
and self-restraint which the representation of the dominant idea
demands from him.


TO CAUSE THE MASTER TO BE FORGOTTEN.--The pianoforte player who
executes the work of a master will have played best if he has made his
audience forget the master, and if it seemed as if he were relating
a story from his own life or just passing through some experience.
Assuredly, if he is of no importance, every one will abhor the
garrulity with which he talks about his own life. Therefore he must
know how to influence his hearer's imagination favourably towards
himself. Hereby are explained all the weaknesses and follies of "the


_CORRIGER LA FORTUNE._--There are unfortunate accidents in the lives
of great artists, which compel the painter, for instance, to sketch
out his most important picture only as a passing thought, or such as
obliged Beethoven to leave behind him only the insufficient pianoforte
score of many great sonatas (as in the great B flat). In these cases
the artist of a later day must endeavour to fill out the life of the
great man,--of all orchestral effects, would call into life that
symphony which has fallen into the piano-trance.


REDUCING.--Many things, events, or persons, cannot bear treatment on
a small scale. The Laocoon group cannot be reduced to a knick-knack;
great size is necessary to it. But more seldom still does anything
that is naturally small bear enlargement; for which reason biographers
succeed far oftener in representing a great man as small than a small
one as great.


SENSUOUSNESS IN PRESENT-DAY ART.--Artists nowadays frequently
miscalculate when they count on the sensuous effect of their works, for
their spectators or hearers have no longer a fully sensuous nature,
and, quite contrary to the artist's intention, his work produces in
them a "holiness" of feeling which is closely related to boredom. Their
sensuousness begins, perhaps, just where that of the artist ceases;
they meet, therefore, only at one point at the most.


SHAKESPEARE AS A MORALIST.--Shakespeare meditated much on the passions,
and on account of his temperament had probably a close acquaintance
with many of them (dramatists are in general rather wicked men). He
could, however not talk on the subject, like Montaigne, but put his
observations thereon into the mouths of impassioned figures, which
is contrary to nature, certainly, but makes his dramas so rich in
thought that they cause all others to seem poor in comparison and
readily arouse a general aversion to them. Schiller's reflections
(which are almost always based on erroneous or trivial fancies) are
just theatrical Reflections, and as such are very effective; whereas
Shakespeare's reflections do honour to his model, Montaigne, and
contain quite serious thoughts in polished form, but on that account
are too remote and refined for the eyes of the theatrical public, and
are consequently ineffective.


SECURING A GOOD HEARING.--It is not sufficient to know how to play
well; one must also know how to secure a good hearing. A violin in the
hand of the greatest master gives only a little squeak when the place
where it is heard is too large; the master may then be mistaken for any


THE INCOMPLETE AS THE EFFECTIVE.--Just as figures in relief make such
a strong impression on the imagination because they seem in the act
of emerging from the wall and only stopped by some sudden hindrance;
so the relief-like, incomplete representation of a thought, or a
whole philosophy, is sometimes more effective than its exhaustive
amplification,--more is left for the investigation of the onlooker, he
is incited to the further study of that which stands out before him in
such strong light and shade; he is prompted to think out the subject,
and even to overcome the hindrance which hitherto prevented it from
emerging clearly.


AGAINST THE ECCENTRIC.--When art arrays itself in the most shabby
material it is most easily recognised as art.


COLLECTIVE INTELLECT.--A good author possesses not only his own
intellect, but also that of his friends.


DIFFERENT KINDS OF MISTAKES.--The misfortune of acute and clear authors
is that people consider them as shallow and therefore do not devote any
effort to them; and the good fortune of obscure writers is that the
reader makes an effort to understand them and places the delight in his
own zeal to their credit.


RELATION TO SCIENCE.--None of the people have any real interest in
a science, who only begin to be enthusiastic about it when they
themselves lave made discoveries in it.


THE KEY.--The single thought on which an eminent man sets a great
value, arousing the derision and laughter of the masses, is for him a
key to hidden treasures; for them, however, it is nothing _more_ than a
piece of old iron.


UNTRANSLATABLE.--It is neither the best nor the worst parts of a book
which are untranslatable.


AUTHORS' PARADOXES.--The so-called paradoxes of an author to which a
reader objects are often not in the author's book at all, but in the
reader's head.


WIT.--The wittiest authors produce a scarcely noticeable smile.


ANTITHESIS.--Antithesis is the narrow gate through which error is
fondest of sneaking to the truth.


THINKERS AS STYLISTS.--Most thinkers write badly, because they
communicate not only their thoughts, but also the thinking of them.


THOUGHTS IN POETRY.--The poet conveys his thoughts ceremoniously in the
vehicle of rhythm, usually because they are not able to go on foot.


THE SIN AGAINST THE READER'S INTELLECT.--When an author renounces his
talent in order merely to put himself on a level with the reader, he
commits the only deadly sin which the latter will never forgive, should
he notice anything of it. One may say everything that is bad about a
person, but in the manner _in which_ it is said one must know how to
revive his vanity anew.


THE LIMITS OF UPRIGHTNESS.--Even the most upright author lets fall a
word too much when he wishes to round off a period.


THE BEST AUTHOR,--The best author will be he who is ashamed to become


DRACONIAN LAW AGAINST AUTHORS.--One should regard authors as criminals
who only obtain acquittal or mercy in the rarest cases,--that would be
a remedy for books becoming too rife.


THE FOOLS OF MODERN CULTURE.--The fools of mediæval courts correspond
to our _feuilleton_ writers; they are the same kind of men,
semi-rational, witty, extravagant, foolish, sometimes there only for
the purpose of lessening the pathos of the outlook with fancies and
chatter, and of drowning with their clamour the far too deep and solemn
chimes of great events; they were formerly in the service of princes
and nobles, now they are in the service of parties (since a large
portion of the old obsequiousness in the intercourse of the people with
their prince still survives in party-feeling and party-discipline).
Modern literary men, however, are generally very similar to the
_feuilleton_ writers, they are the "fools of modern culture," whom
one judges more leniently when one does not regard them as fully
responsible beings. To look upon writing as a regular profession should
justly be regarded as a form of madness.


AFTER THE EXAMPLE OF THE GREEKS.--It is a great hindrance to knowledge
at present that, owing to centuries of exaggeration of feeling, all
words have become vague and inflated. The higher stage of culture,
which is under the sway (though not under the tyranny) of knowledge,
requires great sobriety of feeling and thorough concentration of
words--on which points the Greeks in the time of Demosthenes set an
example to us. Exaggeration is a distinguishing mark of all modern
writings, and even when they are simply written the expressions therein
are still _felt_ as _too_ eccentric. Careful reflection, conciseness,
coldness, plainness, even carried intentionally to the farthest
limits,--in a word, suppression of feeling and taciturnity,--these
are the only remedies. For the rest, this cold manner of writing and
feeling is now very attractive, as a contrast; and to be sure there is
a new danger therein. For intense cold is as good a stimulus as a high
degree of warmth.


GOOD NARRATORS, BAD EXPLAINERS.--In good narrators there is often
found an admirable psychological sureness and logicalness, as far as
these qualities can be observed in the actions of their personages,
in positively ludicrous contrast to their inexperienced psychological
reasoning, so that their culture appears to be as extraordinarily high
one moment as it seems regrettably defective the next. It happens far
too frequently that they give an evidently false explanation of their
own heroes and their actions,--of this there is no doubt, however
improbable the thing may appear. It is quite likely that the greatest
pianoforte player has thought but little about the technical conditions
and the special virtues, drawbacks, usefulness, and tractability of
each finger (dactylic ethics), and makes big mistakes whenever he
speaks of such things.


of our acquaintances (friends and enemies) in a double sense, inasmuch
as our perception constantly whispers, "That is something of himself,
a remembrance of his inward being, his experiences, his talents," and
at the same time another kind of perception endeavours to estimate the
profit of the work in itself, what valuation it merits apart from its
author, how far it will enrich knowledge. These two manners of reading
and estimating interfere with each other, as may naturally be supposed.
And a conversation with a friend will only bear good fruit of knowledge
when both think only of the matter under consideration and forget that
they are friends.


RHYTHMICAL SACRIFICE.--Good writers alter the rhythm of many a period
merely because they do not credit the general reader with the ability
to comprehend the measure followed by the period in its first version;
thus they make it easier for the reader, by giving the preference to
the better known rhythms.. This regard for the rhythmical incapacity
of the modern reader has already called forth many a sigh, for much
has been sacrificed to it. Does not the same thing happen to good


more effective than perfection, and this is the case with eulogies.
To effect their purpose a stimulating incompleteness is necessary,
as an irrational element, which calls up a sea before the hearer's
imagination, and, like a mist, conceals the opposite coast, _i.e._ the
limits of the object of praise. If the well-known merits of a person
are referred to and described at length and in detail, it always gives
rise to the suspicion that these are his only merits. The perfect
eulogist takes his stand above the person praised, he appears to
_overlook_ him. Therefore complete praise has a weakening effect.


PRECAUTIONS IN WRITING AND TEACHING.--Whoever has once written and has
been seized with the passion for writing learns from almost all that he
does and experiences that which is literally communicable. He thinks
no longer of himself, but of the author and his public; he desires
insight into things; but not for his own use. He who teaches is mostly
incapable of doing anything for his own good: he is always thinking of
the good of his scholars, and all knowledge delights him only in so
far as he is able to teach it. He comes at last to regard himself as a
medium of knowledge, and above all as a means thereto, so that he has
lost all serious consideration for himself.


THE NECESSITY FOR BAD AUTHORS.--There will always be a need of bad
authors; for they meet the taste of readers of an undeveloped, immature
age--these have their requirements as well as mature readers. If human
life were of greater length, the number of mature individuals would be
greater than that of the immature, or at least equally great; but, as
it is, by far the greater number die too young: _i.e._ there are always
many more undeveloped intellects with bad taste. These demand, with the
greater impetuosity of youth, the satisfaction of their needs, and they
_insist_ on having bad authors.


Too NEAR AND TOO FAR.--The reader and the author very often do not
understand each other, because the author knows his theme too well and
finds it almost slow, so that he omits the examples, of which he knows
hundreds; the reader, however, is interested in the subject, and is
liable to consider it as badly proved if examples are lacking.


A VANISHED PREPARATION FOR ART.--Of everything that was practised in
public schools, the thing of greatest value was the exercise in Latin
style,--this was an exercise in art, whilst all other occupations
aimed only at the acquirement of knowledge. It is a barbarism to put
German composition before it, for there is no typical German style
developed by public oratory; but if there is a desire to advance
practice in thought by means of German composition, then it is
certainly better for the time being to pay no attention to style, to
separate the practice in thought, therefore, from the practice in
reproduction. The latter should confine itself to the various modes
of presenting a given subject, and should not concern itself with the
independent finding of a subject. The mere presentment of given subject
was the task of the Latin style, for which the old teachers possessed a
long vanished delicacy of ear. Formerly, whoever learned to write well
in a modern language had to thank this practice for the acquirement
(now we are obliged to go to school to the older French writers). But
yet more: he obtained an idea of the loftiness and difficulty of form,
and was prepared for art in the only right way: by practice.


do not understand how to express their thoughts clearly are fond of
choosing, in detail, the strongest, most exaggerated distinctions and
superlatives,--thereby is produced an effect of light, which is like
torchlight in intricate forest paths.


LITERARY PAINTING.--An important object will be best described if the
colours for the painting are taken out of the object itself, as a
chemist does, and then employed like an artist, so that the drawing
develops from the outlines and transitions of the colours. Thus the
painting acquires something of the entrancing natural element which
gives such importance to the object itself.


BOOKS WHICH TEACH HOW TO DANCE.--There are authors who, by representing
the impossible as possible, and by talking of morality and cleverness
as if both were merely moods and humours assumed at will, produce
a feeling of exuberant freedom, as if man stood on tiptoe and were
compelled to dance from sheer, inward delight.


UNFINISHED THOUGHTS.--Just as not only manhood, but also youth and
childhood have a value _per se,_ and are not to be looked upon merely
as passages and bridges, so also unfinished thoughts have their value.
For this reason we must not torment a poet with subtle explanations,
but must take pleasure in the uncertainty of his horizon, as if the way
to further thoughts were still open. We stand on the threshold; we wait
as for the digging up of a treasure, it is as if a well of profundity
were about to be discovered. The poet anticipates something of the
thinker's pleasure in the discovery of a leading thought, an makes us
covetous, so that we give chase to it; but it flutters past our head
and exhibits the loveliest butterfly-wings,--and yet it escapes us.


THE BOOK GROWN ALMOST INTO A HUMAN BEING.--Every author is surprised
anew at the way in which his book, as soon as he has sent it out,
continues to live a life of its own; it seems to him as if one part
of an insect had been cut off and now went on its own way. Perhaps he
forgets it almost entirely, perhaps he rises above the view expressed
therein, perhaps even he understands it no longer, and has lost that
impulse upon which he soared at the time he conceived the book;
meanwhile it seeks its readers, inflames life, pleases, horrifies,
inspires new works, becomes the soul of designs and actions,--in
short, it lives like a creature endowed with mind and soul, and yet
is no human being. The happiest fate is that of the author who, as an
old man, is able to say that all there was in him of life-inspiring,
strengthening, exalting, enlightening thoughts and feelings still
lives on in his writings, and that he himself now only represents the
gray ashes, whilst the fire has been kept alive and spread out. And
if we consider that every human action, not only a book, is in some
way or other the cause of other actions, decisions, and thoughts; that
everything that happens is inseparably connected with everything
that is going to happen, we recognise the real _immortality,_ that of
movement,--that which has once moved is enclosed and immortalised in
the general union of all existence, like an insect within a piece of


JOY IN OLD AGE.--The thinker, as likewise the artist, who has put his
best self into his works, feels an almost malicious joy when he sees
how mind and body are being slowly damaged and destroyed by time, as if
from a dark corner he were spying a thief at his money-chest, knowing
all the time that it was empty and his treasures in safety.


QUIET FRUITFULNESS.--The born aristocrats of the mind are not in too
much of a hurry; their creations appear and fall from the tree on some
quiet autumn evening, without being rashly desired, instigated, or
pushed aside by new matter. The unceasing desire to create is vulgar,
and betrays envy, jealousy, and ambition. If a man _is_ something, it
is not really necessary for him to do anything--and yet he does a great
deal. There is a human species higher even than wie "productive" man.


ACHILLES AND HOMER.--It is always like the case of Achilles and
Homer,--the one _has_ the experiences and sensations, the other
_describes_ them. A genuine author only puts into words the feelings
and adventures of others, he is an artist, and divines much from the
little he has experienced. Artists are by no means creatures of great
passion; but they frequently _represent_ themselves as such with the
unconscious feeling that their depicted passion will be better believed
in if their own life gives credence to their experience in these
affairs. They need only let themselves go, not control themselves, and
give free play to their anger and their desires, and every one will
immediately cry out, "How passionate he is!" But the deeply stirring
passion that consumes and often destroys the individual is another
matter: those who have really experienced it do not describe it in
dramas, harmonies or romances. Artists are frequently _unbridled_
individuals, in so far as they are not artists, but that is a different


OLD DOUBTS ABOUT THE EFFECT OF ART.--Should pity and fear really be
unburdened through tragedy, as Aristotle would have it, so that the
hearers return home colder and quieter? Should ghost-stories really
make us less fearful and superstitious? In the case of certain physical
processes, in the satisfaction of love, for instance, it is true
that with the fulfilment of a need there follows an alleviation and
temporary decrease in the impulse. But fear and pity are not in this
sense the needs of particular organs which require to be relieved.
And in time every instinct is even _strengthened_ by practice in
its satisfaction, in spite of that periodical mitigation. It might
be possible that in each single case pity and fear would be soothed
and relieved by tragedy; nevertheless, they might, on the whole, be
increased by tragic influences, and Plato would be right in saying that
tragedy makes us altogether more timid and susceptible. The tragic poet
himself would then of necessity acquire a gloomy and fearful view of
the world, and a yielding, irritable, tearful soul; it would also agree
with Plato's view if the tragic poets, and likewise the entire part of
the community that derived particular pleasure from them, degenerated
into ever greater licentiousness and intemperance. But what right,
indeed, has our age to give an answer to that great question of Plato's
as to the moral influence of art? If we even had art,--where have we an
influence, _any kind_ of an art-influence?


PLEASURE IN NONSENSE.--How can we take pleasure in nonsense? But
wherever there is laughter in the world this is the case: it may even
be said that almost everywhere where there is happiness, there is
found pleasure in nonsense. The transformation of experience into its
opposite, of the suitable into the unsuitable, the obligatory into the
optional (but in such a manner that this process produces no injury
and is only imagined in jest), is a pleasure; for it temporarily
liberates us from the yoke of the obligatory, suitable and experienced,
in which we usually find our pitiless masters; we play and laugh when
the expected (which generally causes fear and expectancy) happens
without bringing any injury. It is the pleasure felt by slaves in the
Saturnalian feasts.


THE ENNOBLING OF REALITY.--Through the fact that in the aphrodisiac
impulse men discerned a godhead and with adoring gratitude felt it
working within themselves, this emotion has in the course of time
become imbued with higher conceptions, and has thereby been materially
ennobled. Thus certain nations, by virtue of this art of idealisation,
have created great aids to culture out of diseases,--the Greeks,
for instance, who in earlier centuries suffered from great nervous
epidemics (like epilepsy and St. Vitus' Dance), and developed out of
them the splendid type of the Bacchante. The Greeks, however, enjoyed
an astonishingly high degree of health--their secret was, to revere
even disease as a god, if it only possessed _power_.


Music.--Music by and for itself is not so portentous for our inward
nature, so deeply moving, that it ought to be looked upon as the
_direct_ language of the feelings; but its ancient union with poetry
has infused so much symbolism into rhythmical movement, into loudness
and softness of tone, that we now _imagine_ it speaks directly _to_ and
comes _from_ the inward nature. Dramatic music is only possible when
the art of harmony has acquired an immense range of symbolical means,
through song, opera, and a hundred attempts at description by sound.
"Absolute music" is either form _per se,_ in 'the rude condition of
music, when playing in time and with various degrees of strength gives
pleasure, or the symbolism of form which speaks to the understanding
even without poetry, after the two arts were joined finally together
after long development and the musical form had been woven about with
threads of meaning and feeling. People who are backward in musical
development can appreciate a piece of harmony merely as execution,
whilst those who are advanced will comprehend it symbolically. No music
is deep and full of meaning in itself, it does not speak of "will," of
the "thing-in-itself"; that could be imagined by the intellect only in
an age which had conquered for musical symbolism the entire range of
inner life. It was the intellect itself that first _gave_ this meaning
to sound, just as it also gave meaning to the relation between lines
and masses in architecture, but which in itself is quite foreign to
mechanical laws.


GESTURE AND SPEECH.--Older than speech is the imitation of gestures,
which is carried on unconsciously and which, in the general repression
of the language of gesture and trained control of the muscles, is
still so great that we cannot look at a face moved by emotion without
feeling an agitation of our own face (it may be remarked that feigned
yawning excites real yawning in any one who sees it). The imitated
gesture leads the one who imitates back to the sensation it expressed
in the face or body of the one imitated. Thus men learned to understand
one another, thus the child still learns to understand the mother.
Generally speaking, painful sensations may also have been expressed
by gestures, and the pain which caused them (for instance, tearing
the hair, beating the breast, forcible distortion and straining of
the muscles of the face). On the other hand, gestures of joy were
themselves joyful and lent themselves easily to the communication of
the understanding; (laughter, as the expression of the feeling when
being tickled, serves also for the expression of other pleasurable
sensations). As soon as men understood each other by gestures,
there could be established a _symbolism_ of gestures; I mean, an
understanding could be arrived at respecting the language of accents,
so that first _accent_ and gesture (to which it was symbolically added)
were produced, and later on the accent alone. In former times there
happened very frequently that which now happens in the development of
music, especially of dramatic music,--while music, without explanatory
dance and pantomime (language of gesture), is at first only empty
sound, but by long familiarity with that combination of music and
movement the ear becomes schooled into instant interpretation of the
figures of sound, and finally attains a height of quick understanding,
where it has no longer any need of visible movement and _understands_
the sound-poet without it. It is then called absolute music, that
is music in which, without further help, everything is symbolically


THE SPIRITUALISING OF HIGHER ART.--By virtue of extraordinary
intellectual exercise through the art-development of the new music, our
ears have been growing more intellectual. For this reason we can now
endure a much greater volume of sound, much more "noise," because we
are far better practised in listening for the _sense_ in it than were
our ancestors. As a matter of fact, all our senses have been somewhat
blunted, because they immediately look for the sense; that is, they
ask what "it means" and not what "it is,"--such a blunting betrays
itself, for instance, in the absolute dominion of the temperature of
sounds; for ears which still make the finer distinctions, between
_eis_ and _des,_ for instance, are now amongst the exceptions. In
this respect our ear has grown coarser. And then the ugly side of the
world, the one originally hostile to the senses, has been conquered
for music; its power has been immensely widened, especially in the
expression of the noble, the terrible, and the mysterious: our music
now gives utterance to things which had formerly no tongue. In the
same way certain painters have rendered the eye more intellectual, and
have gone far beyond that which was formerly called pleasure in colour
and form. Here, too, that side of the world originally considered as
ugly has been conquered by the artistic intellect. What results from
all this? The more capable of thought that eye and ear become, the
more they approach the limit where they become senseless, the seat of
pleasure is moved into the brain, the organs of the senses themselves
become dulled and weak, the symbolical takes more and more the place
of the actual,--and thus we arrive at barbarism in this way as surely
as in any other. In the meantime we may say: the world is uglier than
ever, but it _represents_ a more beautiful world than has ever existed.
But the more the amber-scent of meaning is dispersed and evaporated,
the rarer become those who perceive it, and the remainder halt at
what is ugly and endeavour to enjoy it direct, an aim, however, which
they never succeed in attaining. Thus, in Germany there is a twofold
direction of musical development, here a throng of ten thousand with
ever higher, finer demands, ever listening more and more for the "it
means," and there the immense countless mass which yearly grows more
incapable of understanding what is important even in the form of
sensual ugliness, and which therefore turns ever more willingly to what
in music is ugly and foul in itself, that is, to the basely sensual.


A STONE IS MORE OF A STONE THAN FORMERLY.--As a general rule we no
longer understand architecture, at least by no means in the same way
as we understand music. We have outgrown the symbolism of lines and
figures, just as we are no longer accustomed to the sound-effects of
rhetoric, and have not absorbed this kind of mother's milk of culture
since our first moment of life. Everything in a Greek or Christian
building originally had a meaning, and referred to a higher order of
things; this feeling of inexhaustible meaning enveloped the edifice
like a mystic veil. Beauty was only a secondary consideration in
the system, without in any way materially injuring the fundamental
sentiment of the mysteriously-exalted, the divinely and magically
consecrated; at the most, beauty _tempered horror_--but this horror was
everywhere presupposed. What is the beauty of a building now? The same
thing as the beautiful face of a stupid woman, a kind of mask.


THE RELIGIOUS SOURCE OF THE NEWER MUSIC.--Soulful music arose out of
the Catholicism re-established after the Council of Trent, through
Palestrina, who endowed the newly-awakened, earnest, and deeply
moved spirit with sound; later on, in Bach, it appeared also in
Protestantism, as far as this had been deepened by the Pietists and
released from its originally dogmatic character. The supposition
and necessary preparation for both origins is the familiarity with
music, which existed during and before the Renaissance, namely that
learned occupation with music, which was really scientific pleasure
in the masterpieces of harmony and voice-training. On the other hand,
the opera must have preceded it, wherein the layman made his protest
against a music that had grown too learned and cold, and endeavoured
to re-endow Polyhymnia with a soul. Without the change to that deeply
religious sentiment, without the dying away of the inwardly moved
temperament, music would have remained learned or operatic; the
spirit of the counter-reformation is the spirit of modern music (for
that pietism in Bach's music is also a kind of counter-reformation).
So deeply are we indebted to the religious life. Music was the
counter-reformation in the field of art; to this belongs also the
later painting of the Caracci and Caravaggi, perhaps also the baroque
style, in _any_ case more than the architecture of the Renaissance
or of antiquity. And we might still ask: if our newer music could
move stones, would it build them up into antique architecture? I very
much doubt it. For that which predominates in this music, affections,
pleasure in exalted, highly-strained sentiments, the desire to be alive
at any cost, the quick change of feeling, the strong relief-effects of
light and shade, the combination of the ecstatic and the naïve,--all
this has already reigned in the plastic arts and created new laws
of style:--but it was neither in the time of antiquity nor of the


THE BEYOND IN ART.--It is not without deep pain that we acknowledge
the fact that in their loftiest soarings, artists of all ages have
exalted and divinely transfigured precisely those ideas which we now
recognise as false; they are the glorifiers of humanity's religious
and philosophical errors, and they could not have been this without
belief in the absolute truth of these errors. But if the belief in such
truth diminishes at all, if the rainbow colours at the farthest ends of
human knowledge and imagination fade, then this kind of art can never
re-flourish, for, like the _Divina Commedia,_ Raphael's paintings,
Michelangelo's frescoes, and Gothic cathedrals, they indicate not only
a cosmic but also a metaphysical meaning in the work of art. Out of all
this will grow a touching legend that such an art and such an artistic
faith once existed.


REVOLUTION IN POETRY.--The strict limit which the French dramatists
marked out with regard to unity of action, time and place, construction
of style, verse and sentence, selection of words and ideas, was
a school as important as that of counterpoint and fugue in the
development of modern music or that of the Gorgianic figures in Greek
oratory. Such a restriction may appear absurd; nevertheless there is
no means of getting out of naturalism except by confining ourselves
at first to the strongest (perhaps most arbitrary) means. Thus we
gradually learn to walk gracefully on the narrow paths that bridge
giddy abysses, and acquire great suppleness of movement as a result,
as the history of music proves to our living eyes. Here we see how,
step by step, the fetters get looser, until at last they may appear to
be altogether thrown off; this _appearance_ is the highest achievement
of a necessary development in art. In the art of modern poetry there
existed no such fortunate, gradual emerging from self-imposed fetters.
Lessing held up to scorn in Germany the French form, the only modern
form of art, and pointed to Shakespeare; and thus the steadiness of
that unfettering was lost and a spring was made into naturalism--that
is, back into the beginnings of art. From this Goethe endeavoured to
save himself, by always trying to limit himself anew in different ways;
but even the most gifted only succeeds by continuously experimenting,
if the thread of development has once been broken. It is to the
unconsciously revered, if also repudiated, model of French tragedy
that Schiller owes his comparative sureness of form, and he remained
fairly independent of Lessing (whose dramatic attempts he is well
known to have rejected). But after Voltaire the French themselves
suddenly lacked the great talents which would have led the development
of tragedy out of constraint to that apparent freedom; later on
they followed the German example and made a spring into a sort of
Rousseau-like state of nature and experiments. It is only necessary
to read Voltaire's "Mahomet" from time to time in order to perceive
clearly what European culture has lost through that breaking down of
tradition. Once for all, Voltaire was the last of the great dramatists
who with Greek proportion controlled his manifold soul, equal even to
the greatest storms of tragedy,--he was able to do what no German
could, because the French nature is much nearer akin to the Greek than
is the German; he was also the last great writer who in the wielding
of prose possessed the Greek ear, Greek artistic conscientiousness,
and Greek simplicity and grace; he was, also, one of the last men able
to combine in himself the greatest freedom of mind and an absolutely
unrevolutionary way of thinking without being inconsistent and
cowardly. Since that time the modern spirit, with its restlessness and
its hatred of moderation and restrictions, has obtained the mastery on
all sides, let loose at first by the fever of revolution, and then once
more putting a bridle on itself when it became filled with fear and
horror at itself,--but it was the bridle of rigid logic, no longer that
of artistic moderation. It is true that through that unfettering for a
time we are able to enjoy the poetry of all nations, everything that
has sprung up in hidden places, original, wild, wonderfully beautiful
and gigantically irregular, from folk-songs up to the "great barbarian"
Shakespeare; we taste the joys of local colour and costume, hitherto
unknown to all artistic nations; we make liberal use of the "barbaric
advantages" of our time, which Goethe accentuated against Schiller in
order to place the formlessness of his _Faust_ in the most favourable
light. But for how much longer? The encroaching flood of poetry of all
styles and all nations _must_ gradually sweep away that magic garden
upon which a quiet and hidden growth would still have been possible;
all poets _must_ become experimenting imitators, daring copyists,
however great their primary strength may be. Eventually, the public,
which has lost the habit of seeing the actual artistic fact in the
_controlling_ of depicting power, in the organising mastery over all
art-means, _must_ come ever more and more to value power for power's
sake, colour for colour's sake, idea for idea's sake, inspiration for
inspiration's sake; accordingly it will not enjoy the elements and
conditions of the work of art, unless _isolated,_ and finally will
make the very natural demand that the artist _must_ deliver it to them
isolated. True, the "senseless" fetters of Franco-Greek art have been
thrown off, but unconsciously we have grown accustomed to consider all
fetters, all restrictions as senseless;--and so art moves towards its
liberation, but, in so doing, it touches--which is certainly highly
edifying--upon all the phases of its beginning, its childhood, its
incompleteness, its sometime boldness and excesses,--in perishing
it interprets its origin and growth. One of the great ones, whose
instinct may be relied on and whose theory lacked nothing but thirty
years _more_ of practice, Lord Byron, once said: that with regard to
poetry in general, the more he thought about it the more convinced
he was that one and all we are entirely on a wrong track, that we are
following an inwardly false revolutionary system, and that either our
own generation or the next will yet arrive at this same conviction.
It is the same Lord Byron who said that he "looked upon Shakespeare
as the very worst model, although the most extraordinary poet." And
does not Goethe's mature artistic insight in the second half of his
life say practically the same thing?--that insight by means of which
he made such a bound in advance of whole generations that, generally
speaking, it may be said that Goethe's influence has not yet begun,
that his time has still to come. Just because his nature held him fast
for a long time in the path of the poetical revolution, just because
he drank to the dregs of whatsoever new sources, views and expedients
had been indirectly discovered through that breaking down of tradition,
of all that had been unearthed from under the ruins of art, his later
transformation and conversion carries so much weight; it shows that
he felt the deepest longing to win back the traditions of art, and to
give in fancy the ancient perfection and completeness to the abandoned
ruins and colonnades of the temple, with the imagination of the eye at
least, should the strength of the arm be found too weak to build where
such tremendous powers were needed even to destroy. Thus he lived in
art as in the remembrance of the true art, his poetry had become an
aid to remembrance, to the understanding of old and long-departed ages
of art. With respect to the strength of the new age, his demands could
not be satisfied; but the pain this occasioned was amply balanced by
the joy that they have _been_ satisfied once, and that we ourselves can
still participate in this satisfaction. Not individuals, but more or
less ideal masks; no reality, but an allegorical generality; topical
characters, local colours toned down and rendered mythical almost to
the point of invisibility; contemporary feeling and the problems of
contemporary society reduced to the simplest forms, stripped of their
attractive, interesting pathological qualities, made _ineffective_ in
every other but the artistic sense; no new materials and characters,
but the old, long-accustomed ones in constant new animation and
transformation; that is art, as Goethe _understood_ it later, as the
Greeks and even the French _practised_ it.


WHAT REMAINS OF ART.--It is true that art has a much greater value in
the case of certain metaphysical hypotheses, for instance when the
belief obtains that the character is unchangeable and that the essence
of the world manifests itself continually in all character and action;
thus the artist's work becomes the symbol of the _eternally constant,_
while according to our views the artist can only endow his picture with
temporary value, because man on the whole has developed and is mutable,
and even the individual man has nothing fixed and constant. The same
thing holds good with another metaphysical hypothesis: assuming that
our visible world were only a delusion, as metaphysicians declare,
then art would come very near to the real world, for there would then
be far too much similarity between the world of appearance and the
dream-world of the artist; and the remaining difference would place
the meaning of art higher even than the meaning of nature, because
art would represent the same forms, the types and models of nature.
But those suppositions are false; and what position does art retain
after this acknowledgment? Above all, for centuries it has taught us
to look upon life in every shape with interest and pleasure and to
carry our feelings so far that at last we exclaim, "Whatever it may
be, life is good." This teaching of art, to take pleasure in existence
and to regard human life as a piece of nature, without too vigorous
movement, as an object of regular development,--this teaching has grown
into us; it reappears as an all-powerful need of knowledge. We could
renounce art, but we should not therewith forfeit the ability it has
taught us,--just as we have given up religion, but not the exalting and
intensifying of temperament acquired through religion. As the plastic
arts and music are the standards of that wealth of feeling really
acquired and obtained through religion, so also, after a disappearance
of art, the intensity and multiplicity of the joys of life which it had
implanted in us would still demand satisfaction. The scientific man is
the further development of the artistic man.


THE AFTER-GLOW OF ART.--Just as in old age we remember our youth and
celebrate festivals of memory, so in a short time mankind will stand
towards art: its relation will be that of a _touching memory_ of the
joys of youth. Never, perhaps, in former ages was art dealt with so
seriously and thoughtfully as now when it appears to be surrounded
by the magic influence of death. We call to mind that Greek city in
southern Italy, which once a year still celebrates its Greek feasts,
amidst tears and mourning, that foreign barbarism triumphs ever more
and more over the customs its people brought with them into the land;
and never has Hellenism been so much appreciated, nowhere has this
golden nectar been drunk with so great delight, as amongst these fast
disappearing Hellenes. The artist will soon come to be regarded as a
splendid relic, and to him, as to a wonderful stranger on whose power
and beauty depended the happiness of former ages, there will be paid
such honour as is not often enjoyed by one of our race. The best in us
is perhaps inherited from the sentiments of former times, to which it
is hardly possible for us now to return by direct ways; the sun has
already disappeared, but the heavens of our life are still glowing and
illumined by it, although we can behold it no longer.

[Footnote 1: The allusion is to Goethe's lines:

    _Die Sterne, die begehrt man nicht,_
    _Man freut sich ihrer Pracht._

    We do not want the stars themselves,
    Their brilliancy delights our hearts.--J.M.K.




ENNOBLEMENT THROUGH DEGENERATION.--History teaches that a race of
people is best preserved where the greater number hold one common
spirit in consequence of the similarity of their accustomed and
indisputable principles: in consequence, therefore, of their common
faith. Thus strength is afforded by good and thorough customs, thus
is learnt the subjection of the individual, and strenuousness of
character becomes a birth gift and afterwards is fostered as a habit.
The danger to these communities founded on individuals of strong and
similar character is that gradually increasing stupidity through
transmission, which follows all stability like its shadow. It is on
the more unrestricted, more uncertain and morally weaker individuals
that depends the _intellectual progress_ of such communities, it is
they who attempt all that is new and manifold. Numbers of these perish
on account of their weakness, without having achieved any specially
visible effect; but generally, particularly when they have descendants,
they flare up and from time to time inflict a wound on the stable
element of the community. Precisely in this sore and weakened place the
community is _inoculated_ with something new; but its general strength
must be great enough to absorb and assimilate this new thing into its
blood. Deviating natures are of the utmost importance wherever there
is to be progress. Every wholesale progress must be preceded by a
partial weakening. The strongest natures _retain_ the type, the weaker
ones help it to _develop._ Something similar happens in the case of
individuals;'a deterioration, a mutilation, even a vice and, above all,
a physical or moral loss is seldom without its advantage. For instance,
a sickly man in the midst of a warlike and restless race will perhaps
have more chance of being alone and thereby growing quieter and wiser,
the one-eyed man will possess a stronger eye, the blind man will have a
deeper inward sight and will certainly have a keener sense of hearing.
In so far it appears to me that the famous Struggle for Existence is
not the only point of view from which an explanation can be given of
the progress or strengthening of an individual or a race. Rather must
two different things converge: firstly, the multiplying of stable
strength through mental binding in faith and common feeling; secondly,
the possibility of attaining to higher aims, through the fact that
there are deviating natures and, in consequence, partial weakening and
wounding of the stable strength; it is precisely the weaker nature, as
the more delicate and free, that makes all progress at all possible.
A people that is crumbling and weak in any one part, but as a whole
still strong and healthy, is able to absorb the infection of what is
new and incorporate it to its advantage. The task of education in a
single individual is this: to plant him so firmly and surely that, as
a whole, he can no longer be diverted from his path. Then, however,
the educator must wound him, or else make use of the wounds which fate
inflicts, and when pain and need have thus arisen, something new and
noble can be inoculated into the wounded places. With regard to the
State, Machiavelli says that, "the form of Government is of very small
importance, although halfeducated people think otherwise. The great aim
of State-craft should be duration, which out-weighs all else, inasmuch
as it is more valuable than liberty." It is only with securely founded
and guaranteed duration that continual development and ennobling
inoculation are at all possible. As a rule, however, authority, the
dangerous companion of all duration, will rise in opposition to this.


FREE-THINKER A RELATIVE TERM.--We call that man a free-thinker who
thinks otherwise than is expected of him in consideration of his
origin, surroundings, position, and office, or by reason of the
prevailing contemporary views. He is the exception, fettered minds are
the rule; these latter reproach him, saying that his free principles
either have their origin in a desire to be remarkable or else cause
free actions to inferred,--that is to say, actions which are not
compatible with fettered morality. Sometimes it is also said that
the cause of such and such free principles may be traced to mental
perversity and extravagance; but only malice speaks thus, nor does
it believe what it says, but wishes thereby to do an injury, for the
free-thinker; usually bears the proof of his greater goodness and
keenness of intellect written in his face so plainly that the fettered
spirits understand it well enough. But the two other derivations
of free-thought are honestly intended; as a matter of fact, many
free-thinkers are created in one or other of these ways. For this
reason, however, the tenets to which they attain in this manner might
be truer and more reliable than those of the fettered spirits. In the
knowledge of truth, what really matters is the _possession_ of it,
not the impulse under which it was sought, the way in which it was
found. If the free-thinkers are right then the fettered spirits are
wrong, and it is a matter of indifference whether the former have
reached truth through immorality or the latter hitherto retained hold
of untruths through morality. Moreover, it is not essential to the
free-thinker that he should hold more correct views, but that he should
have liberated himself from what was customary, be it successfully or
disastrously. As a rule, however, he will have truth, or at least the
spirit of truth-investigation, on his side; he demands reasons, the
others demand faith.


THE ORIGIN OF FAITH.--The fettered spirit does not take up his position
from conviction, but from habit; he is a Christian, for instance, not
because he had a comprehension of different creeds and could take
his choice; he is an Englishman, not because he decided for England,
but he found Christianity and England ready-made and accepted them
without any reason, just as one who is born in a wine-country becomes
a wine-drinker. Later on, perhaps, as he was a Christian and an
Englishman, he discovered a few reasons in favour of his habit; these
reasons may be upset, but he is not therefore upset in his whole
position. For instance, let a fettered spirit be obliged to bring
forward his reasons against bigamy and then it will be seen whether his
holy zeal in favour of monogamy is based upon reason or upon custom.
The adoption of guiding principles without reasons is called _faith._


UN-REASON.--All states and orders of society, professions, matrimony,
education, law: all these find strength and duration only in the faith
which the fettered spirits repose in them,--that is, in the absence of
reasons, or at least in the averting of inquiries as to reasons. The
restricted spirits do not willingly acknowledge this, and feel that
it is a _pudendum._ Christianity, however, which was very simple in
its intellectual ideas, remarked nothing of this _pudendum,_ required
faith and nothing but faith, and passionately repulsed the demand
for reasons; it pointed to the success of faith: "You will soon feel
the advantages of faith," it suggested, "and through faith shall ye
be saved." As an actual fact, the State pursues the same course, and
every father brings up his son in the same way: "Only believe this,"
he says, "and you will soon feel the good it does." This implies,
however, that the truth of an opinion is proved by its personal
usefulness; the wholesomeness of a doctrine must be a guarantee for
its intellectual surety and solidity. It is exactly as if an accused
person in a court of law were to say, "My counsel speaks the whole
truth, for only see what is the result of his speech: I shall be
acquitted." Because the fettered spirits retain their principles on
account of their usefulness, they suppose that the free spirit also
seeks his own advantage in his views and only holds that to be true
which is profitable to him. But as he appears to find profitable just
the contrary of that which his compatriots or equals find profitable,
these latter assume that his principles are dangerous to them; they say
or feel, "He must not be right, for he is injurious to us."


THE STRONG, GOOD CHARACTER.--The restriction of views, which habit has
made instinct, leads to what is called strength of character. When
any one acts from few but always from the same motives, his actions
acquire great energy; if these actions accord with the principles of
the fettered spirits they are recognised, and they produce, moreover,
in those who perform them the sensation of a good conscience. Few
motives, energetic action, and a good conscience compose what is called
strength of character. The man of strong character lacks a knowledge
of the many possibilities and directions of action; his intellect is
fettered and restricted, because in a given case it shows him, perhaps,
only two possibilities; between these two he must now of necessity
choose, in accordance with his whole nature, and he does this easily
and quickly because he has not to choose between fifty possibilities.
The educating surroundings aim at fettering every individual, by always
placing before him the smallest number of possibilities. The individual
is always treated by his educators as if he were, indeed, something
new, but should become a _duplicate._ If he makes his first appearance
as something unknown, unprecedented, he must be turned into something
known and precedented. In a child, the familiar manifestation of
restriction is called a good character; in placing itself on the side
of the fettered spirits the child first discloses its awakening common
feeling; with this foundation of common sentiment, he will eventually
become useful to his State or rank.


species of things concerning which the restricted spirits say they
are in the right. Firstly: all things that last are right; secondly:
all things that are not burdens to us are right; thirdly: all things
that are advantageous for us are right; fourthly: all things for which
we have made sacrifices are right. The last sentence, for instance,
explains why a war that was begun in opposition to popular feeling
is carried on with enthusiasm directly a sacrifice has been made for
it. The free spirits, who bring their case before the forum of the
fettered spirits, must prove that free spirits always existed, that
free-spiritism is therefore enduring, that it will not become a burden,
and, finally, that on the whole they are an advantage to the fettered
spirits. It is because they cannot convince the restricted spirits on
this last point that they profit nothing by having proved the first and
second propositions.


_ESPRIT FORT._--Compared with him who has tradition on his side and
requires no reasons for his actions, the free spirit is always weak,
especially in action; for he is acquainted with too many motives and
points of view, and has, therefore, an uncertain and unpractised hand.
What means exist of making him _strong in spite of this,_ so that he
will, at least, manage to survive, and will not perish ineffectually?
What is the source of the strong spirit (_esprit fort_)! This is
especially the question as to the production of genius. Whence comes
the energy, the unbending strength, the endurance with which the one,
in opposition to accepted ideas, endeavours to obtain an entirely
individual knowledge of the world?


THE RISE OF GENIUS.--The ingenuity with which a prisoner seeks the
means of freedom, the most cold-blooded and patient employment of every
smallest advantage, can teach us of what tools Nature sometimes makes
use in order to produce Genius,--a word which I beg will be understood
without any mythological and religious flavour; she, Nature, begins it
in a dungeon and excites to the utmost its desire to free itself. Or
to give another picture: some one who has completely _lost his way_
in a wood, but who with unusual energy strives to reach the open in
one direction or another, will sometimes discover a new path which
nobody knew previously, thus arise geniuses, who are credited with
originality. It has already been said that mutilation, crippling,
or the loss of some important organ, is frequently the cause of the
unusual development of another organ, because this one has to fulfil
its own and also another function. This explains the source of many a
brilliant talent. These general remarks on the origin of genius may be
applied to the special case, the origin of the perfect free spirit.


increase when in equatorial regions the sun shines upon the seas
with greater force than hitherto, so may a very strong and spreading
free-spiritism be a proof that somewhere or other the force of feeling
has grown extraordinarily.


THE VOICE OF HISTORY.--In general, history _appears_ to teach the
following about the production of genius: it ill-treats and torments
mankind--calls to the passions of envy, hatred, and rivalry--drives
them to desperation, people against people, throughout whole centuries!
Then, perhaps, like a stray spark from the terrible energy thereby
aroused, there flames up suddenly the light of genius; the will, like
a horse maddened by the rider's spur, thereupon breaks out and leaps
over into another domain. He who could attain to a comprehension of the
production of genius, and desires to carry out practically the manner
in which Nature usually goes to work, would have to be just as evil and
regardless as Nature itself. But perhaps we have not heard rightly.


THE VALUE OF THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD.--It is possible that the
production of genius is reserved to a limited period of mankind's
history. For we must not expect from the future everything that
very defined conditions were able to produce; for instance, not the
astounding effects of religious feeling. This has had its day, and
much that is very? good can never grow again, because it could grow
out of that alone. There will never again be a horizon of life and
culture that is bounded by religion. Perhaps even the type of the
saint is only possible with that certain narrowness of intellect,
which apparently has completely disappeared. And thus the greatest
height of intelligence has perhaps been reserved for a single age;
it appeared--and appears, for we are still in that age--when an
extraordinary, long-accumulated energy of will concentrates itself,
as an exceptional case, upon _intellectual_ aims. That height will no
longer exist when this wildness and energy cease to be cultivated.
Mankind probably approaches nearer to its actual aim in the middle of
its road, in the middle time of its existence than at the end. It may
be that powers with which, for instance, art is a condition, die out
altogether; the pleasure in lying, in the undefined, the symbolical,
in intoxication, in ecstasy might fall into disrepute. For certainly,
when life is ordered in the perfect State, the present will provide
no more motive for poetry, and it would only be those persons who had
remained behind who would ask for poetical unreality. These, then,
would assuredly look longingly backwards to the times of the imperfect
State, of half-barbaric society, to _our_ times.


comfortable life for the greatest possible number. If the lasting house
of this life of comfort, the perfect State, had really been attained,
then this life of comfort would have destroyed the ground out of which
grow the great intellect and the mighty individual generally, 11 mean
powerful energy. Were this State reached, mankind would have grown too
weary to be still capable of producing genius. Must we not hence wish
that life should retain its forcible character, and that wild forces
and energies should continue, to be called forth afresh? But warm and
sympathetic hearts desire precisely the _removal_ of that wild and
forcible character, and the warmest hearts we can imagine desire it
the most passionately of all, whilst all the time its passion derived
its fire, its warmth, its very existence precisely from that wild
and forcible character; the warmest heart, therefore, desires the
removal of its own foundation, the destruction of itself,--that is,
it desires something illogical, it is not intelligent. The highest
intelligence and the warmest heart cannot exist together in one
person, and the wise man who passes judgment upon life looks beyond
goodness and only regards it as something which is not without value
in the general summing-up of life. The wise man must _oppose_ those
digressive wishes of unintelligent goodness, because he has an interest
in the continuance of his type and in the eventual appearance of the
highest intellect; at least, he will not advance the founding of the
"perfect State," inasmuch as there is only room in it for wearied
individuals. Christ, on the contrary, he whom we may consider to have
had the warmest heart, advanced the process of making man stupid,
placed himself on the side of the intellectually poor, and retarded
the production of the greatest intellect, and this was consistent.
His opposite, the man of perfect wisdom,--this may be safely
prophesied--will just as necessarily hinder the production of a Christ.
The State is a wise arrangement for the protection of one individual
against another; if its ennobling is exaggerated the individual will at
last be weakened by it, even effaced, --thus the original purpose of
the State will be most completely frustrated.


THE ZONES OF CULTURE.--It may be figuratively said that the ages of
culture correspond to the zones of the various climates, only that they
lie one behind another and not beside each other like the geographical
zones. In comparison with the temperate zone of culture, which it
is our object to enter, the past, speaking generally, gives the
impression of a _tropical_ climate. Violent contrasts, sudden changes
between day and night, heat and colour-splendour, the reverence of
all that was sudden, mysterious, terrible, the rapidity with which
storms broke: everywhere that lavish abundance of the provisions of
nature; and opposed to this, in our culture, a clear but by no means
bright sky, pure but fairly unchanging air, sharpness, even cold at
times; thus the two zones are contrasts to each other. When we see
how in that former zone the most raging passions are suppressed and
broken down with mysterious force by metaphysical representations,
we feel as if wild tigers were being crushed before our very eyes in
the coils of mighty serpents; our mental climate lacks such episodes,
our imagination is temperate, even in dreams there does not happen
to us what former peoples saw waking. But should we not rejoice at
this change, even granted that artists are essentially spoiled by the
disappearance of the tropical culture and find us non-artists a little
too timid? In so far artists are certainly right to deny "progress,"
for indeed it is doubtful whether the last three thousand years show an
advance in the arts. In the same way, a metaphysical philosopher like
Schopenhauer would have no cause to acknowledge progress with a regard
to metaphysical philosophy and religion if he glanced back over the
last four thousand years. For us, however, the _existence_ even of the
temperate zones of culture is progress.


RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION.--The Italian Renaissance contained within
itself all the positive forces to which we owe modern culture. Such
were the liberation of thought, the disregard of authorities, the
triumph of education over the darkness of tradition, enthusiasm for
science and the scientific past of mankind, the unfettering of the
Individual, an ardour for truthfulness and a dislike of delusion
and mere effect (which ardour blazed forth in an entire company of
artistic characters, who with the greatest moral purity required from
themselves perfection in their works, and nothing but perfection);
yes, the Renaissance had positive forces, which have, _as yet,_ never
become so mighty again in our modern culture. It was the Golden Age
of the last thousand years, in spite of all its blemishes and vices.
On the other hand, the German Reformation stands out as an energetic
protest of antiquated spirits, who were by no means tired of mediæval
views of life, and who received the signs of its dissolution, the
extraordinary flatness and alienation of the religious life, with
deep dejection instead of with the rejoicing that would have been
seemly. With their northern strength and stiff-neckedness they threw
mankind back again, brought about the counter-reformation, that is,
a Catholic Christianity of self-defence, with all the violences of a
state of siege, and delayed for two or three centuries the complete
awakening and mastery of the sciences; just as they probably made for
ever impossible the complete inter-growth of the antique and the modern
spirit. The great task of the Renaissance could not be brought to a
termination, this was prevented by the protest of the contemporary
backward German spirit (which, for its salvation, had had sufficient
sense in the Middle Ages to cross the Alps again and again). It was
the chance of an extraordinary constellation of politics that Luther
was preserved, and that his protest; gained strength, for the Emperor
protected him in order to employ him as a weapon against the Pope, and
in the same way he was secretly favoured by the Pope in order to use
the Protestant princes as a counter-weight against the Emperor. Without
this curious counter-play of intentions, Luther would have been burnt
like Huss,--and the morning sun of enlightenment would probably have
risen somewhat earlier, and with a splendour more beauteous than we can
now imagine.


JUSTICE AGAINST THE BECOMING GOD.-- When the entire history of culture
unfolds itself to our gaze, as a confusion of evil and noble, of true
and false ideas, and we feel almost seasick at the sight of these
tumultuous waves, we then under stand what comfort resides in the
conception of a _becoming God._ This Deity is unveiled ever more and
more throughout the changes and fortunes of mankind; it is not all
blind mechanism, a senseless and aimless confusion of forces. The
deification of the process of being is a metaphysical outlook, seen as
from a lighthouse overlooking the sea of history, in which a far-too
historical generation of scholars found their comfort. This must not
arouse anger, however erroneous the view may be. Only those who, like
Schopenhauer, deny development also feel none of the misery of this
historical wave, and therefore, because they know nothing of that
becoming God and the need of His supposition, they should in justice
withhold their scorn.


is desired for mankind is necessarily in many respects also a worse
future, for it is foolishness to suppose that a new, higher grade of
humanity will combine in itself all the good points of former grades,
and must produce, for instance, the highest form of art. Rather has
every season its own advantages and charms, which exclude those of
the other seasons. That which has grown out of religion and in its
neighbourhood cannot grow again if this has been destroyed; at the
most, straggling and belated off-shoots may lead to deception on that
point, like the occasional outbreaks of remembrance of the old art, a
condition that probably betrays the feeling of loss and deprivation,
but which is no proof of the power from which a new art might be born.


individual attains, the less field there is left for mockery and scorn.
Voltaire thanked Heaven from his heart for the invention of marriage
and the Church, by which it had so well provided for our cheer. But he
and his time, and before him the sixteenth century, had exhausted their
ridicule on this theme; everything that is now made fun of on this
theme is out of date, and above all too cheap to tempt a purchaser.
Causes are now inquired after; ours is an age of seriousness. Who
cares now to discern, laughingly, the difference between reality and
pretentious sham, between that which man _is_ and that which he wishes
to represent; the feeling of this contrast has quite a different effect
if we seek reasons. The more thoroughly any one understands life,
the less he will mock, though finally, perhaps, he will mock at the
"thoroughness of his understanding."


THE GENIUS OF CULTURE.--If any one wished to imagine a genius of
culture, what would it be like? It handles as its tools falsehood,
force, and thoughtless selfishness so surely that I could only be
called an evil, demoniacal being but its aims, which are occasionally
transparent, are great and good. It is a centaur, half-beast, half-man,
and, in addition, has angel's wings upon its head.


THE MIRACLE-EDUCATION.--Interest in Education will acquire great
strength only from the moment when belief in a God and His care is
renounced, just as the art of healing you only flourish when the
belief in miracle-cures ceased. So far, however, there is universal
belief in the miracle-education; out of the greatest disorder and
confusion of aims and unfavourableness of conditions, the most
fertile and mighty men have been seen to grow; could this happen
naturally? Soon these cases will be more closely looked into, more
carefully examined; but miracles will never be discovered. In similar
circumstances countless persons perish constantly; the few saved have,
therefore, usually grown stronger, because they endured these bad
conditions by virtue of an inexhaustible inborn strength, and this
strength they had also exercised and increased by fighting against
these circumstances; thus the miracle is explained. An education that
no longer believes in miracles must pay attention to three things:
first, how much energy is inherited? secondly, by what means can
new energy be aroused? thirdly, how can the individual be adapted
to so many and manifold claims of culture without being disquieted
and destroying his personality,--in short, how can the individual be
initiated into the counterpoint of private and public culture, how can
he lead the melody and at the same time Accompany it?


THE FUTURE OF THE PHYSICIAN.--There is now no profession which would
admit of such an enhancement as that of the physician; that is, after
the spiritual physicians the so-called pastors, are no longer allowed
to practise their conjuring tricks to public applause, and a cultured
person gets out of their way. The highest mental development of a
physician has not yet been reached, even if he understands the best
and newest methods, is practised in them, and knows how to draw those
rapid conclusions from effects to causes for which the diagnostics are
celebrated; besides this, he must possess a gift of eloquence that
adapts itself to every individual and draws his heart out of his body;
a manliness, the sight of which alone drives away all despondency (the
canker of all sick people), the tact and suppleness of a diplomatist
in negotiations between such as have need of joy for their recovery
and such as, for reasons of health, must (and can) give joy; the
acuteness of a detective and an attorney to divine the secrets of
a soul without betraying them,--in short, a good physician now has
need of all the artifices and artistic privileges of every other
professional class. Thus equipped, he is then ready to be a benefactor
to the whole of society, by increasing good works, mental joys and
fertility, by preventing evil thoughts, projects and villainies (the
evil source of which is so often the belly), by the restoration of a
mental and physical aristocracy (as a maker and hinderer of marriages),
by judiciously checking all so-called soul-torments and pricks of
conscience. Thus from a "medicine man" he becomes a saviour, and
yet need work no miracle, neither is he obliged to let himself be


IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF INSANITY.--The sum of sensations, knowledge
and experiences, the whole burden of culture, therefore, has become
so great that an overstraining of nerves and powers of thought is a
common danger, indeed the cultivated classes of European countries
are throughout neurotic, and almost every one of their great families
is on the verge of insanity in one of their branches. True, health
is now sought in every possible way; but in the main a diminution of
that tension of feeling, of that oppressive burden of culture, is
needful, which, even though it might be bought at a heavy sacrifice,
would at least give us room for the great hope of a _new Renaissance._
To Christianity, to the philosophers, poets, and musicians we owe an
abundance of deeply emotional sensations; in order that these may not
get beyond our control we must invoke the spirit of science, which
on the whole makes us somewhat colder and more sceptical, and in
particular cools the faith in final and absolute truths; it is chiefly
through Christianity that it has grown so wild.


THE BELL-FOUNDING OF CULTURE.--Culture has been made like a bell,
within a covering of coarser, commoner material, falsehood, violence,
the boundless extension of every individual "I," of every separate
people--this was the covering. Is it time to take it off? Has the
liquid set, have the good and useful impulses, the habits of the nobler
nature become so certain and so general that they no longer require to
lean on metaphysics and the errors of religion, no longer have need of
hardnesses and violence as powerful bonds between man and man, people
and people? No sign from any God can any longer help us to answer this
question; our own insight must decide. The earthly rule of man must be
taken in hand by man himself, his "omniscience" must watch over the
further fate of culture with a sharp eye.


THE CYCLOPES OF CULTURE.--Whoever has seen those furrowed basins which
once contained glaciers, will hardly deem it possible that a time
will come when the same spot will be a valley of woods and meadows
and streams. It is the same in the history of mankind; the wildest
forces break the way, destructively at first, but their activity was
nevertheless necessary in order that later on a milder civilisation
might build up its house These terrible energies--that which is called
Evil--are the cyclopic architects and road-makers of humanity.


THE CIRCULATION OF HUMANITY.--It is possible that all humanity is only
a phase of development of a certain species of animal of limited
duration. Man may have grown out of the ape and will return to the
ape again,[1] without anybody taking an interest in the ending of
this curious comedy. Just as with the decline of Roman civilisation
and its most important cause, the spread of Christianity, there was a
general uglification of man within the Roman Empire, so, through the
eventual decline of general culture, there might result a far greater
uglification and finally an animalising of man till he reached the ape.
But just because we are able to face this prospect, we shall perhaps be
able to avert such an end.


impression of an intermediate condition; the old ways of regarding the
world, the old cultures still partially exist, the new are not yet
sure and customary and hence are without decision and consistency. It
appears as if everything would become chaotic, as if the old were being
lost, the new worthless and ever becoming weaker. But this is what the
soldier feels who is learning to march; for a time he is more uncertain
and awkward, because his muscles are moved sometimes according to the
old system and sometimes according to the new, and neither gains a'
decisive victory. We waver, but it is necessary not to lose courage
and give up what we have newly gained. Moreover, we _cannot_ go back
to the old, we _have_ burnt our boats; there remains nothing but to
be brave whatever happen.--_March ahead,_ only get forward! Perhaps
our behaviour looks like _progress_; but if not, then the words
of Frederick the Great may also be applied to us, and indeed as a
consolation: "_Ah, mon cher Sulzer, vous ne connaissez pas assez cette
race maudite, à laquelle nous appartenons._"


SUFFERING FROM PAST CULTURE.--Whoever has solved the problem of culture
suffers from a feeling similar to that of one who has inherited
unjustly-gotten riches, or of a prince who reigns thanks to the
violence of his ancestors. He thinks of their origin with grief and is
often ashamed, often irritable. The whole sum of strength, joy, vigour,
which he devotes to his possessions, is often balanced by a deep
weariness, he cannot forget their origin. He looks despondingly at the
future; he knows well that his successors will suffer from the past as
he does.


MANNERS.--Good manners disappear in proportion as the influence of
a Court and an exclusive aristocracy lessens; this decrease can be
plainly observed from decade to decade by those who have an eye
for public behaviour, which grows visibly more vulgar. No one any
longer knows how to court and flatter intelligently; hence arises the
ludicrous fact that in cases where we _must_ render actual homage
(to a great statesman or artist, for instance), the words of deepest
feeling, of simple, peasant-like honesty, have to be borrowed, owing to
the embarrassment resulting from the lack of grace and wit. Thus the
public ceremonious meeting of men appears ever more clumsy, but more
full of feeling and honesty without really being so. But must there
always be a decline in manners? It appears to me, rather, that manners
take a deep curve and that we are approaching their lowest point. When
society has become sure of its intentions and principles, so that they
have a moulding effect (the manners we have learnt from former moulding
conditions are now inherited and always more weakly learnt), there will
then be company manners, gestures and social expressions, which must
appear as necessary and simply natural because they are intentions
and principles. The better division of time and work, the gymnastic
exercise transformed into the accompaniment of all beautiful leisure,
increased and severer meditation, which brings wisdom and suppleness
even to the body, will bring all this in its train. Here, indeed, we
might think with a smile of our scholars, and consider whether, as a
matter of fact, they who wish to be regarded as the forerunners of that
new culture are distinguished by their better manners? This is hardly
the case; although their spirit may be willing enough their flesh is
weak. The past of culture is still too powerful in their muscles, they
still stand in a fettered position, and are half worldly priests and
half dependent educators of the upper classes, and besides this they
have been rendered crippled and lifeless by the pedantry of science and
by antiquated, spiritless methods. In any case, therefore, they are
physically, and often three-fourths mentally, still the courtiers of an
old, even antiquated culture, and as such are themselves antiquated;
the new spirit that occasionally inhabits these old dwellings often
serves only to make them more uncertain and frightened. In them there
dwell the ghosts of the past as well as the ghosts of the future;
what wonder if they do not wear the best expression or show the most
pleasing behaviour?


THE FUTURE OF SCIENCE.--To him who works and seeks in her, Science
gives much pleasure,--to him who _learns_ her facts, very little. But
as all important truths of science must gradually become commonplace
and everyday matters, even this small amount of pleasure ceases, just
as we have long ceased to take pleasure in learning the admirable
multiplication table. Now if Science goes on giving less pleasure in
herself, and always takes more pleasure in throwing suspicion on the
consolations of metaphysics, religion and art, that greatest of all
sources of pleasure, to which mankind owes almost its whole humanity,
becomes impoverished. Therefore a higher culture must give man a
double brain, two brain-chambers, so to speak, one to feel science
and the other to feel non-science, which can lie side by side, without
confusion, divisible, exclusive; this is a necessity of health. In one
part lies the source of strength, in the other lies the regulator;
it must be heated with illusions, onesidednesses, passions; and the
malicious and dangerous consequences of over-heating must be averted
by the help of conscious Science. If this necessity of the higher
culture is not satisfied, the further course of human development can
almost certainly be foretold: the interest in what is true ceases as it
guarantees less pleasure; illusion, error, and imagination reconquer
step by step the ancient territory, because they are united to
pleasure; the ruin of science: the relapse into barbarism is the next
result; mankind must begin to weave its web afresh after having, like
Penelope, destroyed it during the night. But who will assure us that it
will always find the necessary strength for this?


THE PLEASURE IN DISCERNMENT.--Why is discernment, that essence of the
searcher and the philosopher, connected with pleasure? Firstly, and
above all, because thereby we become conscious of our strength, for
the same reason that gymnastic exercises, even without spectators, are
enjoyable. Secondly, because in the course of knowledge we surpass
older ideas and their representatives, and become, or believe ourselves
to be, conquerors. Thirdly, because even a very little new knowledge
exalts us above _every one,_ and makes us feel we are the only ones
who know the subject aright. These are the three most important
reasons of the pleasure, but there are many others, according to the
nature of the discerner. A not inconsiderable index of such is given,
where no one would look for it, in a passage of my parenetic work
on Schopenhauer,[2] with the arrangement of which every experienced
servant of knowledge may be satisfied, even though he might wish to
dispense with the ironical touch that seems to pervade those pages.
For if it be true that for the making of a scholar "a number of very
human impulses and desires must be thrown together," that the scholar
is indeed a very noble but not a pure metal, and "consists of a
confused blending of very different impulses and attractions," the
same thing may be said equally of the making and nature of the artist,
the philosopher and the moral genius--and whatever glorified great
names there may be in that list. _Everything_ human deserves ironical
consideration with respect to its _origin,_--therefore irony is so
_superfluous_ in the world.


FIDELITY AS A PROOF OF VALIDITY.--It is a perfect sign of a sound
theory if during _forty years_ its originator does not mistrust it; but
I maintain that there has never yet been a philosopher who has not
eventually deprecated the philosophy of his youth. Perhaps, however,
he has not spoken publicly of this change of opinion, for reasons of
ambition, or, what is more probable in noble natures, out of delicate
consideration for his adherents.


THE INCREASE OF WHAT IS INTERESTING.--In the course of higher education
everything becomes interesting to man, he knows how to find the
instructive side of a thing quickly and to put his finger on the place
where it can fill up a gap in his ideas, or where it may verify a
thought. Through this boredom disappears more and more, and so does
excessive excitability of temperament. Finally he moves among men like
a botanist among plants, and looks upon himself as a phenomenon, which
only greatly excites his discerning instinct.


together, it is said. A relative dies far away, and at the same time
we dream about him,--Consequently! But countless relatives die and we
do not dream about them. It is like shipwrecked people who make vows;
afterwards, in the temples, we do not see the votive tablets of those
who perished. A man dies, an owl hoots, a clock stops, all at one hour
of the night,--must there not be some connection? Such an intimacy
with nature as this supposition implies is flattering to mankind. This
species of superstition is found again in a refined form in historians
and delineators of culture, who usually have a kind of hydrophobic
horror of all that senseless mixture, in which individual and national
life is so rich.


pursuing science for a time does not lie precisely in its results,
for these, in proportion to the ocean of what is worth knowing, are
but an infinitesimally small drop. But it gives an additional energy,
decisiveness, and toughness of endurance; it teaches how to attain an
_aim suitably._ In so far it is very valuable, with a view to all that
is done later on, to have once been a scientific man.


THE YOUTHFUL CHARM OF SCIENCE.--The search for truth still retains
the charm of being in strong contrast to gray and now tiresome error;
but this charm is gradually disappearing. It is true we still live in
the youthful age of science and are accustomed to follow truth as a
lovely girl; but how will it be when one day she becomes an elderly,
ill-tempered looking woman? In almost all sciences the fundamental
knowledge is either found in earliest times or is still being sought;
what a different attraction this exerts compared to that time when
everything essential has been found and there only remains for the
seeker a scanty gleaning (which sensation may be learnt in several
historical disciplines).


THE STATUE OF HUMANITY.--The genius of culture fares as did Cellini
when his statue of Perseus was being cast; the molten mass threatened
to run short, but it _had_ to suffice, so he flung in his plates and
dishes, and whatever else his hands fell upon. In the same way genius
flings in errors, vices, hopes, ravings, and other things of baser as
well as of nobler metal, for the statue of humanity must emerge and be
finished; what does it matter if commoner material is used here and


A MALE CULTURE.--The Greek culture of the classic age is a male
culture. As far as women are concerned, Pericles expresses everything
in the funeral speech: "They are best when they are as little spoken
of as possible amongst men." The erotic relation of men to youths
was the necessary and sole preparation, to a degree unattainable to
our comprehension, of all manly education (pretty much as for a long
time all higher education of women was only attainable through love
and marriage). All idealism of the strength of the Greek nature threw
itself into that relation, and it is probable that never since have
young men been treated so attentively, so lovingly, so entirely with
a view to their welfare (_virtus_) as in the fifth and sixth centuries
B.C.--according to the beautiful saying of Hölderlin: "_denn liebend
giebt der Sterbliche vom Besten."_[3] The higher the light in which
this relation was regarded, the lower sank intercourse with woman;
nothing else was taken into consideration than the production of
children and lust; there was no intellectual intercourse, not even real
love-making. If it be further remembered that women were even excluded
from contests and spectacles of every description, there only remain
the religious cults as their sole higher occupation. For although in
the tragedies Electra and Antigone were represented, this was only
_tolerated_ in art, but not liked in real life,--just as now we cannot
endure anything pathetic in _life_ but like it in art. The women had no
other mission than to produce beautiful, strong bodies, in which the
father's character lived on as unbrokenly as possible, and therewith
to counteract the increasing nerve-tension of such a highly developed
culture. This kept the Greek culture young for a relatively long time;
for in the Greek mothers the Greek genius always returned to nature.


THE PREJUDICE IN FAVOUR OF GREATNESS.--It is clear that men overvalue
everything great and prominent. This arises from the conscious or
unconscious idea that they deem it very useful when one person throws
all his strength into one thing and makes himself into a monstrous
organ. Assuredly, an _equal_ development of all his powers is more
useful and happier for man; for every talent is a vampire which sucks
blood and strength from other powers, and an exaggerated production can
drive the most gifted almost to madness. Within the circle of the arts,
too, extreme natures excite far too much attention; but a much lower
culture is necessary to be captivated by them. Men submit from habit to
everything that seeks power.


THE TYRANTS OF THE MIND.--It is only where the ray of myth falls that
the life of the Greeks shines; otherwise it is gloomy. The Greek
philosophers are now robbing themselves of this myth; is it not as if
they wished to quit the sunshine for shadow and gloom? Yet no plant
avoids the light; and, as a matter of fact, those philosophers were
only seeking a _brighter_ sun; the myth--was not pure enough, not
shining enough for them. They found this light in their knowledge,
in that which each of them called his "truth." But in those times
knowledge shone with a greater glory; it was still young and knew but
little of all the difficulties and dangers of its path; it could still
hope to reach in one single bound the central point of all being,
and from thence to solve the riddle of the world. These philosophers
had a firm belief in themselves and their "truth," and with it they
overthrew all their neighbours and predecessors; each one was a
warlike, violent _tyrant._ The happiness in believing themselves the
possessors of truth was perhaps never greater in the world, but neither
were the hardness, the arrogance, and the tyranny and evil of such a
belief. They were tyrants, they were that, therefore, which every Greek
wanted to be, and which every one was if he _was able._ Perhaps Solon
alone is an exception; he tells in his poems how he disdained personal
tyranny. But he did it for love of his works, of his law-giving;
and to be a law-giver is a sublimated form of tyranny. Parmenides
also made laws. Pythagoras and Empedocles probably did the same;
Anaximander founded a city. Plato was the incarnate wish to become
the greatest philosophic law-giver and founder of States; he appears
to have suffered terribly over the non-fulfilment of his nature, and
towards his end his soul was filled with the bitterest gall. The more
the Greek philosophers lost in power the more they suffered inwardly
from this bitterness and malice; when the various sects fought for
their truths in the street, then first were the souls of these wooers
of truth completely clogged through envy and spleen; the tyrannical
element then raged like poison within their bodies. These many petty
tyrants would have liked to devour each other; there survived not a
single spark of love and very little joy in their own knowledge. The
saying that tyrants are generally murdered and that their descendants
are short-lived, is true also of the tyrants of the mind. Their history
is short and violent, and their after-effects break off suddenly. It
may be said of almost all great Hellenes that they appear to have come
too late: it was thus with Æschylus, with Pindar, with Demosthenes,
with Thucydides: one generation--and then it is passed for ever. That
is the stormy and dismal element in Greek history. We now, it is true,
admire the gospel of the tortoises. To think historically is almost the
same thing now as if in all ages history had been made according to the
theory "The smallest possible amount in the longest possible time!" Oh!
how quickly Greek history runs on! Since then life has never been so
extravagant--so unbounded. I cannot persuade myself that the history of
the Greeks followed that natural course for which it is so celebrated.
They were much too variously gifted to be _gradual_ the orderly manner
of the tortoise when running a race with Achilles, and that is called
natural development. The Geeks went rapidly forward, but equally
rapidly downwards; the movement of the whole machine is so intensified
that a single stone thrown amid its wheels was sufficient to break it.
Such a stone, for instance, was Socrates; the hitherto so wonderfully
regular, although certainly too rapid, development of the philosophical
science was destroyed in one night. It is no idle question whether
Plato, had he remained free from the Socratic charm, would not have
discovered a still higher type of the philosophic man, which type
is for ever lost to us. We look into the ages before him as into a
sculptor's workshop of such types. The fifth and sixth centuries B.C.
seemed to promise something more and higher even than they produced;
they stopped short at promising and announcing. And yet there is hardly
a greater loss than the loss of a type, of a new, hitherto undiscovered
highest _possibility of the philosophic life:_--Even of the older
type the greater number are badly transmitted; it seems to me that
all philosophers, from Thales to Democritus, are remarkably difficult
to recognise, but whoever succeeds in imitating these figures walks
amongst specimens of the mightiest and purest type. This ability is
certainly rare, it was even absent in those later Greeks, who occupied
themselves with the knowledge of the older philosophy; Aristotle,
especially, hardly seems to have had eyes in his head when he stands
before these great ones. And thus it appears as if these splendid
philosophers had lived in vain, or as if they had only been intended
to prepare the quarrelsome and talkative followers of the Socratic
schools. As I have said, here is a gap, a break in development; some
great misfortune must have happened, and the only statue which might
have revealed the meaning and purpose of that great artistic training
was either broken or unsuccessful; what actually happened has remained
for ever a secret of the workshop.

That which happened amongst the Greeks--namely, that every great
thinker who believed himself to be in possession of the absolute truth
became a tyrant, so that even the mental history of the Greeks acquired
that violent, hasty and dangerous character shown by their political
history,--this type of event was not therewith exhausted, much that is
similar has happened even in more modern times, although gradually
becoming rarer and now but seldom showing the pure, naïve conscience
of the Greek philosophers. For on the whole, opposition doctrines and
scepticism now speak too powerfully, too loudly. The period of mental
tyranny is past. It is true that in the spheres of higher culture there
must always be a supremacy, but henceforth this supremacy lies in the
hands of the _oligarchs of the mind._ In spite of local and political
separation they form a cohesive society, whose members _recognise and
acknowledge_ each other, whatever public opinion and the verdicts of
review and newspaper writers who influence the masses may circulate in
favour of or against them. Mental superiority, which formerly divided
and embittered, nowadays generally _unites;_ how could the separate
individuals assert themselves and swim through life on their own
course, against all currents, if they did not see others like them
living here and there under similar conditions, and grasped their hands
in the struggle as much against the ochlocratic character of the half
mind and half culture as against the occasional attempts to establish
a tyranny with the help of the masses? Oligarchs are necessary to each
other, they are each other's best joy, they understand their signs, but
each is nevertheless free, he fights and conquers in _his_ place and
perishes rather than submit.


HOMER.--The greatest fact in Greek culture remains this, that Homer
became so early Pan-Hellenic. All mental and human freedom to which
the Greeks attained is traceable to this fact. At the same time
it has actually been fatal to Greek culture, for Homer levelled,
inasmuch as he centralised, and dissolved the more serious instincts
of independence. From time to time there arose from the depths of
Hellenism an opposition to Homer: but he always remained victorious.
All great mental powers have an oppressing effect as well as a
liberating one; but it certainly makes a difference whether it is Homer
or the Bible or Science that tyrannises over mankind.


TALENTS.--In such a highly developed humanity as the present, each
individual naturally has access to many talents. Each has an _inborn
talent,_ but only in a few is that degree of toughness, endurance, and
energy born and trained that he really becomes a talent, _becomes_ what
he _is,_ that is, that he discharges it in works and actions.


talented people value every mark of intelligence, whether it be on
a true or a false track; above all, they want the person with whom
they have intercourse to entertain them with his wit, to spur them
on, to inflame them, to carry them away in seriousness and play, and
in any case to be a powerful amulet to protect them against boredom.
Scientific natures, on the other hand, know that the gift of possessing
all manner of notions should be strictly controlled by the scientific
spirit: it is not that which shines, deludes and excites, but the often
insignificant truth that is the fruit which he knows how to shake down
from the tree of knowledge. Like Aristotle, he is not permitted to make
any distinction between the "bores" and the "wits," his _dæmon_ leads
him through the desert as well as through tropical vegetation, in order
that he may only take pleasure in the really actual, tangible, true. In
insignificant scholars this produces a general disdain and suspicion of
cleverness, and, on the other hand, clever people frequently have an
aversion to science, as have, for instance, almost all artists.


SENSE IN SCHOOL.--School has no task more important than to teach
strict thought, cautious judgment, and logical conclusions, hence
it must pay no attention to what hinders these operations, such as
religion, for instance. It can count on the fact that human vagueness,
custom, and need will later on unstring the bow of all-too-severe
thought. But so long as its influence lasts it should enforce that
which is the essential and distinguishing point in man: "Sense and
Science, the _very highest_ power of man"--as Goethe judges. The great
natural philosopher, Von Baer, thinks that the superiority of all
Europeans, when compared to Asiatics, lies in the trained capability
of giving reasons for that which they believe, of which the latter are
utterly incapable. Europe went to the school of logical and critical
thought, Asia still fails to know how to distinguish between truth
and fiction, and is not Conscious whether its convictions spring from
individual observation and systematic thought or from imagination.
Sense in the school has made Europe what it is; in the Middle Ages
it was on the road to become once more a part and dependent of
Asia,--forfeiting, therefore, the scientific mind which it owed to the


public school is seldom sought in those things which are really learnt
there and are carried away never to be lost, but in those things which
are learnt and which the pupil only acquires against his will, in order
to get rid of them again as soon as possible. Every educated person
acknowledges that the reading of the classics, as now practised, is
monstrous proceeding carried on before you people are ripe enough for
it by teachers who with every word, often by their appearance alone,
throw a mildew on a good author. But therein lies the value, generally
unrecognised, of these teachers who speak _the abstract language of the
higher culture,_ which, though dry and difficult to understand, is yet
a sort of higher gymnastics of the brain; and there is value in the
constant recurrence in their language of ideas, artistic expressions,
methods and allusions which the young people hardly ever hear in the
conversations of their relatives and in the street. Even if the pupils
only _hear,_ their intellect is involuntarily trained to a scientific
mode of regarding things. It is not possible to emerge from this
discipline entirely untouched by its abstract character, and to remain
a simple child of nature.


LEARNING MANY LANGUAGES.--The learning of many languages fills the
memory with words instead of with facts and thoughts, and this is a
vessel which, with every person, can only contain a certain limited
amount of contents. Therefore the learning of many languages is
injurious, inasmuch as it arouses a belief in possessing dexterity and,
as a matter of fact, it lends a kind of delusive importance to social
intercourse. It is also indirectly injurious in that it opposes the
acquirement of solid knowledge and the intention to win the respect of
men in an honest way. Finally, it is the axe which is laid to the root
of a delicate sense of language in our mother-tongue, which thereby
is incurably injured and destroyed. The two nations which produced
the greatest stylists, the Greeks and the French, learned no foreign
languages. But as human intercourse must always grow more cosmopolitan,
and as, for instance, a good merchant in London must now be able to
read and write eight languages, the learning of many tongues has
certainly become a necessary evil; but which, when finally carried to
an extreme, will compel mankind to find a remedy, and in some far-off
future there will be a new language, used at first as a language of
commerce, then as a language of intellectual intercourse generally,
then for all, as surely as some time or other there will be aviation.
Why else should philology have studied the laws of languages for a
whole century, and have estimated the necessary, the valuable, and the
successful portion of each separate language?


THE WAR HISTORY OF THE INDIVIDUAL.--In a single human life that
passes through many styles of culture we find that struggle condense
which would otherwise have been played out between two generations,
between father and son; the closeness of the relationship _sharpens_
this struggle, because each party ruthlessly drags in the familiar
inward nature of the other party; and thus this struggle in the single
individual becomes most _embittered \_ here every new phase disregards
the earlier ones with cruel injustice and misunderstanding of their
means and aims.


A QUARTER OF AN HOUR EARLIER.--A mark is found occasionally whose views
are beyond his time, but only to such an extent that he anticipates the
common views of the next decade. He possesses public opinion before it
is public; that is, he has fallen into the arms of a view that deserves
to be trivial a quarter of an hour sooner than other people. But his
fame is usually far noisier than the fame of those who are really great
and prominent.


THE ART OF READING.--Every strong tendency is one-sided; it approaches
the aim of the straight line and, like this, is exclusive, that is,
it does not touch many other aims, as do weak parties and natures
in their wave-like rolling to-and-fro; it must also be forgiven to
philologists that they are one-sided. The restoration and keeping pure
of texts, besides their explanation, carried on in common for hundreds
of years, has finally enabled the right methods to be found; the whole
of the Middle Ages was absolutely incapable of a strictly philological
explanation, that is, of the simple desire to comprehend what an
author says--it _was_ an achievement, finding these methods, let it
not be undervalued! Through this all science first acquired continuity
and steadiness, so that the art of reading rightly, which is called
philology, attained its summit.


THE ART OF REASONING.--The greatest advance that men have made lies
in their acquisition of the art to _reason rightly._ It is not so
very natural, as Schopenhauer supposes when he says, "All are capable
of reasoning but few of judging," it is learnt late and has not yet
attained supremacy. False conclusion are the rule in older ages; and
the mythologies of all peoples, their magic and their superstition,
their religious cult and their law are the inexhaustible sources of
proof of this theory.


PHASES OF INDIVIDUAL CULTURE.--Th strength and weakness of mental
productiveness depend far less on inherited talents than on the
accompanying amount of _elasticity._ Most educated young people of
thirty turn round at this solstice of their lives and are afterwards
disinclined for new mental turnings. Therefore, for the salvation
of a constantly increasing culture, a new generation is immediately
necessary, which will not do very much either, for in order to come up
with the father's culture the son must exhaust almost all the inherited
energy which the father himself possessed at that stage of life when
his son was born; with the little addition he gets further on (for as
here the road is being traversed for the second time progress is--a
little quicker; in order to learn that which the father knew, the son
does not consume quite so much strength). Men of great elasticity, like
Goethe, for instance, get through almost more than four generations in
succession would be capable of; but then they advance too quickly, so
that the rest of mankind only comes up with them in the next century,
and even then perhaps not completely, because the exclusiveness of
culture and the consecutiveness of development have been weakened by
the frequent interruptions. Men catch up more quickly with the ordinary
phases of intellectual culture which has been acquired in the course
of history. Nowadays they begin to acquire culture as religiously
inclined children, and perhaps about their tenth year these sentiments
attain to their highest point, and are then changed into weakened forms
(pantheism), whilst they draw near to science; they entirely pass
by God, immortality, and such-like things, but are overcome by the
witchcraft of a metaphysical philosophy. Eventually they find even this
unworthy of belief; art, on the contrary, seems to vouchsafe more and
more, so that for a time metaphysics is metamorphosed and continues to
exist either as a transition to art or as an artistically transfiguring
temperament. But the scientific sense grows more imperious and conducts
man to natural sciences and history, and particularly to the severest
methods of knowledge, whilst art has always a milder and less exacting
meaning. All this usually happens within the first thirty years of a
man's life. It is the recapitulation of a _pensum,_ for which humanity
had laboured perhaps thirty thousand years.


RETROGRADED, NOT LEFT BEHIND.--Whoever, in the present day, still
derives his development from religious sentiments, and perhaps lives
for some length of time afterwards in metaphysics and art, has
assuredly gone back a considerable distance and begins his race with
other modern men under unfavourable conditions; he apparently loses
time and space. But because he stays in those domains where ardour and
energy are liberated and force flows continuously as a volcanic stream
out of an inexhaustible source, he goes forward all the more quickly as
soon as he has freed himself at the right moment from those dominators;
his feet are winged, his breast has learned quieter, longer, and more
enduring breathing. He has only retreated in order to have sufficient
room to leap; thus something terrible and threatening may lie in this
retrograde movement.


superior culture consciously to retain and present a true picture of
certain phases of development which commoner men live through almost
thoughtlessly and then efface from the tablets of their souls: this is
a higher species of the painter's art which only the few understand.
For this it is necessary to isolate those phases artificially.
Historical studies form the qualification for this painting, for they
constantly incite us in regard to a portion of history, a people,
or a human life, to imagine for ourselves a quite distinct horizon
of thoughts, a certain strength of feelings, the prominence of this
or the obscurity of that. Herein consists the historic sense, that
out of given instances we can quickly reconstruct such systems of
thoughts and feelings, just as we can mentally reconstruct a temple
out of a few pillars and remains of walls accidentally left standing.
The next result is that we understand our fellow-men as belonging to
distinct systems and representatives of different cultures--that is, as
necessary, but as changeable; and, again, that we can separate portions
of our own development and put them down independently.


CYNICS AND EPICUREANS.--The cynic recognises the connection between
the multiplied and stronger pains of the more highly cultivated man
and the abundance of requirements; he comprehends, therefore, that
the multitude of opinions about what is beautiful, suitable, seemly
and pleasing, must also produce very rich sources of enjoyment, but
also of displeasure. In accordance with this view he educates himself
backwards, by giving up many of these opinions and withdrawing from
certain demands of culture; he thereby gains a feeling of freedom
and strength; and gradually, when habit has made his manner of life
endurable, his sensations of displeasure are, as a matter of fact,
rarer and weaker than those of cultivated people, and approach those of
the domestic animal; moreover, he experiences everything with the charm
of contrast, and--he can also scold to his heart's content; so that
thereby he again rises high above the sensation-range of the animal.
The Epicurean has the same point of view as the cynic; there is usually
only a difference of temperament between them. Then the Epicurean makes
use of his higher culture to render himself independent of prevailing
opinions, he raises himself above them, whilst the cynic only remains
negative. He walks, as it were, in wind-protected, well-sheltered,
half-dark paths, whilst over him, in the wind, the tops of the trees
rustle and show him how violently agitated is the world out there. The
cynic, on the contrary, goes, as it were, naked into the rushing of the
wind and hardens himself to the point of insensibility.


MICROCOSM AND MACROCOSM OF CULTURE.--The best discoveries about
culture man makes within himself when he finds two heterogeneous powers
ruling therein. Supposing some one were living as much in love for
the plastic arts or for music as he was carried away by the spirit of
science, and that he were to regard it as impossible for him to end
this contradiction by the destruction of one and complete liberation of
the other power, there would therefore remain nothing for him to do
but to erect around himself such a large edifice of culture that those
two powers might both dwell within it, although at different ends,
whilst between them there dwelt reconciling, intermediary powers, with
predominant strength to quell, in case of need, the rising conflict.
But such an edifice of culture in the single individual will bear a
great resemblance to the culture of entire periods, and will afford
consecutive analogical teaching concerning it. For wherever the great
architecture of culture manifested itself it was its mission to compel
opposing powers to agree, by means of an overwhelming accumulation of
other less unbearable powers, without thereby oppressing and fettering


HAPPINESS AND CULTURE.--We are moved at the sight of our childhood's
surroundings,--the arbour, the church with its graves, the pond and
the wood,--all this we see again with pain. We are seized with pity
for ourselves; for what have we not passed through since then! And
everything here is so silent, so eternal, only we are so changed, so
moved; we even find a few human beings, on whom Time has sharpened his
teeth no more than on an oak tree,--peasants, fishermen, woodmen--they
are unchanged. Emotion and self-pity at the sight of lower culture is
the sign of higher culture; from which the conclusion may be drawn that
happiness has certainly not been increased by it. Whoever wishes to
reap happiness and comfort in life should always avoid higher culture.


THE SIMILE OF THE DANCE.--It must now be regarded as a decisive sign of
great culture if some one possesses sufficient strength and flexibility
to be as pure and strict in discernment as, in other moments, to be
capable of giving poetry, religion, and metaphysics a hundred paces'
start and then feeling their force and beauty. Such a position amid
two such different demands is very difficult, for science urges the
absolute supremacy of its methods, and if this insistence is not
yielded to, there arises the other danger of a weak wavering between
different impulses. Meanwhile, to cast a glance, in simile at least, on
a solution of this difficulty, it may be remembered that _dancing_ is
not the same as a dull reeling to and fro between different impulses.
High culture will resemble a bold dance,--wherefore, as has been said,
there is need of much strength and suppleness.


OF THE RELIEVING OF LIFE.--A primary way of lightening life is the
idealisation of all its occurrences; and with the help of painting we
should make it quite clear to ourselves what idealising means. The
painter requires that the spectator should not observe too closely or
too sharply, he forces him back to a certain distance from whence
to make his observations; he is obliged to take for granted a fixed
distance of the spectator from the picture,--he must even suppose an
equally certain amount of sharpness of eye in his spectator; in such
things he must on no account waver. Every one, therefore, who desires
to idealise his life must not look at it too closely, and must always
keep his gaze at a certain distance. This was a trick that Goethe, for
instance, understood.


AGGRAVATION AS RELIEF, AND _VICE VERSA._--Much that makes life more
difficult in certain grades of mankind serves to lighten it in a
higher grade, because such people have become familiar with greater
aggravations of life. The contrary also happens; for instance, religion
has a double face, according to whether a man looks up to it to relieve
him of his burden and need, or looks down upon it as-upon fetters laid
on him to prevent him from soaring too high into the air.


instrument with only two strings, like the scholars who, besides the
_instinct of knowledge_ possess only an acquired _religious_ instinct,
does not understand people who can play upon more strings. It lies
in the nature of the higher, _many-stringed_ culture that it should
always be falsely interpreted by the lower; an example of this is when
art appears as a disguised form of the religious. People who are only
religious understand even science as a searching after the religious
sentiment, just as deaf mutes do not know what music is, unless it be
visible movement.


LAMENTATION.--It is, perhaps, the advantages of our epoch that bring
with them a backward movement and an occasional undervaluing of the
_vita contemplativa._ But it must be acknowledged that our time is
poor in the matter of great moralists, that Pascal, Epictetus, Seneca,
and Plutarch are now but little read, that work and industry--formerly
in the following of the great goddess Health--sometimes appear to
rage like a disease. Because time to think and tranquillity in
thought are lacking, we no longer ponder over different views, but
content ourselves with hating them. With the enormous acceleration of
life, mind and eye grow accustomed to a partial and false sight and
judgment, and all people are like travellers whose only acquaintance
with countries and nations is derived from the railway. An independent
and cautious attitude of knowledge is looked upon almost as a kind of
madness; the free spirit is brought into disrepute, chiefly through
scholars, who miss their thoroughness and ant-like industry in his
art of regarding things and would gladly banish him into one single
corner of science, while it has the different and higher mission of
commanding the battalion rear-guard of scientific and learned men from
an isolated position, and showing them the ways and aims of culture. A
song of lamentation such as that which has just been sung will probably
have its own period, and will cease of its own accord on a forcible
return of the genius of meditation.


deficient in the higher activity, I mean individual activity. They are
active as officials, merchants, scholars, that is as a species, but not
as quite distinct separate and _single_ individuals; in this respect
they are idle. It is the misfortune of the active that their activity
is almost always a little senseless. For instance, we must not ask the
money-making banker the reason of his restless activity, it is foolish.
The active roll as the stone rolls, according to the stupidity of
mechanics. All mankind is divided, as it was at all times and is still,
into slaves and freemen; for whoever has not two-thirds of his day
for himself is a slave, be he otherwise whatever he likes, statesman,
merchant, official, or scholar.


IN FAVOUR OF THE IDLE.--As a sign that the value of a contemplative
life has decreased, scholars now vie with active people in a sort of
hurried enjoyment, so that they appear to value this mode of enjoying
more than that which really pertains to them, and which, as a matter
of fact, is a far greater enjoyment. Scholars are ashamed of _otium._
But there is one noble thing about idleness and idlers. If idleness
is really the _beginning_ of all vice, it finds itself, therefore, at
least in near neighbourhood of all the virtues; the idle man is still
a better man than the active. You do not suppose that in speaking of
idleness and idlers I am alluding to you, you sluggards?


MODERN UNREST.--Modern restlessness increases towards the west, so
that Americans look upon the inhabitants of Europe as altogether
peace-loving and enjoying beings, whilst in reality they swarm about
like wasps and bees. This restlessness is so great that the higher
culture cannot mature its fruits, it is as if the seasons followed each
other too quickly. For lack of rest our civilisation is turning into
a new barbarism. At no period have the active, that is, the restless,
been of _more_ importance. One of the necessary corrections, therefore,
which must be undertaken in the character of humanity is to strengthen
the contemplative element on a large scale. But every individual who
is quiet and steady in heart and head already has the right to believe
that he possesses not only a good temperament, but also a generally
useful virtue, and even fulfils a higher mission by the preservation of
this virtue.


To WHAT EXTENT THE ACTIVE MAN IS LAZY.--I believe that every one must
have his own opinion about everything concerning which opinions are
possible, because he himself is a peculiar, unique thing, which assumes
towards all other things a new and never hitherto existing attitude.
But idleness, which lies at the bottom of the active man's soul,
prevents him from drawing water out of his own well. Freedom of opinion
is like health; both are individual, and no good general conception can
be set up of either of them. That which is necessary for the health of
one individual is the cause of disease in another, and many means and
ways to the freedom of the spirit are for more highly developed natures
the ways and means to confinement.


_CENSOR VITÆ_--Alternations of love and hatred for a long period
distinguish the inward condition of a man who desires to be free in his
judgment of life; he does not forget, and bears everything a grudge,
for good and evil. At last, when the whole tablet of his soul is
written full of experiences, he will not hate and despise existence,
neither will he love it, but will regard it sometimes with a joyful,
sometimes with a sorrowful eye, and, like nature, will be now in a
summer and now in an autumn mood.


THE SECONDARY RESULT.--Whoever earnestly desires to be free will
therewith and without any compulsion lose all inclination for faults
and vices; he will also be more rarely overcome by anger and vexation.
His will desires nothing more urgently than to discern, and the means
to do this,--that is, the permanent condition in which he is best able
to discern.


THE VALUE OF DISEASE.--The man who is bed-ridden often perceives that
he is usually ill of his position, business, or society, and through
them has lost all self-possession. He gains this piece of knowledge
from the idleness to which his illness condemns him.


SENSITIVENESS IN THE COUNTRY.--If there are no firm, quiet lines on
the horizon of his life, a species of mountain and forest line, man's
inmost will itself becomes restless, inattentive, and covetous, as is
the nature of a dweller in towns; he has no happiness and confers no


PRUDENCE OF THE FREE SPIRITS.--Free-thinkers, those who live by
knowledge alone, will soon attain the supreme aim of their life and
their ultimate position towards society and State, and will gladly
content themselves, for instance, with a small post or an income that
is just sufficient to enable them to live; for they will arrange to
live in such a manner that a great change of outward prosperity, even
an overthrow of the political order, would not cause an overthrow
of their life. To all these things they devote as little energy as
possible in order that with their whole accumulated strength, and with
a long breath, they may dive into the element of knowledge. Thus they
can hope to dive deep and be able to see the bottom. Such a spirit
seizes only the point of an event, he does not care for things in the
whole breadth and prolixity of their folds, for he does not wish to
entangle himself in them. He, too, knows the weekdays of restraint, of
dependence and servitude. But from time to time there must dawn for
him a Sunday of liberty, otherwise he could not endure life. It is
probable that even his love for humanity will be prudent and somewhat
short-winded, for he desires to meddle with the world of inclinations
and of blindness only as far as is necessary for the purpose of
knowledge. He must trust that the genius of justice will say something
for its disciple and protege if accusing voices were to call him poor
in love. In his mode of life and thought there is a _refined heroism,_
which scorns to offer itself to the great mob-reverence, as its
coarser brother does, and passes quietly through and out of the world.
Whatever labyrinths it traverses, beneath whatever rocks its stream has
occasionally worked its way--when it reaches the light it goes clearly,
easily, and almost noiselessly on its way, and lets the sunshine strike
down to its very bottom.


FORWARD.--And thus forward upon the path of wisdom, with a firm step
and good confidence! However you may be situated, serve yourself as a
source of experience! Throw off the displeasure at your nature, forgive
yourself your own individuality, for in any case you have in yourself
a ladder with a hundred steps upon which you can mount to knowledge.
The age into which with grief you feel yourself thrown thinks you happy
because of this good fortune; it calls out to you that you shall still
have experiences which men of later ages will perhaps be obliged to
forego. Do not despise the fact of having been religious; consider
fully how you have had a genuine access to art. Can you not, with the
help of these experiences, follow immense stretches of former humanity
with a clearer understanding? Is not that ground which sometimes
displeases you so greatly, that ground of clouded thought, precisely
the one upon which have grown many of the most glorious fruits of older
civilisations? You must have loved religion and art as you loved mother
and nurse,--otherwise you cannot be wise. But you must be able to see
beyond them, to outgrow them; if you, remain under their ban you do
not understand them. You must also be familiar with history and that
cautious play with the balances: "On the one hand--on the other hand."
Go back, treading in the footsteps made by mankind in its great and
painful journey through the desert of the past, and you will learn most
surely whither it is that all later humanity never can or may go again.
And inasmuch as you wish with all your strength to see in advance how
the knots of the future are tied, your own life acquires the value of
an instrument and means of knowledge. It is within your power to see
that all you have experienced, trials, errors, faults, deceptions,
passions, your love and your hope, shall be merged wholly in your aim.
This aim is to become a necessary chain of culture-links yourself,
and from this necessity to draw a conclusion as to the necessity in
the progress of general culture. When your sight has become strong
enough to see to the bottom of the dark well of your nature and your
knowledge, it is possible that in its mirror you may also behold the
far-away visions of future civilisations. Do you think that such a life
with such an aim is too wearisome, too empty of all that is agreeable?
Then you have still to learn that no honey is sweeter than that of
knowledge, and that the overhanging clouds of trouble must be to you as
an udder from which you shall draw milk for your refreshment. And only
when old age approaches will you rightly perceive how you listened to
the voice of nature, that nature which rules the whole world through
pleasure; the same life which has its zenith in age has also its zenith
in wisdom, in that mild sunshine of a constant mental joyfulness; you
meet them both, old age and wisdom, upon one ridge of life,--it was
thus intended by Nature. Then it is time, and no cause for anger, that
the mists of death approach. Towards the light is your last movement; a
joyful cry of knowledge is your last sound.

[Footnote 1: This may remind one of Gobineau's more jocular saying:
"_Nous ne descendons pas du singe, mais nous y allons._"--J.M.K.]

[Footnote 2: This refers to his essay, "Schopenhauer as Educator," in
_Thoughts Out of Season,_ vol. ii. of the English edition.--J.M.K.]

[Footnote 3: For it is when loving that mortal man gives of his




WELL-MEANT DISSIMULATION.--In intercourse with men a well-meant
dissimulation is often necessary, as if we did not see through the
motives of their actions.


COPIES.--We not unfrequently meet with copies of prominent persons; and
as in the case of pictures, so also here, the copies please more than
the originals.


THE PUBLIC SPEAKER.--One may speak with the greatest appropriateness,
and yet so that everybody cries out to the contrary,--that is to say,
when one does not speak to everybody.


WANT OF CONFIDENCE.--Want of confidence among friends is a fault that
cannot be censured without becoming incurable.


THE ART OF GIVING.--To have to refuse a gift, merely because it has not
been offered in the right way, provokes animosity against the giver.


THE MOST DANGEROUS PARTISAN.--In every party there is one who, by his
far too dogmatic expression of the party-principles, excites defection
among the others.


ADVISERS OF THE SICK.--Whoever gives advice to a sick person acquires
a feeling of superiority over him, whether the advice be accepted or
rejected. Hence proud and sensitive sick persons hate advisers more
than their sickness.


DOUBLE NATURE OF EQUALITY.--The rage for equality may so manifest
itself that we seek either to draw all others down to ourselves (by
belittling, disregarding, and tripping up), or ourselves and all others
upwards (by recognition, assistance, and congratulation).


AGAINST EMBARRASSMENT.--The best way to relieve and calm very
embarrassed people is to give them decided praise.


PREFERENCE FOR CERTAIN VIRTUES.--We set no special value on the
possession of a virtue until we perceive that it is entirely lacking in
our adversary.


WHY WE CONTRADICT.--We often contradict an opinion when it is really
only the tone in which it is expressed that is unsympathetic to us.


CONFIDENCE AND INTIMACY.--Whoever proposes to command the intimacy of
a person is usually uncertain of possessing his confidence. Whoever is
sure of a person's confidence attaches little value to intimacy with


THE EQUILIBRIUM OF FRIENDSHIP.--The right equilibrium of friendship
in our relation to other men is sometimes restored when we put a few
grains of wrong on our own side of the scales.


THE MOST DANGEROUS PHYSICIANS.--The most dangerous physicians are those
who, like born actors, imitate the born physician with the perfect art
of imposture.


WHEN PARADOXES ARE PERMISSIBLE.--In order to interest clever persons in
a theory, it is sometimes only necessary to put it before them in the
form of a prodigious paradox.


HOW COURAGEOUS PEOPLE ARE WON OVER.--Courageous people are persuaded to
a course of action by representing it as more dangerous than it really


COURTESIES.--We regard the courtesies show us by unpopular persons as


KEEPING PEOPLE WAITING.--A sure way of exasperating people and of
putting bad thoughts into their heads is to keep them waiting long.
That makes them immoral.


AGAINST THE CONFIDENTIAL.--Persons who give us their full confidence
think they hay thereby a right to ours. That is a mistake people
acquire no rights through gifts.


A MODE OF SETTLEMENT.--It often suffices to give a person whom we have
injured an opportunity to make a joke about us to give him personal
satisfaction, and even to make him favourably disposed to us.


THE VANITY OF THE TONGUE.--Whether man conceals his bad qualities
and vices, or frankly acknowledges them, his vanity in either case
seeks its advantage thereby,--only let it be observed how nicely he
distinguishes those from whom he conceals such qualities from those
with whom he is frank and honest.


CONSIDERATE.--To have no wish to offend or injure any one may as well
be the sign of a just as of a timid nature.


REQUISITE FOR DISPUTATION.--He who cannot put his thoughts on ice
should not enter into the heat of dispute.


INTERCOURSE AND PRETENSION.--We forget our pretensions when we are
always conscious of being amongst meritorious people; being alone
implants presumption in us. The young are pretentious, for they
associate with their equals, who are all ciphers but would fain have a
great significance.


MOTIVES OF AN ATTACK.--One does not attack a person merely to hurt
and conquer him, but perhaps merely to become conscious of one's own


FLATTERY.--Persons who try by means of flattery to put us off our
guard in intercourse with them, employ a dangerous expedient, like a
sleeping-draught, which, when it does not send the patient to sleep,
keeps him all the wider awake.


A GOOD LETTER-WRITER.--A person who does not write books, thinks much,
and lives in unsatisfying society, will usually be a good letter-writer.


THE UGLIEST OF ALL.--It may be doubted whether a person who has
travelled much has found anywhere in the world uglier places than those
to be met with in the human face.


THE SYMPATHETIC ONES.--Sympathetic natures, ever ready to help in
misfortune, are seldom those that participate in joy; in the happiness
of others they have nothing to occupy them, they are superfluous, they
do not feel themselves in possession of their superiority, and hence
readily show their displeasure.


THE RELATIVES OF A SUICIDE.--The relatives of a suicide take it in
ill part that he did not remain alive out of consideration for their


INGRATITUDE FORESEEN.--He who makes a large gift gets no gratitude; for
the recipient is already overburdened by the acceptance of the gift.


IN DULL SOCIETY.--Nobody thanks a witty man for politeness when he puts
himself on a par with a society in which it would not be polite to show
one's wit.


THE PRESENCE OF WITNESSES.--We are doubly willing to jump into the
water after some one who has fallen in, if there are people present who
have not the courage to do so.


BEING SILENT.--For both parties in a controversy, the most disagreeable
way of retaliating is to be vexed and silent; for the aggressor usually
regards the silence as a sign of contempt.


FRIENDS' SECRETS.--Few people will not expose the private affairs of
their friends when at a loss for a subject of conversation.


HUMANITY.--The humanity of intellectual celebrities consists in
courteously submitting to unfairness in intercourse with those who are
I not celebrated.


THE EMBARRASSED.--People who do not feel sure of themselves in society
seize every opportunity of publicly showing their superiority to close
friends, for instance by teasing them.


THANKS.--A refined nature is vexed by knowing that some one owes it
thanks, a coarse nature by knowing that it owes thanks to some one.


A SIGN OF ESTRANGEMENT.--The surest sign of the estrangement of the
opinions of two persons is when they both say something ironical to
each other and neither of them feels the irony.


PRESUMPTION IN CONNECTION WITH MERIT.--Presumption in connection with
merit offends us even more than presumption in persons devoid of merit,
for merit in itself offends us.


DANGER IN THE VOICE.--In conversation we are sometimes confused by the
tone of our own voice, and misled to make assertions that do not at all
correspond to our opinions.


IN CONVERSATION.--Whether in conversation with others we mostly agree
or mostly disagree with them is a matter of habit; there is sense in
both cases.


FEAR OF OUR NEIGHBOUR.--We are afraid of the animosity of our
neighbour, because we are apprehensive that he may thereby discover our


DISTINGUISHING BY BLAMING.--Highly respected persons distribute even
their blame in such fashion that they try to distinguish us therewith.
It is intended to remind us of their serious interest in us. We
misunderstand them entirely when we take their blame literally and
protest against it; we thereby offend them and estrange ourselves from


extent to which we think we are hated or feared; because,' though we
ourselves know very well the extent of our divergence from a person,
tendency, or party, those others know us only superficially, and can,
therefore, only hate us superficially. We often meet with goodwill
which is inexplicable to us; but when we comprehend it, it shocks us,
because it shows that we are not considered with sufficient Seriousness
or importance.


THWARTING VANITIES.--When two persons meet whose vanity is equally
great, they have afterwards a bad impression of each other because
each has been so occupied with the impression he wished to produce on
the other that the other has made no impression upon him; at last it
becomes clear to them both that their efforts have been in vain, and
each puts the blame on the other.


IMPROPER BEHAVIOUR AS A GOOD SIGN.--A superior mind takes pleasure in
the tactlessness, pretentiousness, and even hostility of ambitious
youths; it is the vicious habit of fiery horses which have not yet
carried a rider, but, in a short time, will be so proud to carry one.


WHEN IT IS ADVISABLE TO SUFFER WRONG.--It is well to put up with
accusations without refutation, even when they injure us, when the
accuser would see a still greater fault on our part if we contradicted
and perhaps even refuted him. In this way, certainly, a person
may always be wronged and always have right on his side, and may
eventually, with the best conscience in the world, become the most
intolerable tyrant and tormentor; and what happens in the individual
may also take place in whole classes of society.


Too LITTLE HONOURED.--Very conceited persons, who have received
less consideration than they expected, attempt for a long time to
deceive themselves and others with regard to it, and become subtle
psychologists in order to make out that they have been amply honoured.
Should they not attain their aim, should the veil of deception be torn,
they give way to all the greater fury.


people make assertions in their intercourse we often recognise an echo
of the times when they were more conversant with weapons than anything
else; sometimes they handle their assertions like sharp-shooters using
their arms, sometimes we think we hear the whizz and clash of swords,
and with some men an assertion crashes down like a stout cudgel. Women,
on the contrary, speak like beings who for thousands of years have sat
at the loom, plied the needle, or played the child with children.


THE NARRATOR.--He who gives an account of something readily betrays
whether it is because the fact interests him, or because he wishes
to excite interest by the narration. In the latter case he will
exaggerate, employ superlatives, and such like. He then does not
usually tell his story so well, because he does not think so much
about his subject as about himself.


THE RECITER.--He who recites dramatic works makes discoveries about his
own character; he finds his voice more natural in certain moods and
scenes than in others, say in the pathetic or in the scurrilous, while
in ordinary life, perhaps, he has not had the opportunity to exhibit
pathos or scurrility.


A COMEDY SCENE IN REAL LIFE.--Some one conceives an ingenious idea on
a theme in order to express it in society. Now in a comedy we should
hear and see how he sets all sail for that point, and tries to land the
company at the place where he can make his remark, how he continuously
pushes the conversation towards the one goal, sometimes losing the way,
finding it again, and finally arriving at the moment: he is almost
breathless--and then one of the company takes the remark itself out of
his mouth! What will he do? Oppose his own opinion?


UNINTENTIONALLY DISCOURTEOUS.--When a person treats another with
unintentional discourtesy,--for instance, not greeting him because not
recognising him,--he is vexed by it, although he cannot reproach his
own sentiments; he is hurt by the bad opinion which he has produced in
the other person, or fears the consequences of his bad humour, or is
pained by the thought of having injured him,--vanity, fear, or pity may
therefore be aroused; perhaps all three together.


A MASTERPIECE OF TREACHERY.--To express a tantalising distrust of a
fellow-conspirator, lest he should betray one, and this at the very
moment when one is practising treachery one's self, is a masterpiece
of wickedness; because it absorbs the other's attention and compels
him for a time to act very unsuspiciously and openly, so that the real
traitor has thus acquired a free hand.


To INJURE AND TO BE INJURED.--It is far pleasanter to injure
and afterwards beg for forgiveness than to be injured and grant
forgiveness. He who does the former gives evidence of power and
afterwards of kindness of character. The person injured, however, if he
does not wish to be considered inhuman, _must_ forgive; his enjoyment
of the other's humiliation is insignificant on account of this


IN A DISPUTE.--When we contradict another's opinion and at the same
time develop our own, the constant consideration of the other opinion
usually disturbs the natural attitude of our own which appears more
intentional, more distinct, and perhaps somewhat exaggerated.


AN ARTIFICE.--He who wants to get another to do something difficult
must on no account treat the matter as a problem, but must set forth
his plan plainly as the only one possible; and when the adversary's eye
betrays objection and opposition he must understand how to break off
quickly, and allow him no time to put in a word.


prick us after ordinary social gatherings? Because we have treated
serious things lightly, because in talking of persons we have not
spoken quite justly or have been silent when we should have spoken,
because, sometimes, we have not jumped up and run away,--in short,
because we have behaved in society as if we belonged to it.


WE ARE MISJUDGED.--He who always listens to hear how he is judged is
always vexed. For we are misjudged even by those who are nearest to us
("who know us best"). Even good friends sometimes vent their ill-humour
in a spiteful word; and would they be our friends if they knew us
rightly? The judgments of the indifferent wound us deeply, because
they sound so impartial, so objective almost. But when we see that some
one hostile to us knows us in a concealed point as well as we know
ourselves, how great is then our vexation!


THE TYRANNY OF THE PORTRAIT.--Artists and statesmen, who out of
particular features quickly construct the whole picture of a man or an
event, are mostly unjust in demanding that the event or person should
afterwards be actually as they have painted it; they demand straightway
that a man should be just as gifted, cunning, and unjust as he is in
their representation of him.


RELATIVES AS THE BEST FRIENDS.--The Greeks, who knew so well what a
friend was, they alone of all peoples have a profound and largely
philosophical discussion of friendship; so that it is by them firstly
(and as yet lastly) that the problem of the friend has been recognised
as worthy of solution,--these same Greeks have designated _relatives_
by an expression which is the superlative of the word "friend." This is
inexplicable to me.


MISUNDERSTOOD HONESTY.--When any one quotes himself in conversation
("I then said," "I am accustomed to say"), it gives the impression of
presumption; whereas it often proceeds from quite an opposite source;
or at least from honesty, which does not wish to deck and adorn the
present moment with wit which belongs to an earlier moment.


THE PARASITE.--It denotes entire absence of a noble disposition when a
person prefers to live in dependence at the expense of others, usually
with a secret bitterness against them, in order only that he may not be
obliged to work. Such a disposition is far more frequent in women than
in men, also far more pardonable (for historical reasons).


ON THE ALTAR OF RECONCILIATION.--There are circumstances under which
one can only gain a point from a person by wounding him and becoming
hostile; the feeling of having a foe torments him so much that he
gladly seizes the first indication of a milder disposition to effect a
reconciliation, and offers on the altar of this reconciliation what was
formerly of such importance to him that he would not give it up at any


PRESUMPTION IN DEMANDING PITY.--There are people who, when they have
been in a rage and have insulted others, demand, firstly, that it shall
all be taken in good part; and, secondly, that they shall be pitied
because they are subject to such violent paroxysms. So far does human
presumption extend.


BAIT.--"Every man has his price"--that is not true. But perhaps
every one can be found a bait of one kind or other at which he will
snap. Thus, in order to gain some supporters for a cause, it is only
necessary to give it the glamour of being philanthropic, noble,
charitable, and self-denying--and to what cause could this glamour not
be given! It is the sweetmeat and dainty of _their_ soul; others have
different ones.


THE ATTITUDE IN PRAISING.--When good friends praise a gifted person he
often appears to be delighted with them out of politeness and goodwill,
but in reality he feels indifferent. His real nature is quite unmoved
towards them, and will not budge a step on that account out of the sun
or shade in which it lies; but people wish to please by praise, and it
would grieve them if one did not rejoice when they praise a person.


THE EXPERIENCE OF SOCRATES.--If one has become a master in one thing,
one has generally remained, precisely thereby, a complete dunce in most
other things; but one forms the very reverse opinion, as was already
experienced by Socrates. This is the annoyance which makes association
with masters disagreeable.


A MEANS OF DEFENCE.--In warring against stupidity, the most just and
gentle of men at last become brutal. They are thereby, perhaps, taking
the proper course for defence; for the most appropriate argument for
a stupid brain is the clenched fist. But because, as has been said,
their character is just and gentle, they suffer more by this means of
protection than they injure their opponents by it.


CURIOSITY.--If curiosity did not exist, very little would be done for
the good of our neighbour. But curiosity creeps into the houses of the
unfortunate and the needy under the name of duty or of pity. Perhaps
there is a good deal of curiosity even in the much-vaunted maternal


DISAPPOINTMENT IN SOCIETY.--One man wishes to be interesting for
his opinions, another for his likes and dislikes, a third for his
acquaintances, and a fourth for his solitariness--and they all meet
with disappointment. For he before whom the play is performed thinks
himself the only play that is to be taken into account.


THE DUEL.--It may be said in favour of duels and all affairs of honour
that if a man has such susceptible feelings that he does not care to
live when So-and-so says or thinks this or that about him; he has a
right to make it a question of the death of the one or the other. With
regard to the fact that he is so susceptible, it is not at all to be
remonstrated with, in that matter we are the heirs of the past, of its
greatness as well as of its exaggerations, without which no greatness
ever existed. So when there exists a code of honour which lets blood
stand in place of death, so that the mind is relieved after a regular
duel it is a great blessing, because otherwise many human lives would
be in danger. Such an institution, moreover, teaches men to be cautious
in their utterances and makes intercourse with them possible.


NOBLENESS AND GRATITUDE.--A noble soul will be pleased to owe
gratitude, and will not anxiously avoid opportunities of coming under
obligation; it will also be moderate afterwards in the expression of
its gratitude: baser souls, on the other hand, are unwilling to be
under any obligation, or are afterwards immoderate in their expressions
of thanks and altogether too devoted. The latter is, moreover, also the
case with persons of mean origin or depressed circumstances; to show
_them_ a favour seems to them a miracle of grace.


OCCASIONS OF ELOQUENCE.--In order to talk well one man needs a person
who is decidedly and avowedly his superior to talk to, while another
can only find absolute freedom of speech and happy turns of eloquence
before one who is his inferior. In both cases the cause is the same;
each of them talks well only when he talks _sans gêne_--the one because
in the presence of something higher he does not feel the impulse of
rivalry and competition, the other because he also lacks the same
impulse in the presence of something lower. Now there is quite another
type of men, who talk well only when debating, with the intention of
conquering. Which of the two types is the more aspiring: the one that
talks well from excited ambition, or the one that talks badly or not at
all from precisely the same motive?


THE TALENT FOR FRIENDSHIP.--Two types are distinguished amongst
people who have a special faculty for friendship. The one is ever
on the ascent, and for every phase of his development he finds a
friend exactly suited to him. The series of friends which he thus
acquires is seldom a consistent one, and is sometimes at variance
and in contradiction, entirely in accordance with the fact that the
later phases of his development neutralise or prejudice the earlier
phases. Such a man may jestingly be called a _ladder._ The other type
is represented by him who exercises an attractive influence on very
different characters and endowments, so that he wins a whole circle of
friends; these, however, are thereby brought voluntarily into friendly
relations with one another in spite of all differences. Such a man
may be called a _circle,_ for this homogeneousness of such different
temperaments and natures must somehow be typified in him. Furthermore,
the faculty for having good friends is greater in many people than the
faculty for being a good friend.


TACTICS IN CONVERSATION.--After a conversation with a person one is
best pleased with him I when one has had an opportunity of exhibiting
one's intelligence and amiability in all its glory. Shrewd people who
wish to impress a person favourably make use of this circumstance,
they provide him with the best opportunities for making a good I
joke, and so on in conversation. An amusing conversation might be
imagined between two very shrewd persons, each wishing to impress the
other favourably, and therefore each throwing to the other the finest
chances in conversation, which neither of them accepted, so that the
conversation on the whole might turn out spiritless and unattractive
because each assigned to the other the opportunity of being witty and


DISCHARGE OF INDIGNATION.--The man who meets with a failure
attributes this failure rather to the ill-will of another than to
fate. His irritated feelings are alleviated by thinking that a person
and not a thing is the cause of his failure; for he can revenge himself
on persons, but is obliged to swallow down the injuries of fate.
Therefore when anything has miscarried with a prince, those about him
are accustomed to point out some individual as the ostensible cause,
who is sacrificed in the interests of all the courtiers; for otherwise
the prince's indignation would vent itself on them all, as he can take
no revenge on the Goddess of Destiny herself.


so contagious that we can hardly live near a very sensitive person
without being filled, like a hogshead, with his _fors_ and _againsts_?
In the first place, complete forbearance of judgment is very difficult,
and sometimes absolutely intolerable to our vanity; it has the same
appearance as poverty of thought and sentiment, or as timidity and
unmanliness; and so we are, at least, driven on to take a side, perhaps
contrary to our environment, if this attitude gives greater pleasure
to our pride. As a rule, however,--and this is the second point,--we
are not conscious of the transition from indifference to liking or
disliking, but we gradually accustom ourselves to the sentiments of
our environment, and because sympathetic agreement and acquiescence
are so agreeable, we soon wear all the signs and party-colours of our


IRONY.--Irony is only permissible as a pedagogic expedient, on the part
of a teacher when dealing with his pupils; its purpose is to humble
and to shame, but in the wholesome way that causes good resolutions
to spring up and teaches people to show honour and gratitude, as they
would to a doctor, to him who has so treated them. The ironical man
pretends to be ignorant, and does it so well that the pupils conversing
with him are deceived, and in their firm belief in their own superior
knowledge they grow bold and expose all their weak points; they lose
their cautiousness and reveal themselves as they are,--until all of
a sudden the light which they have held up to the teacher's face
casts its rays back very humiliatingly upon themselves. Where such a
relation, as that between teacher and pupil, does not exist, irony is a
rudeness and a vulgar conceit. All ironical writers count on the silly
species of human beings, who like to feel Ithemselves superior to all
others in common with the author himself, whom they look upon as the
?mouthpiece of their arrogance. Moreover, the habit of irony, like that
of sarcasm, spoils the character; lit gradually fosters the quality of
a malicious superiority; one finally grows like a snappy dog, that has
learnt to laugh as well as to bite.


ARROGANCE.--There is nothing one should so guard against as the growth
of the weed called arrogance, which spoils all one's good harvest;
for there is arrogance in cordiality, in showing honour, in kindly
familiarity, in caressing, in friendly counsel, in acknowledgment of
faults, in sympathy for others,--and all these fine things arouse
aversion when the weed in question grows up among them. The arrogant
man--that is to say, he who desires to appear more than he is _or
passes for_--always miscalculates. It is true that he obtains a
momentary success, inasmuch as those with whom he is' arrogant
generally give him the amount of honour that he demands, owing to fear
or for the sake of convenience; but they take a bad revenge for it,
inasmuch as they subtract from the value which they hitherto attached
to him just as much as he demands above that amount. There is nothing
for which men ask to be paid dearer than for humiliation. The arrogant
man can make his really great merit so suspicious and small in the eyes
of others that they tread on it with dusty feet. If at all, we should
only allow ourselves a _proud_ manner where we are quite sure of not
being misunderstood and considered as arrogant; as, for instance, with
friends and wives. For in social intercourse there is no greater folly
than to acquire a reputation for arrogance; it is still worse than not
having learnt to deceive politely.


_TÊTE-À-TÊTE_--Private conversation is the perfect conversation,
because everything the one' person says receives its particular
colouring, its tone, and its accompanying gestures _out of strict
consideration for the other person_ engaged in the conversation, it
therefore corresponds to what takes place in intercourse by letter,
viz., that one and the same person exhibits ten kinds of psychical
expression, according as he writes now to this individual and now to
that one. In duologue there is only a single refraction of thought;
the person conversed with produces it, as the mirror in whom we want
to behold our thoughts anew in their finest form. But how is it when
there are two or three, or even more persons conversing with one?
Conversation then necessarily loses something of its individualising
subtlety, different considerations thwart and neutralise each other;
the style which pleases one does not suit the taste of another. In
intercourse with several individuals a person is therefore to withdraw
within himself and represent facts as they are; but he has also to
remove from the subjects the pulsating ether of humanity which makes
conversation one of the pleasantest things in the world. Listen only
to the tone in which those who mingle with whole groups of men are in
the habit of speaking; it is as if the fundamental base of all speech
were, "It is _myself_; I say this, so make what you will of it!" That
is the reason why clever ladies usually leave a singular, painful, and
forbidding impression on those who have met them in society; it is
the talking to many people, before many people, that robs them of all
intellectual amiability and shows only their conscious dependence on
themselves, their tactics, and their intention of gaining a public
victory in full light; whilst in a private conversation the same ladies
become womanly again, and recover their intellectual grace and charm.


POSTHUMOUS FAME.--There is sense in hoping for recognition in a distant
future only when we take it for granted that mankind will remain
essentially unchanged, and that whatever is great is not for one age
only but will be looked upon as great for all time. But this is an
error. In all their sentiments and judgments concerning what is good
and beautiful mankind have greatly changed; it is mere fantasy to
imagine one's self to be a mile ahead, and that the whole of mankind is
coming _our_ way. Besides, a scholar who is misjudged may at present
reckon with certainty that his discovery will be made by others, and
that, at best, it will be allowed to him later on by some historian
that he also already knew this or that but was not in a position to
secure the recognition of his knowledge. Not to be recognised, is
always interpreted by posterity as lack of power. In short, one should
not so readily speak in favour of haughty solitude. There are, however,
exceptional cases; but it is chiefly our faults, weakness, and follies
that hinder the recognition of our great qualities.


OF FRIENDS.--Just consider with thyself how different are the feelings,
how divided are the opinions of even the nearest acquaintances; how
even the same opinions in thy friend's mind have quite a different
aspect and strength from what they have in thine own; and how manifold
are the occasions which arise for misunderstanding and hostile
severance. After all this thou wilt say to thyself, "How insecure
is the ground upon which all our alliances and friendships rest,
how liable to cold downpours and bad weather, how lonely is every
creature!" When a person recognises this fact, and, in addition, that
all opinions and the nature and strength of them in his fellow-men
are just as necessary and irresponsible as their actions; when his
eye learns to see this internal necessity of opinions, owing to the
indissoluble interweaving of character, occupation, talent, and
environment,--he will perhaps get rid of the bitterness and sharpness
of the feeling with which the sage exclaimed, "Friends, there are no
friends!" Much rather will he make the confession to himself:--Yes,
there are friends, but they were drawn towards thee by error and
deception concerning thy character; and they must have learnt to be
silent in order to remain thy friends; for such human relationships
almost always rest on the fact that some few things are never said,
are never, indeed, alluded to; but if these pebbles are set rolling
friendship follows afterwards and is broken. Are there any who would
not be mortally injured if they were to learn what their most intimate
friends really knew about them? By getting a knowledge of ourselves,
and by looking upon our nature as a changing sphere of opinions and
moods, and thereby learning to despise ourselves a little, we recover
once more our equilibrium with the rest of mankind. It is true that
we have good reason to despise each of our acquaintances, even the
greatest of them; but just as good reason to turn this feeling against
ourselves. And so we will bear with each other, since we bear with
ourselves; and perhaps there will come to each a happier hour, when he
will exclaim:

    "Friends, there are really no friends!" thus cried
         th' expiring old sophist;
    "Foes, there is really no foe!"--thus shout I,
         the incarnate fool.




THE PERFECT WOMAN.--The perfect woman is a higher type of humanity than
the perfect man, and also something much rarer. The natural history of
animals furnishes grounds in support of this theory.


FRIENDSHIP AND MARRIAGE.--The best friend will probably get the best
wife, because a good marriage is based on talent for friendship.


THE SURVIVAL OF THE PARENTS.--The undissolved dissonances in the
relation of the character and sentiments of the parents survive in the
nature of the child and make up the history of its inner sufferings.


INHERITED FROM THE MOTHER.--Every one bears within him an image of
woman, inherited from his mother: it determines his attitude towards
women as a whole, whether to honour, despise, or remain generally
indifferent to them.


CORRECTING NATURE.--Whoever has not got a good father should procure


FATHERS AND SONS.--Fathers have much to do to make amends for having


THE ERROR OF GENTLEWOMEN.--Gentle-women think that a thing does not
really exist when it is not possible to talk of it in society.


A MALE DISEASE.--The surest remedy for the male disease of
self-contempt is to be loved by a sensible woman.


A SPECIES OF JEALOUSY.--Mothers are readily jealous of the friends
of sons who are particularly successful. As a rule a mother loves
_herself_ in her son more than the son.


RATIONAL IRRATIONALITY.--In the maturity of life and intelligence the
feeling comes over a man that his father did wrong in begetting him.


MATERNAL EXCELLENCE.--Some mothers need happy and honoured children,
some need unhappy ones,--otherwise they cannot exhibit their maternal


DIFFERENT SIGHS.--Some husbands have sighed over the elopement of their
wives, the greater number, however, have sighed because nobody would
elope with theirs.


LOVE MATCHES.--Marriages which are contracted for love (so-called
love-matches) have error for their father and need (necessity) for
their mother.


WOMEN'S FRIENDSHIPS.--Women can enter into friendship with a man
perfectly well; but in order to maintain it the aid of a little
physical antipathy is perhaps required.


ENNUI.--Many people, especially women, never feel ennui because they
have never learnt to work properly.


AN ELEMENT OF LOVE.--In all feminine love something of maternal love
also comes to light.


UNITY OF PLACE AND DRAMA.--If married couples did not live together,
happy marriages would be more frequent.


THE USUAL CONSEQUENCES OF MARRIAGE.--All intercourse which does not
elevate a person, debases him, and _vice versa;_ hence men usually
sink a little when they marry, while women are somewhat elevated.
Over-intellectual men require marriage in proportion as they are
opposed to it as to a repugnant medicine.


LEARNING TO COMMAND.--Children of unpretentious families must be taught
to command, just as much as other children must be taught to obey.


WANTING TO BE IN LOVE.--Betrothed couples who have been matched by
convenience often exert themselves _to fall in love,_ to avoid the
reproach of cold, calculating expediency. In the same manner those who
become converts to Christianity for their advantage exert themselves to
become genuinely pious; because the religious cast of countenance then
becomes easier to them.


No STANDING STILL IN LOVE.--A musician who _loves_ the slow _tempo_
will play the same pieces ever more slowly. There is thus no standing
still in any love.


MODESTY.--Women's modesty usually increases with their beauty.[1]


MARRIAGE ON A GOOD BASIS.--A marriage in which each wishes to realise
an individual aim by means of the other will stand well; for instance,
when the woman wishes to become famous through the man and the man
beloved through the woman.


PROTEUS-NATURE.--Through love women actually become what they appear to
be in the imagination of their lovers.


To LOVE AND TO POSSESS.--As a rule women love a distinguished man to
the extent that they wish to possess him exclusively. They would gladly
keep him under lock and key, if their vanity did not forbid, but vanity
demands that he should also appear distinguished before others.


THE TEST OF A GOOD MARRIAGE.--The goodness of a marriage is proved by
the fact that it can stand an "exception."


BRINGING ANYONE ROUND TO ANYTHING.--One may make any person so weak and
weary by disquietude, anxiety, and excess of work or thought that he
no longer resists anything that appears complicated, but gives way to
it,--diplomatists and women know this.


PROPRIETY AND HONESTY.--Those girls who mean to trust exclusively to
their youthful charms for their provision in life, and whose cunning
is further prompted by worldly mothers, have just the same aims as
courtesans, only they are wiser and less honest.


MASKS.--There are women who, wherever one examines them, have no
inside, but are mere masks. A man is to be pitied who has connection
with such almost spectre-like and necessarily unsatisfactory creatures,
but it is precisely such women who know how to excite a man's desire
most strongly; he seeks for their soul, and seeks evermore.


MARRIAGE AS A LONG TALK.--In entering on a marriage one should ask
one's self the question, "Do you think you will pass your time well
with this woman till your old age?" All else in marriage is transitory;
talk, however, occupies most of the time of the association.


GIRLISH DREAMS.--Inexperienced girls flatter themselves with the notion
that it is in their power to make a man happy; later on they learn that
it is equivalent to underrating a man to suppose that he needs only a
girl to make him happy. Women's vanity requires a man to be something
more than merely a happy husband.


intelligent remark of a scholar, the educated men of modern Germany
resemble somewhat a mixture of Mephistopheles and Wagner, but are not
at all like Faust, whom our grandfathers (in their youth at least)
felt agitating within them. To them, therefore,--to continue the
remark,--Marguerites are not suited, for two reasons. And because the
latter are no longer desired they seem to be dying out.


CLASSICAL EDUCATION FOR GIRLS.--For goodness' sake let us not give our
classical education to girls! An education which, out of ingenious,
inquisitive, ardent youths, so frequently makes--copies of their


WITHOUT RIVALS.--Women readily perceive in a man whether his soul
has already been taken possession of; they wish to be loved without
rivals, and find fault with the objects of his ambition, his
political tasks, his sciences and arts, if he have a passion for such
things. Unless he be distinguished thereby,--then, in the case of a
love-relationship between them, women look at the same time for an
increase of _their own_ distinction; under such circumstances, they
favour the lover.


THE FEMININE INTELLECT.--The intellect of women manifests itself as
perfect mastery, presence of mind, and utilisation of all advantages.
They transmit it as a fundamental quality to their children, and the
father adds thereto the darker background of the will. His influence
determines as it were the rhythm and harmony with which the new life
is to be performed; but its melody is derived from the mother. For
those who know how to put a thing properly: women have intelligence,
men have character and passion. This does not contradict the fact
that men actually achieve so much more with their intelligence: they
have deeper and more powerful impulses; and it is these which carry
their understanding (in itself something passive) to such an extent.
Women are often silently surprised at the great respect men pay to
their character. When, therefore, in the choice of a partner men seek
specially for a being of deep and strong character, and women for a
being of intelligence, brilliancy, and presence of mind, it is plain
that at bottom men seek for the ideal man, and women for the ideal
woman,--consequently not for the complement but for the completion of
their own excellence.


HESIOD'S OPINION CONFIRMED.--It is a sign of women's wisdom that they
have almost always known how to get themselves supported, like drones
in a bee-hive. Let us just consider what this meant originally, and
why men do not depend upon women for their support. Of a truth it
is because masculine vanity and reverence are greater than feminine
wisdom; for women have known how to secure for themselves by their
subordination the greatest advantage, in fact, the upper hand. Even the
care of children may originally have been used by the wisdom of women
as an excuse for withdrawing themselves as much as possible from work.
And at present they still understand when they are really active (as
house-keepers, for instance) how to make a bewildering fuss about it,
so that the merit of their activity is usually ten times over-estimated
by men.


LOVERS AS SHORT-SIGHTED PEOPLE.--A pair of powerful spectacles has
sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love; and whoever has had
sufficient imagination to represent a face or form twenty years older,
has probably gone through life not much disturbed.


WOMEN IN HATRED.--In a state of hatred women are more dangerous
than men; for one thing, because they are hampered by no regard for
fairness when their hostile feelings have been aroused; but let their
hatred develop unchecked to its utmost consequences; then also,
because they are expert in finding sore spots (which every man and
every party possess), and pouncing upon them: for which purpose their
dagger-pointed intelligence is of good service (whilst men, hesitating
at the sight of wounds, are often generously and conciliatorily


LOVE.--The love idolatry which women practise is fundamentally and
originally an intelligent device, inasmuch as they increase their
power by all the idealisings of love and exhibit themselves as so much
the more desirable in the eyes of men. But by being accustomed for
centuries to this exaggerated appreciation of love, it has come to pass
that they have been caught in their own net and have forgotten the
origin of the device. They themselves are now still more deceived than
the men, and on that account also suffer more from the disillusionment
which, almost necessarily, enters into the life of every woman--so far,
at any rate, as she has sufficient imagination and intelligence to be
able to be deceived and undeceived.


THE EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN.--Can women be at all just, when they are
so accustomed to love and to be immediately biased for or against?
For that reason they are also less interested in things and more in
individuals: but when they are interested in things they immediately
become their partisans, and thereby spoil their pure, innocent effect.
Thus there arises a danger, by no means small, in entrusting politics
and certain portions of science to them (history, for instance). For
what is rarer than a woman who really knows what science is? Indeed the
best of them cherish in their breasts a secret scorn for science, as if
they were somehow superior to it. Perhaps all this can be changed in
time; but meanwhile it is so.


THE INSPIRATION IN WOMEN'S JUDGMENTS.--The sudden decisions, for
or against, which women are in the habit of making, the flashing
illumination of personal relations caused by their spasmodic
inclinations and aversions,--in short, the proofs of feminine injustice
have been invested with a lustre by men who are in love, as if all
women had inspirations of wisdom, even without the Delphic cauldron and
the laurel wreaths; and their utterances are interpreted and duly set
forth as Sibylline oracles for long afterwards. When one considers,
however, that for every person and for every cause something can be
said in favour of it but equally also something against it, that
things are not only two-sided, but also three and four-sided, it is
almost difficult to be entirely at fault in such sudden decisions;
indeed, it might be said that the nature of things has been so arranged
that women should always carry their point.[2]


BEING LOVED.--As one of every two persons in love is usually the one
who loves, the other the one who is loved, the belief has arisen that
in every love-affair there is a constant amount of love; and that
the more of it the one person monopolises the less is left for the
other. Exceptionally it happens that the vanity of each of the parties
persuades him or her that it is _he_ or _she_ who must be loved; so
that both of them wish to be loved: from which cause many half funny,
half absurd scenes take place, especially in married life.


CONTRADICTIONS IN FEMININE MINDS.--Owing to the fact that women are
so much more personal than objective, there are tendencies included
in the range of their ideas which are logically in contradiction to
one another; they are accustomed in turn to become enthusiastically
fond just of the representatives of these tendencies and accept their
systems in the lump; but in such wise that a dead place originates
wherever a new personality afterwards gets the ascendancy. It may
happen that the whole philosophy in the mind of an old lady consists of
nothing but such dead places.


WHO SUFFERS THE MORE?--After a personal dissension and quarrel between
a woman and a man the latter party suffers chiefly from the idea of
having wounded the other, whilst the former suffers chiefly from the
idea of not having wounded the other sufficiently; so she subsequently
endeavours by tears, sobs, and discomposed mien, to make his heart


claims of custom in our thinking we might consider whether nature and
reason do not suggest several marriages for men, one after another:
perhaps that, at the age of twenty-two, he should first marry an
older girl who is mentally and morally his superior, and can be his
leader through all the dangers of the twenties (ambition, hatred,
self-contempt, and passions of all kinds). This woman's affection
would subsequently change entirely into maternal love, and she would
not only submit to it but would encourage the man in the most salutary
manner, if in his thirties he contracted an alliance with quite a young
girl whose education he himself should take in hand. Marriage is a
necessary institution for the twenties; a useful, but not necessary,
institution for the thirties; for later life it is often harmful, and
promotes the mental deterioration of the man.


THE TRAGEDY OF CHILDHOOD.--Perhaps it not infrequently happens
that noble men with lofty aims have to fight their hardest battle
in childhood; by having perchance to carry out their principles in
opposition to a base-minded father addicted to feigning and falsehood,
or living, like Lord Byron, in constant warfare with a childish and
passionate mother. He who has had such an experience will never be able
to forget all his life who has been his greatest and most dangerous


PARENTAL FOLLY.--The grossest mistakes in judging a man are made by
his parents,--this is a fact, but how is it to be explained? Have
the parents too much experience of the child and cannot any longer
arrange this experience into a unity? It has been noticed that it
is only in the earlier period of their sojourn in foreign countries
that travellers rightly grasp the general distinguishing features of
a people; the better they come to know it, they are the less able to
see what is typical and distinguishing in a people. As soon as they
grow short-sighted their eyes cease to be long-sighted. Do parents,
therefore, judge their children falsely because they have never stood
far enough away from them? The following is quite another explanation:
people are no longer accustomed to reflect on what is close at hand and
surrounds them, but just accept it. Perhaps the usual thoughtlessness
of parents is the reason why they judge so wrongly when once they are
compelled to judge their children.


THE FUTURE OF MARRIAGE.--The noble and liberal-minded women who take as
their mission the education and elevation of the female sex, should not
overlook one point of view: Marriage regarded in its highest aspect,
as, the spiritual friendship of two persons of opposite sexes, and
accordingly such as is hoped for in future, contracted for the purpose
of producing and educating a new generation,--such marriage, which
only makes use of the sensual, so to speak, as a rare and occasional
means to a higher purpose, will, it is to be feared, probably need a
natural auxiliary, namely, _concubinage._ For if, on the grounds of
his health, the wife is also to serve for the sole satisfaction of the
man's sexual needs, a wrong perspective, opposed to the aims indicated,
will have most influence in the choice of a wife. The aims referred to:
the production of descendants, will be accidental, and their successful
education highly improbable. A good wife, who has to be friend, helper,
child-bearer, mother, family-head and manager, and has even perhaps
to conduct her own business and affairs separately from those of the
husband, cannot at the same time be a concubine; it would, in general,
be asking too much of her. In the future, therefore, a state of things
might take place the opposite of what existed at Athens in the time
of Pericles; the men, whose wives were then little more to them than
concubines, turned besides to the Aspasias, because they longed for the
charms of a companionship gratifying both to head and heart, such as
the grace and intellectual suppleness of women could alone provide. All
human institutions, just like marriage, allow only a moderate amount of
practical idealising, failing which coarse remedies immediately become


THE "STORM AND STRESS" PERIOD of WOMEN.--In the three or four civilised
countries of Europe, it is possible, by several centuries of education,
to make out of women anything we like,--even men, not in a sexual
sense, of course, but in every other. Under such influences they will
acquire all the masculine virtues and forces, at the same time, of
course, they must also have taken all the masculine weaknesses and
vices into the bargain: so much, as has been said, we can I command.
But how shall we endure the intermediate state thereby induced, which
may even last two or three centuries, during which feminine follies
and injustices, woman's original birthday endowment, will still
maintain the ascendancy over all that has been otherwise gained and
acquired? This will be the time when indignation will be the peculiar
masculine passion; indignation, because all arts and sciences have been
overflowed and choked by an unprecedented dilettanteism, philosophy
talked to death by brain-bewildering chatter, politics more fantastic
and partisan than ever, and society in complete disorganisation,
because the conservatrices of ancient customs have become ridiculous
to themselves, and have endeavoured in every way to place themselves
outside the pale of custom. If indeed women had their greatest power in
custom, where will they have to look in order to reacquire a similar
plenitude of power after having renounced custom?


FREE-SPIRIT AND MARRIAGE.--Will free-thinkers live with women? In
general, I think that, like the prophesying birds of old, like the
truth-thinkers and truth-speakers of the present, they must prefer _to
fly alone._


THE HAPPINESS OF MARRIAGE.--Everything to which we are accustomed draws
an ever-tightening cobweb-net around us; and presently We notice that
the threads have become cords, and that we ourselves sit in the middle
like a spider that has here got itself caught and must feed on its own
blood. Hence the free spirit hates all rules and customs, all that is
permanent and definitive, hence he painfully tears asunder again and
again the net around him, though in consequence thereof he will suffer
from numerous wounds, slight and severe; for he must break off every
thread _from himself,_ from his body and soul. He must learn to love
where he has hitherto hated, and _vice versa._ Indeed, it must not be
a thing impossible for him to sow dragon's teeth in the same field in
which he formerly scattered the abundance of his bounty. From this it
can be inferred whether he is suited for the happiness of marriage.


TOO INTIMATE.--When we live on too intimate terms with a person it
is as if we were again and again handling a good engraving with our
fingers; the time comes when we have soiled and damaged paper in our
hands, and nothing more. A man's soul also gets worn out by constant
handling; at least, it eventually _appears_ so to us--never again do we
see its original design and beauty. We always lose through too familiar
association with women and friends; and sometimes we lose the pearl of
our life thereby.


THE GOLDEN CRADLE.--The free spirit will always feel relieved when he
has finally resolved to shake off the motherly care and guardianship
with which women surround him. What harm will a rough wind, from which
he has been so anxiously protected, do him? Of what consequence is a
genuine disadvantage, loss, misfortune, sickness, illness, fault, or
folly more or less in his life, compared with the bondage of the golden
cradle, the peacock's-feather fan, and the oppressive feeling that he
must, in addition, be grateful because he is waited on and spoiled like
a baby? Hence it is that the milk which is offered him by the motherly
disposition of the women about him can so readily turn into gall.


A VOLUNTARY VICTIM.--There is nothing by, which able women can
so alleviate the lives of their husbands, should these be great
and famous, as by becoming, so to speak, the receptacle for the
general disfavour and occasional ill-humour of the rest of mankind.
Contemporaries are usually accustomed to overlook many mistakes,
follies, and even flagrant injustices in their great men if only they
can find some one to maltreat and kill, as a proper victim for the
relief of their feelings. A wife not infrequently has the ambition to
present herself for this sacrifice, and then the husband may indeed
feel satisfied,--he being enough of an egoist to have such a voluntary
storm, rain, and lightning-conductor beside him.


AGREEABLE ADVERSARIES.--The natural inclination, of women towards
quiet, regular, happily tuned existences and intercourse, the oil-like
and calming effect of their influence upon the sea of life, operates
unconsciously against the heroic inner impulse of the free spirit.
Without knowing it, women act as if they were taking away the stones
from the path of the wandering mineralogist in order that he might not
strike his foot against them--when he has gone out for the very purpose
of striking against them.


THE DISCORD OF TWO CONCORDS.--Woman wants to serve, and finds her
happiness therein; the free spirit does not want to be served, and
therein finds his happiness.


XANTIPPE.--Socrates found a wife such as he required,--but he
would not have sought her had he known her sufficiently well; even
the heroism of his free spirit would not have gone so far. As a
matter of fact, Xantippe forced him more and more into his peculiar
profession, inasmuch as she made house and home doleful and dismal
to him; she taught him to live in the streets and wherever gossiping
and idling went on, and thereby made him the greatest Athenian
street-dialectician, who had, at last, to compare himself to a gad-fly
which a god had set on the neck of the beautiful horse Athens to
prevent it from resting.


BLIND TO THE FUTURE.--Just as mothers have senses and eye only for
those pains of their children that are evident to the senses and eye,
so the wives of men of high aspirations cannot accustom themselves to
see their husbands suffering, starving, or slighted,--although all this
is, perhaps, not only the proof that they have rightly chosen their
attitude in life, but even the guarantee that their great aims _must_
be achieved some time. Women always intrigue privately against the
higher souls of their husbands; they want to cheat them out of their
future for the sake of a painless and comfortable present.


AUTHORITY AND FREEDOM.--However highly women may honour their husbands,
they honour still more the powers and ideas recognised by society; they
have been accustomed for millennia to go along with their hands folded
on their breasts, and their heads bent before everything dominant,
disapproving of all resistance to public authority. They therefore
unintentionally, and as if from instinct, hang themselves as a drag
on the wheels of free-spirited, independent endeavour, and in certain
circumstances make their husbands highly impatient, especially when the
latter persuade themselves that it is really love which prompts the
action of their wives. To disapprove of women's methods and generously
to honour the motives that prompt them--that is man's nature and often
enough his despair.


_CETERUM CENSEO._--It is laughable when a company of paupers decree the
abolition of the right of inheritance, and it is not less laughable
when childless persons labour for the practical law-giving of a
country: they have not enough ballast in their ship to sail safely
over the ocean of the future. But it seems equally senseless if a man
who has chosen for his mission the widest knowledge and estimation of
universal existence, burdens himself with personal considerations for a
family, with the support, protection, and care of wife and child, and
in front of his telescope hangs that gloomy veil through which hardly a
ray from the distant firmament can penetrate. Thus I, too, agree with
the opinion that in matters of the highest philosophy all married men
are to be suspected.


FINALLY.--There are many kinds of hemlock, and fate generally finds
an opportunity to put a cup of this poison to the lips of the free
spirit,--in order to "punish" him, as every one then says. What do the
women do about him then? They cry and lament, and perhaps disturb the
sunset-calm of the thinker, as they did in the prison at Athens. "Oh
Crito, bid some one take those women away!" said Socrates at last.

[Footnote 1: The opposite of this aphorism also holds good.--J.M.K.]

[Footnote 2: It may be remarked that Nietzsche changed his view
on this subject later on, and ascribed more importance to woman's
intuition. Cf. also Disraeli's reference to the "High Priestesses of




ASKING TO BE HEARD.--The demagogic disposition and the intention of
working upon the masses is at present common to all political parties;
on this account they are all obliged to change their principles into
great _al fresco_ follies and thus make a show of them. In this matter
there is no further alteration to be made: indeed, it is superfluous
even to raise a finger against it; for here Voltaire's saying applies:
"_Quand la populace se mêle de raisonner, tout est perdu."_ Since this
has happened we have to accommodate ourselves to the new conditions,
as we have to accommodate ourselves when an earthquake has displaced
the old boundaries and the contour of the land and altered the value
of property. Moreover, when it is once for all a question in the
politics of all parties to make life endurable to the greatest possible
majority, this majority may always decide what they understand by an
endurable life; if they believe their intellect capable of finding the
right means to this end why should we doubt about it? They _want,_
once for all, to be the architects of their own good or ill fortune;
and if their feeling of free choice and their pride in the five or
six ideas that their brain conceals and brings to light, really makes
life so agreeable to them that they gladly put up with the fatal
consequences of their narrow-mindedness, there is little to object to,
provided that their narrow-mindedness does not go so far as to demand
that _everything_ shall become politics in this sense, that _all_ shall
live and act according to this standard. For, in the first place, it
must be more than ever permissible for some people to keep aloof from
politics and to stand somewhat aside. To this they are also impelled
by the pleasure of free choice, and connected with this there may
even be some little pride in keeping silence when too many, and only
the many, are speaking. Then this small group must be excused if they
do not attach such great importance to the happiness of the majority
(nations or strata of population may be understood thereby), and are
occasionally guilty of an ironical grimace; for their seriousness lies
elsewhere, their conception of happiness is quite different, and their
aim cannot be encompassed by every clumsy hand that has just five
fingers. Finally, there comes from time to time--what is certainly
most difficult to concede to them, but must also be conceded--a moment
when they emerge from their silent solitariness and try once more the
strength of their lungs; they then call to each other like people lost
in a wood, to make themselves known and for mutual encouragement;
whereby, to be sure, much becomes audible that sounds evil to ears for
which it is not intended. Soon, however, silence again prevails in
the wood, such silence that the buzzing, humming, and fluttering of
the countless insects that live in, above, and beneath it, are again
plainly heard.


CULTURE AND CASTE.--A higher culture can only originate where there are
two distinct castes of society: that of the working class, and that of
the leisured class who are capable of true leisure; or, more strongly
expressed, the caste of compulsory labour and the caste of free labour.
The point of view of the division of happiness is not essential when
it is a question of the production of a higher culture; in any case,
however, the leisured caste is more susceptible to suffering and
suffer more, their pleasure in existence is less and their task is
greater. Now supposing there should be quite an interchange between the
two castes, so that on the one hand the duller and less intelligent
families and individuals are lowered from the higher caste into the
lower, and, on the other hand, the freer men of the lower caste obtain
access to the higher, a condition of things would be attained beyond
which one can only perceive the open sea of vague wishes. Thus speaks
to us the vanishing voice of the olden time; but where are there still
ears to hear it?


OF GOOD BLOOD.--That which men and women of good blood possess much
more than others, and which gives them an undoubted right to be
more highly appreciated, are two arts which are always increased by
inheritance: the art of being able to command, and the art of proud
obedience. Now wherever commanding is the business of the day (as in
the great world of commerce and industry), there results something
similar to these families of good blood, only the noble bearing in
obedience is lacking which is an inheritance from feudal conditions and
hardly grows any longer in the climate of our culture.


SUBORDINATION.--The subordination which is so highly valued in military
and official ranks will soon become as incredible to us as the secret
tactics of the Jesuits have already become; and when this subordination
is no longer possible a multitude of astonishing results will no longer
be attained, and the world will be all the poorer. It must disappear,
for its foundation is disappearing, the belief in unconditional
authority, in ultimate truth; even in military ranks physical
compulsion is not sufficient to produce it, but only the inherited
adoration of the princely as of something superhuman. In _freer_
circumstances people subordinate themselves only on conditions, in
compliance with a mutual contract, consequently with all the provisos
of self-interest.


THE NATIONAL ARMY.--The greatest disadvantage of the national army,
now so much glorified, lies in the squandering of men of the highest
civilisation; it is only by the favourableness of all circumstances
that there are such men at all; how carefully and anxiously should we
deal with them, since long periods are required to create the chance
conditions for the production of such delicately organised brains! But
as the Greeks wallowed in the blood of Greeks, so do Europeans now in
the blood of Europeans: and indeed, taken relatively, it is mostly the
highly cultivated who are sacrificed, those who promise an abundant
and excellent posterity; for such stand in the front of the battle as
commanders, and also expose themselves to most danger, by reason of
their higher ambition. At present, when quite other and higher tasks
are assigned than _patria_ and _honor,_ the rough Roman patriotism is
either something dishonourable or a sign of being behind the times.


HOPE AS PRESUMPTION.--Our social order will slowly melt away, as all
former orders have done, as soon as the suns of new opinions have shone
upon mankind with a new glow. We can only _wish_ this melting away in
the hope thereof, and we are only reasonably entitled to hope when we
believe that we and our equals have more strength in heart and head
than the representatives of the existing state of things. As a rule,
therefore, this hope will be a presumption, an _over-estimation._


WAR.--Against war it may be said that it makes the victor stupid and
the vanquished revengeful. In favour of war it may be said that it
barbarises in both its above-named results, and thereby makes more
natural; it is the sleep or the winter period of culture; man emerges
from it with greater strength for good and for evil.


IN THE PRINCE'S SERVICE.--To be able to act quite regardlessly it is
best for a statesman to carry out his work not for himself but for a
prince. The eye of the spectator is dazzled by the splendour of this
general disinterestedness, so that it does not see the malignancy and
severity which the work of a statesman brings with it.[1]


A QUESTION OF POWER, NOT OF RIGHT.--As regards Socialism, in the eyes
of those who always consider higher utility, if it is _really_ a
rising against their oppressors of those who for centuries have been
oppressed and downtrodden, there is no problem of _right_ involved
(notwithstanding the ridiculous, effeminate question," How far
_ought_ we to grant its demands?") but only a problem of _power_;
the same, therefore, as in the case of a natural force,--steam, for
instance,--which is either forced by man into his service, as a
machine-god, or which, in case of defects of the machine, that is to
say, defects of human calculation in its construction, destroys it and
man together. In order to solve this question of power we must know how
strong Socialism is, in what modification it may yet be employed as
a powerful lever in the present mechanism of political forces; under
certain circumstances we should do all we can to strengthen it. With
every great force--be it the most dangerous--men have to think how they
can make of it an instrument for their purposes. Socialism acquires a
_right_ only if war seems to have taken place between the two powers,
the representatives of the old and the new, when, however, a wise
calculation of the greatest possible preservation and advantageousness
to both sides gives rise to a desire for a treaty. Without treaty no
right. So far, however, there is neither war nor treaty on the ground
in question, therefore no rights, no "ought."


UTILISING THE MOST TRIVIAL DISHONESTY.--The power of the press consists
in the fact that every individual who ministers to it only feels
himself bound and constrained to a very small extent. He usually
expresses _his_ opinion, but sometimes also does _not_ express it
in order to serve his party or the politics of his country, or
even himself. Such little faults of dishonesty, or perhaps only of
a dishonest silence, are not hard to bear by the individual, but
the consequences are extraordinary, because these little faults are
committed by many at the same time. Each one says to himself: "For such
small concessions I live better and can make my income; by the want of
such little compliances I make myself impossible." Because it seems
almost morally indifferent to write a line more (perhaps even without
signature), or not to write it, a person who has money and influence
can make any opinion a public one. He who knows that most people are
weak in trifles, and wishes to attain his own ends thereby, is always


Too LOUD A TONE IN GRIEVANCES.--Through the fact that an account of a
bad state of things (for instance, the crimes of an administration,
bribery and arbitrary favour in political or learned bodies) is greatly
exaggerated, it fails in its effect on intelligent people, but has
all the greater effect on the unintelligent (who would have remained
indifferent to an accurate and moderate account). But as these latter
are considerably in the majority, and harbour in themselves stronger
will-power and more impatient desire for action, the exaggeration
becomes the cause of investigations, punishments, promises, and
reorganisations. In so far it is useful to exaggerate the accounts of
bad states of things.


assume that he who understands the weather, and foretells it about a
day in advance, makes the weather, so even the educated and learned,
with a display of superstitious faith, ascribe to great statesmen as
their most special work all the important changes and conjunctures that
have taken place during their administration, when it is only evident
that they knew something thereof a little earlier than other people and
made their calculations accordingly,--thus they are also looked upon as
weather-makers--and this belief is not the least important instrument
of their power.


NEW AND OLD CONCEPTIONS OF GOVERNMENT.--To draw such a distinction
between Government and people as if two separate spheres of power,
a stronger and higher, and a weaker and lower, negotiated and came
to terms with each other, is a remnant of transmitted political
sentiment, which still accurately represents the historic establishment
of the conditions of power in _most_ States. When Bismarck, for
instance, describes the constitutional system as a compromise between
Government and people, he speaks in accordance with a principle which
has its reason in history (from whence, to be sure, it also derives
its admixture of folly, without which nothing human can exist). On
the other hand, we must now learn--in accordance with a principle
which has originated only in the _brain_ and has still to _make_
history--that Government is nothing but an organ of the people,--not
an attentive, honourable "higher" in relation to a "lower" accustomed
to modesty. Before we accept this hitherto unhistorical and arbitrary,
although logical, formulation of the conception of Government, let us
but consider its consequences, for the relation between people and
Government is the strongest typical relation, after the pattern of
which the relationship between teacher and pupil, master and servants,
father and family, leader and soldier, master and apprentice, is
unconsciously formed. At present, under the influence of the prevailing
constitutional system of government, all these relationships are
changing a little,--they are becoming compromises. But how they will
have to be reversed and shifted, and change name and nature, when that
newest of all conceptions has got the upper hand everywhere in people's
minds!--to achieve which, however, a century may yet be required. In
this matter there is nothing _further_ to be wished for except caution
and slow development.


JUSTICE AS THE DECOY-CRY OF PARTIES.--Well may noble (if not exactly
very intelligent) representatives of the governing classes asseverate:
"We will treat men equally and grant them equal rights"; so far a
socialistic mode of thought which is based on _justice_ is possible;
but, as has been said, only within the ranks of the governing class,
which in this case _practises_ justice with sacrifices and abnegations.
On the other hand, to _demand_ equality of rights, as do the Socialists
of the subject caste, is by no means the outcome of justice, but of
covetousness. If you expose bloody pieces of flesh to a beast, and
withdraw them again, until it finally begins to roar, do you think that
roaring implies justice?


POSSESSION AND JUSTICE.--When the Socialists point out that the
division of property at the present day is the consequence of countless
deeds of injustice and violence, and, _in summa,_ repudiate obligation
to anything with so unrighteous a basis, they only perceive something
isolated. The entire past of ancient civilisation is built up on
violence, slavery, deception, and error; we, however, cannot annul
ourselves, the heirs of all these conditions, nay, the concrescences
of all this past, and are not entitled to demand the withdrawal of a
single fragment thereof. The unjust disposition lurks also in the souls
of non-possessors; they are not better than the possessors and have no
moral prerogative; for at one time or another their ancestors have been
possessors. Not forcible new distributions, but gradual transformations
of opinion are necessary; justice in all matters must become greater,
the instinct of violence weaker.


THE HELMSMAN OF THE PASSIONS.--The statesman excites public passions in
order to have the advantage of the counter-passions thereby aroused. To
give an example: a German statesman knows quite well that the Catholic
Church will never have the same plans as Russia; indeed, that it would
far rather be allied with the Turk than with the former country; he
likewise knows that Germany is threatened with great danger from an
alliance between France and Russia. If he can succeed, therefore, in
making France the focus and fortress of the Catholic Church, he has
averted this danger for a lengthy period. He has, accordingly, an
interest in showing hatred against the Catholics in transforming, by
all kinds of hostility, the supporters of the Pope's authority into an
impassioned political power which is opposed to German politics, and
must, as a matter of course, coalesce with France as the adversary of
Germany; his aim is the catholicising of France, just as necessarily
as Mirabeau saw the salvation of his native land in de-catholicising
it. The one State, therefore, desires to muddle millions of minds
of another State in order to gain advantage thereby. It is the same
disposition which supports the republican form of government of a
neighbouring State--_le désordre organisé,_ as Mérimée says--for the
sole reason that it assumes that this form of government makes the
nation weaker, more distracted, less fit for war.


revolutionising society may be divided into those who seek something
for themselves thereby and those who seek something for their children
and grandchildren. The latter are the more dangerous, for they have the
belief and the good conscience of disinterestedness. The others can be
appeased by favours: those in power are still sufficiently rich and
wise to adopt that expedient. The danger begins as soon as the aims
become impersonal; revolutionists seeking impersonal interests may
consider all defenders of the present state of things as personally
interested, and may therefore feel themselves superior to their


THE POLITICAL VALUE OF PATERNITY.--When a man has no sons he has not a
full right to join in a discussion concerning the needs of a particular
community. A person must himself have staked his dearest object along
with the others: that alone binds him fast to the State; he must have
in view the well-being of his descendants, and must, therefore, above
all, have descendants in order to take a right and natural share in
all institutions and the changes thereof. The development of higher
morality depends on a person's having sons; it disposes him to be
un-egoistic, or, more correctly, it extends his egoism in its duration
and permits him earnestly to strive after goals which lie beyond his
individual lifetime.


PRIDE OF DESCENT.--A man may be justly proud of an unbroken line of
_good_ ancestors down to his father,--not however of the line itself,
for every one has that. Descent from good ancestors constitutes the
real nobility of birth; a single break in the chain, one bad ancestor,
therefore, destroys the nobility of birth. Every one who talks about
his nobility should be asked: "Have you no violent, avaricious,
dissolute, wicked, cruel man amongst your ancestors?" If with good
cognisance and conscience he can answer No, then let his friendship be


SLAVES AND LABOURERS.--The fact that we regard the gratification of
vanity as of more account than all other forms of well-being (security,
position, and pleasures of all sorts), is shown to a ludicrous
extent by every one wishing for the abolition of slavery and utterly
abhorring to put any one into this position (apart altogether from
political reasons), while every one must acknowledge to himself that
in all respects slaves live more securely and more happily than modern
labourers, and that slave labour is very easy labour compared with that
of the "labourer." We protest in the name of the "dignity of man"; but,
expressed more simply, that is just our darling vanity which feels
non-equality, and inferiority in public estimation, to be the hardest
lot of all. The cynic thinks differently concerning the matter,
because he despises honour:--and so Diogenes was for some time a slave
and tutor.


LEADING MINDS AND THEIR INSTRUMENTS.--We see that great statesmen, and
in general all who have to employ many people to carry out their plans,
sometimes proceed one way and sometimes another; they either choose
with great skill and care the people suitable for their plans, and then
leave them a comparatively large amount of liberty, because they know
that the nature of the persons selected impels them precisely to the
point where they themselves would have them go; or else they choose
badly, in fact take whatever comes to hand, but out of every piece of
clay they form something useful for their purpose. These latter minds
are the more high-handed; they also desire more submissive instruments;
their knowledge of mankind is usually much smaller, their contempt of
mankind greater than in the case of the first mentioned class, but the
machines they construct generally work better than the machines from
the workshops of the former.


ARBITRARY LAW NECESSARY.--Jurists dispute whether the most perfectly
thought-out law or that which is most easily understood should prevail
in a nation. The former, the best model of which is Roman Law, seems
incomprehensible to the layman, and is therefore not the expression of
his sense of justice. Popular laws, the Germanic, for instance, have
been rude, superstitious, illogical, and in part idiotic, but they
represented very definite, inherited national morals and sentiments.
But where, as with us, law i no longer custom, it can only _command_
and be compulsion; none of us any longer possesses a traditional sense
of justice; we must therefore content ourselves with _arbitrary laws,_
which are the expressions of the necessity that there _must be_ law.
The most logical is then in any case the most acceptable, because it
is the most _impartial,_ granting even that in every case the smallest
unit of measure in the relation of crime and punishment is arbitrarily


THE GREAT MAN OF THE MASSES.--The recipe for what the masses call a
great man is easily given. In all circumstances let a person provide
them with something very pleasant, or first let him put it into their
heads that this or that would be very pleasant, and then let him give
it to them. On no account give it _immediately,_ however: but let
him acquire it by the greatest exertions, or seem thus to acquire
it. The masses must have the impression that there is a powerful,
nay indomitable strength of will operating; at least it must seem to
be there operating. Everybody admires a strong will, because nobody
possesses it, and everybody says to himself that if he did possess
it there would no longer be any bounds for him and his egoism. If,
then, it becomes evident that such a strong will effects something
very agreeable to the masses, instead of hearkening to the wishes
of covetousness, people admire once more, and wish good luck to
themselves. Moreover, if he has all the qualities of the masses, they
are the less ashamed before him, and he is all the more popular.
Consequently, he may be violent, envious, rapacious, intriguing,
flattering, fawning, inflated, and, according to circumstances,
anything whatsoever.


PRINCE AND GOD.--People frequently commune with their princes in the
same way as with their God, as indeed the prince himself was frequently
the Deity's representative, or at least His high priest. This almost
uncanny disposition of veneration, disquiet, and shame, grew, and has
grown, much weaker, but occasionally it flares up again, and fastens
upon powerful persons generally. The cult of genius is an echo of this
veneration of Gods and Princes. Wherever an effort is made to exalt
particular men to the superhuman, there is also a tendency to regard
whole grades of the population as coarser and baser than they really


MY UTOPIA.--In a better arranged society the heavy work and trouble
of life will be assigned to those who suffer least through it, to the
most obtuse, therefore; and so step by step up to those who are most
sensitive to the highest and sublimest kinds of suffering, and who
therefore still suffer notwithstanding the greatest alleviations of


A DELUSION IN SUBVERSIVE DOCTRINES.--There are political and social
dreamers who ardently and eloquently call for the overthrow of all
order, in the belief that the proudest fane of beautiful humanity
will then rear itself immediately, almost of its own accord. In these
dangerous dreams there is still an echo of Rousseau's superstition,
which believes in a marvellous primordial goodness of human nature,
buried up, as it were; and lays all the blame of that burying-up on
the institutions of civilisation, on society, State, and education.
Unfortunately, it is well known by historical experiences that
every such overthrow reawakens into new life the wildest energies,
the long-buried horrors and extravagances of remotest ages; that
an overthrow, therefore, may possibly be a source of strength to a
deteriorated humanity, but never a regulator, architect, artist,
or perfecter of human nature. It was not _Voltaire's_ moderate
nature, inclined towards regulating, purifying, and reconstructing,
but _Rousseau's_ passionate follies and half-lies that aroused the
optimistic spirit of the Revolution, against which I cry, "_Écrasez
l'infâme!_" Owing to this _the Spirit of enlightenment and progressive
development_ has been long scared away; let us see--each of us
individually--if it is not possible to recall it!


MODERATION.--When perfect resoluteness in thinking and investigating,
that is to say, freedom of spirit, has become a feature of character,
it produces moderation of conduct; for it weakens avidity, attracts
much extant energy for the furtherance of intellectual aims, and shows
the semi-usefulness, or uselessness and danger, of all sudden changes.


THE RESURRECTION OF THE SPIRIT.--A nation usually renews its youth on
a political sick-bed, and there finds again the spirit which it had
gradually lost in seeking and maintaining power. Culture is indebted
most of all to politically weakened periods.


NEW OPINIONS IN THE OLD HOME.--The overthrow of opinions is not
immediately followed by the overthrow of institutions; on the contrary,
the new opinions dwell for a long time in the desolate and haunted
house of their predecessors, and conserve it even for want of a


PUBLIC EDUCATION.--In large States public education will always be
extremely mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the
cooking is at best only mediocre.


INNOCENT CORRUPTION.--In all institutions into which the sharp breeze
of public criticism does not penetrate an innocent corruption grows up
like a fungus (for instance, in learned bodies and senates).


SCHOLARS AS POLITICIANS.--To scholars who become politicians the comic
role is usually assigned; they have to be the good conscience of a
state policy.


THE WOLF HIDDEN BEHIND THE SHEEP.--Almost every politician, in certain
circumstances, has such need of an honest man that he breaks into the
sheep-fold like a famished wolf; not, however, to devour a stolen
sheep, but to hide himself behind its woolly back.


HAPPY TIMES.--A happy age is no longer possible, because men only wish
for it but do not desire to have it; and each individual, when good
days come for him, learns positively to pray for disquiet and misery.
The destiny of mankind is arranged for _happy moments_--every life has
such--but not for happy times. Nevertheless, such times will continue
to exist in man's imagination as "over the hills and far away," an
heirloom of his earliest ancestors; for the idea of the happy age, from
the earliest times to the present, has no doubt been derived from the
state in which man, after violent exertions in hunting and warfare,
gives himself over to repose, stretches out his limbs, and hears the
wings of sleep rustle around him. It is a false conclusion when, in
accordance with that old habit, man imagines that after _whole periods_
of distress and trouble he will be able also to enjoy the state of
happiness in _proportionate increase and duration._


RELIGION AND GOVERNMENT.--So long as the State, or, more properly, the
Government, regards itself as the appointed guardian of a number of
minors, and on their account considers the question whether religion
should be preserved or abolished, it is highly probable that it will
always decide for the preservation thereof. For religion satisfies
the nature of the individual in times of loss, destitution, terror,
and distrust, in cases, therefore, where the Government feels
itself incapable of doing anything directly for the mitigation of
the spiritual sufferings of the individual; indeed, even in general
unavoidable and next to inevitable evils (famines, financial crises,
and wars) religion gives to the masses an attitude of tranquillity and
confiding expectancy. Whenever the necessary or accidental deficiencies
of the State Government, or the dangerous consequences of dynastic
interests, strike the eyes of the intelligent and make them refractory,
the unintelligent will only think they see the finger of God therein
and will submit with patience to the dispensations from _on high_
(a conception in which divine and human modes of government usually
coalesce); thus internal civil peace and continuity of development
will be preserved. The power, which lies in the unity of popular
feeling, in the existence of the same opinions and aims for all, is
protected and confirmed by religion,--the rare cases excepted in
which a priesthood cannot agree with the State about the price, and
therefore comes into conflict with it. As a rule the State will know
how to win over the priests, because it needs their most private and
secret system for educating souls, and knows how to value servants who
apparently, and outwardly, represent quite other interests. Even at
present no power can become "legitimate" without the assistance of the
priests; a fact which Napoleon understood. Thus, absolutely paternal
government and the careful preservation of religion necessarily go
hand-in-hand. In this connection it must be taken for granted that
the rulers and governing classes are enlightened concerning the
advantages which religion affords, and consequently feel themselves
to a certain extent superior to it, inasmuch as they use it as a
means; thus freedom of spirit has its origin here. But how will it be
when the totally different interpretation of the idea of Government,
such as is taught in _democratic_ States, begins to prevail? When
one sees in it nothing but the instrument of the popular will, no
"upper" in contrast to an "under," but merely a function of the sole
sovereign, the people? Here also only the same attitude which the
people assume towards religion can be assumed by the Government;
every diffusion of enlightenment will have to find an echo even in
the representatives, and the utilising and exploiting of religious
impulses and consolations for State purposes will not be so easy
(unless powerful party leaders occasionally exercise an influence
resembling that of enlightened despotism). When, however, the State
is not permitted to derive any further advantage from religion, or
when people think far too variously on religious matters to allow the
State to adopt a consistent and uniform procedure with respect to them,
the way out of the difficulty will necessarily present itself, namely
to treat religion as a private affair and leave it to the conscience
and custom of each single individual. The first result of all is that
religious feeling seems to be strengthened, inasmuch as hidden and
suppressed impulses thereof, which the State had unintentionally or
intentionally stifled, now break forth and rush to extremes; later
on, however, it is found that religion is over-grown with sects, and
that an abundance of dragon's teeth were sown as soon as religion was
made a private affair. The spectacle of strife, and the hostile laying
bare of all the weaknesses of religious confessions, admit finally of
no other expedient except that every better and more talented person
should make irreligiousness his private affair, a sentiment which now
obtains the upper hand even in the minds of the governing classes,
and, almost against their will, gives an anti-religious character to
their measures. As soon as this happens, the sentiment of persons
still religiously disposed, who formerly adored the State as something
half sacred or wholly sacred, changes into decided _hostility to the
State;_ they lie in wait for governmental measures, seeking to hinder,
thwart, and disturb as much as they can, and, by the fury of their
contradiction, drive the opposing parties, the irreligious ones, into
an almost fanatical enthusiasm _for_ the State; in connection with
which there is also the silently co-operating influence, that since
their separation from religion the hearts of persons in these circles
are conscious of a void, and seek by devotion to the State to provide
themselves provisionally with a substitute for religion, a kind of
stuffing for the void. After these perhaps lengthy transitional
struggles, it is finally decided whether the religious parties are
still strong enough to revive an old condition of things, and turn the
wheel backwards: in which case enlightened despotism (perhaps less
enlightened and more timorous than formerly), inevitably gets the
State into its hands,--or whether the non-religious parties achieve
their purpose, and, possibly through schools and education, check the
increase of their opponents during several generations, and finally
make them no longer possible. Then, however, their enthusiasm for the
State also abates: it always becomes more obvious that along with
the religious adoration which regards the State as a mystery and a
supernatural institution, the reverent and pious relation to it has
also been convulsed. Henceforth individuals see only that side of the
State which may be useful or injurious to them, and press forward by
all means to obtain an influence over it. But this rivalry soon becomes
too great; men and parties change too rapidly, and throw each other
down again too furiously from the mountain when they have only just
succeeded in getting aloft. All the measures which such a Government
carries out lack the guarantee of permanence; people then fight shy of
undertakings which would require the silent growth of future decades
or centuries to produce ripe fruit. Nobody henceforth feels any other
obligation to a law than to submit for the moment to the power which
introduced the law; people immediately set to work, however, to
undermine it by a new power, a newly-formed majority. Finally--it may
be confidently asserted--the distrust of all government, the insight
into the useless and harassing nature of these short-winded struggles,
must drive men to an entirely new resolution: to the abrogation of
the conception of the State and the abolition of the contrast of
"private and public." Private concerns gradually absorb the business
of the State; even the toughest residue which is left over from the
old work of governing (the business, for instance, which is meant to
protect private persons from private persons) will at last some day
be managed by private enterprise. The neglect, decline, and _death
of the State,_ the liberation of the private person (I am careful
not to say the individual), are the consequences of the democratic
conception of the State; that is its mission. When it has accomplished
its task,--which, like everything human, involves much rationality
and irrationality,--and when all relapses into the old malady have
been overcome, then a new leaf in the story-book of humanity will be
unrolled, on which readers will find all kinds of strange tales and
perhaps also some amount of good. To repeat shortly what has been
said: the interests of the tutelary Government and the interests of
religion go hand-in-hand, so that when the latter begins to decay
the foundations of the State are also shaken. The belief in a divine
regulation of political affairs, in a mystery in the existence of
the State, is of religious origin: if religion disappears, the State
will inevitably lose its old veil of Isis, and will no longer arouse
veneration. The sovereignty of the people, looked at closely, serves
also to dispel the final fascination and superstition in the realm
of these sentiments; modern democracy is the historical form of the
_decay of the State._ The outlook which results from this certain
decay is not, however, unfortunate in every respect; the wisdom and
the selfishness of men are the best developed of all their qualities;
when the State no longer meets the demands of these impulses, chaos
will least of all result, but a still more appropriate expedient than
the State will get the mastery over the State. How man organising forces
have already been seen to die out! For example, that of the _gens_
or clan which for millennia was far mightier than the power of the
family, and indeed already ruled and regulated long before the latter
existed. We ourselves see the important notions of the right and might
of the family, which once possessed the supremacy as far as the Roman
system extended, always becoming paler and feebler. In the same way a
later generation will also see the State become meaningless in certain
parts of the world,--an idea which many contemporaries can hardly
contemplate without alarm and horror. To _labour_ for the propagation
and realisation of this idea is, certainly, another thing; one must
think very presumptuously of one's reason, and only half understand
history, to set one's hand to the plough at present--when as yet no
one can show us the seeds that are afterwards to be sown upon the
broken soil. Let us, therefore, trust to the "wisdom and selfishness
of men" that the State may _yet_ exist a good while longer, and that
the destructive attempts of over-zealous, too hasty sciolists may be in


SOCIALISM, WITH REGARD TO ITS MEANS.--Socialism is the fantastic
younger brother of almost decrepit despotism, which it wants to
succeed; its efforts are, therefore, in the deepest sense reactionary.
For it desires such an amount of State power as only despotism has
possessed,--indeed, it outdoes all the past, in that it aims at the
complete annihilation of the individual, whom it deems an unauthorised
luxury of nature, which is to be improved by it into an appropriate
_organ of the general community._ Owing to its relationship, it always
appears in proximity to excessive developments of power, like the
old typical socialist, Plato, at the court of the Sicilian tyrant;
it desires (and under certain circumstances furthers) the Cæsarian
despotism of this century, because, as has been said, it would like to
become its heir. But even this inheritance would not suffice for its
objects, it requires the most submissive prostration of all citizens
before the absolute State, such as has never yet been realised; and
as it can no longer even count upon the old religious piety towards
the State, but must rather strive involuntarily and continuously for
the abolition thereof,--because it strives for the abolition of all
existing _States,_--it can only hope for existence occasionally, here
and there for short periods, by means of the extremest terrorism. It is
therefore silently preparing itself for reigns of terror, and drives
the word "justice" like a nail into the heads of the half-cultured
masses in order to deprive them completely of their understanding
(after they had already suffered seriously from the half-culture), and
to provide them with a good conscience for the bad game they are to
play. Socialism may serve to teach, very brutally and impressively, the
danger of all accumulations of State power, and may serve so far to
inspire distrust of the State itself. When its rough voice strikes up
the way-cry "_as much State as possible_," the shout at first becomes
louder than ever,--but soon the opposition cry also breaks forth, with
so much greater force: "_as little State as possible._"


was, like every organising political power, exclusive and distrustful
of the growth of culture; its powerful fundamental impulse seemed
almost solely to have a paralysing and obstructive effect thereon.
It did not want to let any history or any becoming have a place in
culture; the education laid down in the State laws was meant to
be obligatory on all generations to keep them at _one_ stage of
development. Plato also, later on, did not desire it to be otherwise
in his ideal State. _In spite of_ the polis culture developed itself
in this manner; indirectly to be sure, and against its will, the polis
furnished assistance because the ambition of individuals therein was
stimulated to the utmost, so that, having once found the path of
intellectual development, they followed it to its farthest extremity.
On the other hand, appeal should not be made to the panegyric of
Pericles, for it is only a great optimistic dream about the alleged
necessary connection between the Polis and Athenian culture;
immediately before the night fell over Athens the plague and the
breakdown of tradition, Thucydides makes this culture flash up once
more like of the evil day that had preceded.


industry, interchange of books and letters, the universality of
all higher culture, the rapid changing of locality and landscape,
and the present nomadic life of all who are not landowners,--these
circumstances necessarily bring with them a weakening, and finally
a destruction of nationalities, at least of European nationalities;
so that, in consequence of perpetual crossings, there must arise
out of them all a mixed race, that of the European man. At present
the isolation of nations, through the rise of _national_ enmities,
consciously or unconsciously counteracts this tendency; but
nevertheless the process of fusing advances slowly, in spite of those
occasional counter-currents. This artificial nationalism is, however,
as dangerous as was artificial Catholicism, for it is essentially
an un natural condition of extremity and martial la which has been
proclaimed by the few over the many, and requires artifice, lying,
and force maintain its reputation. It is not the interests the many
(of the peoples), as they probably say, but it is first of all the
interests of certain princely dynasties, and then of certain commercial
and social classes, which impel to this nationalism; once we have
recognised this fact, we should just fearlessly style ourselves _good
Europeans_ and labour actively for the amalgamation of nations; in
which efforts Germans may assist by virtue of their hereditary position
as _interpreters and intermediaries between nations._ By the way, the
great problem of the _Jews_ only exists within the national States,
inasmuch as their energy and higher intelligence, their intellectual
and volitional capital, accumulated from generation to generation in
tedious schools of suffering, must necessarily attain to universal
supremacy here to an extent provocative of envy and hatred; so that
the literary misconduct is becoming prevalent in almost all modern
nations --and all the more so as they again set up to be national--of
sacrificing the Jews as the scape-goats of all possible public
and private abuses. So soon as it is no longer a question of the
preservation or establishment of nations, but of the production and
training of a European mixed-race of the greatest possible strength,
the Jew is just as useful and desirable an ingredient as any other
national remnant. Every nation, every individual, has unpleasant and
even dangerous qualities,--it is cruel to require that the Jew should
be an exception. Those qualities may even be dangerous and frightful
in a special degree in his case; and perhaps the young Stock-Exchange
Jew is in general the most repulsive invention of the human species.
Nevertheless, in a general summing up, I should like to know how much
must be excused in a nation which, not without blame on the part of
all of us, has had the most mournful history of all nations, and to
which we owe the most loving of men (Christ), the most upright of sages
(Spinoza), the mightiest book, and the most effective moral law in the
world? Moreover, in the darkest times of the Middle Ages, when Asiatic
clouds had gathered darkly over Europe, it was Jewish free-thinkers,
scholars, and physicians who upheld the banner of enlightenment and of
intellectual independence under the severest personal sufferings, and
defended Europe against Asia; we owe it not least to their efforts that
a more natural, more reasonable, at all events un-mythical, explanation
of the world was finally able to get the upper hand once more, and
that the link of culture which now unites us with the enlightenment
of Greco-Roman antiquity has remained unbroken. If Christianity has
done everything to orientalise the Occident, Judaism has assisted
essentially in occidentalising it anew; which, in a certain sense, is
equivalent to making Europe's mission and history a _continuation of
that of Greece_.


the Church an institution with an absolutely universal aim, involving
the whole of humanity,--an aim, moreover, which--presumedly--concerned
man's highest interests; in comparison therewith the aims of the States
and nations which modern history exhibits make a painful impression;
they seem petty, base, material, and restricted in extent. But this
different impression on our imagination should certainly not determine
our judgment; for that universal institution corresponded to feigned
and fictitiously fostered needs, such as the need of salvation, which,
wherever they did not already exist, it had first of all to create:
the, new institutions, however, relieve actual distresses; and the
time is coming when institutions will arise to minister to the common,
genuine needs of all men, and to cast that fantastic prototype, the
Catholic Church, into shade and oblivion.


WAR INDISPENSABLE.--It is nothing but fanaticism and beautiful soulism
to expect very much (or even, much only) from humanity when it has
forgotten how to wage war. For the present we know of no other means
whereby the rough energy of the camp, the deep impersonal hatred, the
cold-bloodedness of murder with a good conscience, the general ardour
of the system in the destruction of the enemy, the proud indifference
to great losses, to one's own existence and that of one's friends, the
hollow, earthquake-like convulsion of the soul, can be as forcibly
and certainly communicated to enervated nations as is done by every
great war: owing to the brooks and streams that here break forth,
which, certainly, sweep stones and rubbish of all sorts along with
them and destroy the meadows of delicate cultures, the mechanism in
the workshops of the mind is afterwards, in favourable circumstances,
rotated by new power. Culture can by no means dispense with passions,
vices, and malignities. When the Romans, after having become Imperial,
had grown rather tired of war, they attempted to gain new strength
by beast-baitings, gladiatoral combats, and Christian persecutions.
The English of to-day, who appear on the whole to have also renounced
war, adopt other means in order to generate anew those vanishing
forces; namely, the dangerous exploring expeditions, sea voyages and
mountaineerings, nominally undertaken for scientific purposes, but in
reality to bring home surplus strength from adventures and dangers of
all kinds. Many other such substitutes for war will be discovered, but
perhaps precisely thereby it will become more and more obvious that
such a highly cultivated and therefore necessarily enfeebled humanity
as that of modern Europe not only needs wars, but the greatest and most
terrible wars,--consequently occasional relapses into barbarism,--lest,
by the means of culture, it should lose its culture and its very


INDUSTRY IN THE SOUTH AND THE NORTH.--Industry arises in two entirely
different ways. The artisans of the South are not industrious because
of acquisitiveness but because of the constant needs of others. The
smith is industrious because some one is always coming who wants a
horse shod or a carriage mended. If nobody came he would loiter about
in the market-place. In a fruitful land he has little trouble in
supporting himself, for that purpose he requires only a very small
amount of work, certainly no industry; eventually he would beg and
be contented. The industry of English workmen, on the contrary, has
acquisitiveness behind it; it is conscious of itself and its aims; with
property it wants power, and with power the greatest possible liberty
and individual distinction.


creates an aristocracy of race, for it permits the choice of the most
beautiful women and the engagement of the best teachers; it allows a
man cleanliness, time for physical exercises, and, above all, immunity
from dulling physical labour. So far it provides all the conditions
for making man, after a few generations, move and even act nobly and
handsomely: greater freedom of character and absence of niggardliness,
of wretchedly petty matters, and of abasement before bread-givers. It
is precisely these negative qualities which are the most profitable
birthday gift, that of happiness, for the young man; a person who is
quite poor usually comes to grief through nobility of disposition,
he does not get on, and acquires nothing, his race is not capable
of living. In this connection, however, it must be remembered that
wealth produces almost the same effects whether one have three hundred
or thirty thousand thalers a year; there is no further essential
progression of the favourable conditions afterwards. But to have less,
to beg in boyhood and to abase one's self is terrible, although it may
be the proper starting-point for such as seek their happiness in the
splendour of courts, in subordination to the mighty, and influential,
or for such as wish to be heads of the Church. (It teaches how to slink
crouching into the underground passages to favour.)


the socialist and the national,--or whatever they may be called in
the different countries of Europe,--are worthy of each other; envy
and laziness are the motive powers in each of them. In the one camp
they desire to work as little as possible with their hands, in the
other as little as possible with their heads; in the latter they hate
and envy prominent, self-evolving individuals, who do not willingly
allow themselves to be drawn up in rank and file for the purpose of
a collective effect; in the former they hate and envy the better
social caste, which is more favourably circumstanced outwardly, whose
peculiar mission, the production of the highest blessings of culture,
makes life inwardly all the harder and more painful. Certainly, if it
be possible to make the spirit of the collective effect the spirit of
the higher classes of society, the socialist crowds are quite right,
when they also seek outward equalisation between themselves and these
classes, since they are certainly internally equalised with one another
already in head and heart. Live as higher men, and always do the deeds
of higher culture,--thus everything that lives will acknowledge your
right, and the order of society, whose summit ye are, will be safe
from every evil glance and attack!


HIGH POLITICS AND THEIR DETRIMENTS.--Just as a nation does not suffer
the greatest losses that war and readiness for war involve through
the expenses of the war, or the stoppage of trade and traffic, or
through the maintenance of a standing army,--however great these
losses may now be, when eight European States expend yearly the sum
of five milliards of marks thereon,--but owing to the fact that
year after year its ablest, strongest, and most industrious men are
withdrawn in extraordinary numbers from their proper occupations and
callings to be turned into soldiers: in the same way, a nation that
sets about practising high politics and securing a decisive voice
among the great Powers does not suffer its greatest losses where
they are usually supposed to be. In fact, from this time onward it
constantly sacrifices a number of its most conspicuous talents upon
the "Altar of the Fatherland" or of national ambition, whilst formerly
other spheres of activity were open to those talents which are now
swallowed up by politics. But apart from these public hecatombs, and
in reality much more horrible, there is a drama which is constantly
being performed simultaneously in a hundred thousand acts; every able,
industrious, intellectually striving man of a nation that thus covets
political laurels, is swayed by this covetousness, and no longer
belongs entirely to himself alone as he did formerly; the new daily
questions and cares of the public welfare devour a daily tribute of
the intellectual and emotional capital of every citizen; the sum of
all these sacrifices and losses of, individual energy and labour is
so enormous, that the political growth of a nation almost necessarily
entails an intellectual impoverishment and lassitude, a diminished
capacity for the performance of works that require great concentration
and specialisation. The question may finally be asked: "Does it then
_pay,_ all this bloom and magnificence of the total (which indeed only
manifests itself as the fear of the new Colossus in other nations, and
as the compulsory favouring by them of national trade and commerce)
when all the nobler, finer, and more intellectual plants and products,
in which its soil was hitherto so rich, must be sacrificed to this
coarse and opalescent flower of the nation?"[2]


REPEATED ONCE MORE.--Public opinion--private laziness.

[Footnote 1: This aphorism may have been suggested by Nietzsche's
observing the behaviour of his great contemporary, Bismarck, towards
the dynasty.--J.M.K.]

[Footnote 2: This is once more an allusion to modern Germany.--J.M.K.]




THE ENEMIES OF TRUTH.--Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth
than lies.


A TOPSY-TURVY WORLD.--We criticise a thinker more severely when he puts
an unpleasant statement before us; and yet it would be more reasonable
to do so when we find his statement pleasant.


DECIDED CHARACTER.--A man far oftener appears to have a decided
character from persistently following his temperament than from
persistently following his principles.


THE ONE THING NEEDFUL.--One thing a man must have: either a naturally
light disposition or a disposition _lightened_ by art and knowledge.


THE PASSION FOR THINGS.--Whoever sets his passion on things (sciences,
arts, the common weal, the interests of culture) withdraws much fervour
from his passion for persons (even when they are the representatives
of those things; as statesmen, philosophers, and artists are the
representatives of their creations).


CALMNESS IN ACTION.--As a cascade in its descent becomes more
deliberate and suspended, so the great man of action usually acts with
_more_ calmness than his strong passions previous to action would lead
one to expect.


NOT TOO DEEP.--Persons who grasp a matter in all its depth seldom
remain permanently true to it. They have just brought the depth up into
the light, and there is always much evil to be seen there.


THE ILLUSION OF IDEALISTS.--All idealists imagine that the cause which
they serve is essentially better than all other causes, and will not
believe that if their cause is really to flourish it requires precisely
the same evil-smelling manure which all other human undertakings have
need of.


SELF-OBSERVATION.--Man is exceedingly well protected from himself and
guarded against his self-exploring and self-besieging; as a rule he can
perceive nothing of himself but his outworks. The actual fortress is
inaccessible, and even invisible, to him, unless friends and enemies
become traitors and lead him inside by secret paths.


THE RIGHT CALLING.--Men can seldom hold on to a calling unless they
believe or persuade themselves that it is really more important than
any other. Women are the same with their lovers.


NOBILITY OF DISPOSITION.--Nobility of disposition consists largely in
good-nature and absence of distrust, and therefore contains precisely
that upon which money-grabbing and successful men take a pleasure in
walking with superiority and scorn.


GOAL AND PATH.--Many are obstinate with regard to the once-chosen path,
few with regard to the goal.


individual lines of conduct excite irritation against him who adopts
them; people feel themselves reduced to the level of commonplace
creatures by the extraordinary treatment he bestows on himself.


THE PRIVILEGE OF GREATNESS.--It is the privilege of greatness to confer
intense happiness with insignificant gifts.


UNINTENTIONALLY NOBLE.--A person behaves with unintentional nobleness
when he has accustomed himself to seek naught from others and always to
give to them.


A CONDITION OF HEROISM.--When a person wishes to become a hero, the
serpent must previously have become a dragon, otherwise he lacks his
proper enemy.


FRIENDS.--Fellowship in joy, and, not sympathy in sorrow, makes people


MAKING USE OF EBB AND FLOW.--For the purpose of knowledge we must know
how to make use of the inward current which draws us towards a thing,
and also of the current which after a time draws us away from it.


JOY IN ITSELF.--"Joy in the Thing" people say; but in reality it is joy
in itself by means of the thing.


THE UNASSUMING MAN.--He who is unassuming towards persons manifests his
presumption all the more with regard to things (town, State, society,
time, humanity). That is his revenge.


ENVY AND JEALOUSY.--Envy and jealousy are the pudenda of the human
soul. The comparison may perhaps be carried further.


THE NOBLEST HYPOCRITE.--It is a very noble hypocrisy not to talk of
one's self at all.


VEXATION.--Vexation is a physical disease, which is not by any means
cured when its cause is subsequently removed.


THE CHAMPIONS OF TRUTH.--Truth does not find fewest champions when it
is dangerous to speak it, but when it is dull.


MORE TROUBLESOME EVEN THAN ENEMIES.--Persons of whose sympathetic
attitude we are not, in all circumstances, convinced, while for
some reason or other (gratitude, for instance) we are obliged to
maintain the appearance of unqualified sympathy with them, trouble our
imagination far more than our enemies do.


FREE NATURE.--We are so fond of being out among Nature, because it has
no opinions about us.


EACH SUPERIOR IN ONE THING.--In civilised intercourse every one feels
himself superior to all others in at least one thing; kindly feelings
generally are based thereon, inasmuch as every one can, in certain
circumstances, render help, and is therefore entitled to accept help
without shame.


CONSOLATORY ARGUMENTS.--In the case of a death we mostly use
consolatory arguments not so much to alleviate the grief as to make
excuses for feeling so easily consoled.


PERSONS LOYAL TO THEIR CONVICTIONS.--Whoever is very busy retains his
general views and opinions almost unchanged. So also does every one
who labours in the service of an idea; he will nevermore examine the
idea itself, he no longer has any time to do so; indeed, it is against
his interests to consider it as still admitting of discussion.


MORALITY AND QUANTITY.--The higher morality of one man as compared
with that of another, often lies merely in the fact that his aims are
quantitively greater. The other, living in a circumscribed sphere, is
dragged down by petty occupations.


"THE LIFE" AS THE PROCEEDS OF LIFE.--A man may stretch himself out ever
so far with his knowledge; he may seem to himself ever so objective,
but eventually he realises nothing therefrom but his own biography.


IRON NECESSITY.--Iron necessity is a thing which has been found, in the
course of history, to be neither iron nor necessary.


FROM EXPERIENCE.--The unreasonableness of a thing is no argument
against its existence, but rather a condition thereof.


TRUTH.--Nobody dies nowadays of fatal truths, there are too many
antidotes to them.


A FUNDAMENTAL INSIGHT.--There is no pre-established harmony between the
promotion of truth and the welfare of mankind.


MAN'S LOT.--He who thinks most deeply knows that he is always in the
wrong, however he may act and decide.


TRUTH AS CIRCE.--Error has made animals into men; is truth perhaps
capable of making man into an animal again?


THE DANGER OF OUR CULTURE.--We belong to a period of which the culture
is in danger of being destroyed by the appliances of culture.


GREATNESS MEANS LEADING THE WAY.--No stream is large and copious of
itself, but becomes great by receiving and leading on so many tributary
streams. It is so, also, with all intellectual greatnesses. It is only
a question of some one indicating the direction to be followed by so
many affluents; not whether he was richly or poorly gifted originally.


A FEEBLE CONSCIENCE.--People who talk about their importance to mankind
have a feeble conscience for common bourgeois rectitude, keeping of
contracts, promises, etc.


DESIRING TO BE LOVED.--The demand to be loved is the greatest of


CONTEMPT FOR MEN.--The most unequivocal sign of contempt for man is
to regard everybody merely as a means to _one's own_ ends, or of no
account whatever.


PARTISANS THROUGH CONTRADICTION.--Whoever has driven men to fury
against himself has also gained a party in his favour.


FORGETTING EXPERIENCES.--Whoever thinks much and to good purpose
easily forgets his own experiences, but not the thoughts which these
experiences have called forth.


STICKING TO AN OPINION.--One person sticks to an opinion because he
takes pride in having acquired it himself,--another sticks to it
because he has learnt it with difficulty and is proud of having
understood it; both of them, therefore, out of vanity.


AVOIDING THE LIGHT.--Good deeds avoid the light just as anxiously as
evil deeds; the latter fear that pain will result from publicity (as
punishment), the former fear that pleasure will vanish with publicity
(the pure pleasure _per se,_ which ceases as soon as satisfaction of
vanity is added to it).


THE LENGTH OF THE DAY.--When one has much to put into them, a day has a
hundred pockets.


THE GENIUS OF TYRANNY.--When an invincible desire to obtain tyrannical
power has been awakened in the soul, and constantly keeps up its
fervour, even a very mediocre talent (in politicians, artists, etc.)
gradually becomes an almost irresistible natural force.


THE ENEMY'S LIFE.--He who lives by fighting with an enemy has an
interest in the preservation of the enemy's life.[1]


MORE IMPORTANT.--Unexplained, obscure matters are regarded as more
important than explained, clear ones.


VALUATION OF SERVICES RENDERED.--We estimate services rendered to
us according to the value set on them by those who render them, not
according to the value they have for us.


UNHAPPINESS.--The distinction associated with unhappiness (as if it
were a sign of stupidity, unambitiousness, or commonplaceness to feel
happy) is so great that when any one says to us, "How happy you are!"
we usually protest.


IMAGINATION IN ANGUISH.--When one is afraid of anything, one's
imagination plays the part of that evil spirit which springs on one's
back just when one has the heaviest load to bear.


THE VALUE OF INSIPID OPPONENTS.--We sometimes remain faithful to a
cause merely because its opponents never cease to be insipid.


THE VALUE OF A PROFESSION.--A profession makes us thoughtless; that
is its greatest blessing. For it is a bulwark behind which we are
permitted to withdraw when commonplace doubts and cares assail us.


TALENT.--Many a man's talent appears less than it is, because he has
always set himself too heavy tasks.


YOUTH.--Youth is an unpleasant period; for then it is not possible or
not prudent to be productive in any sense whatsoever.


TOO GREAT AIMS.--Whoever aims publicly at great things and at length
perceives secretly that he is too weak to achieve them, has usually
also insufficient strength to renounce his aims publicly, and then
inevitably becomes a hypocrite.


IN THE CURRENT.--Mighty waters sweep many stones and shrubs away with
them; mighty spirits many foolish and confused minds.


intellectual emancipation a person's mute passions and cravings also
hope to find their advantage.


THE INCARNATION OF THE MIND.--When any one thinks much and to good
purpose, not only his face but also his body acquires a sage look.


SEEING BADLY AND HEARING BADLY.--The man who sees little always sees
less than there is to see; the man who hears badly always hears
something more than there is to hear.


SELF-ENJOYMENT IN VANITY.--The vain man does not wish so much to be
prominent as to feel himself prominent; he therefore disdains none of
the expedients for self-deception and self-out-witting. It is not the
opinion of others that he sets his heart on, but his opinion of their


EXCEPTIONALLY VAIN.--He who is usually self-sufficient becomes
exceptionally vain, and keenly alive to fame and praise when he is
physically ill. The more he loses himself the more he has to endeavour
to regain his position by means of the opinion of others.


THE "WITTY."--Those who seek wit do not possess it.


A HINT TO THE HEADS OF PARTIES.--When one can make people publicly
support a cause they have also generally been brought to the point of
inwardly declaring themselves in its favour, because they wish to be
regarded as consistent.


CONTEMPT.--Man is more sensitive to the contempt of others than to


THE TIE OF GRATITUDE.--There are servile souls who carry so far their
sense of obligation for benefits received that they strangle themselves
with the tie of gratitude.


THE PROPHET'S KNACK.--In predicting beforehand the procedure of
ordinary individuals, it must be taken for granted that they always
make use of the smallest intellectual expenditure in freeing themselves
from disagreeable situations.


MAN'S SOLE RIGHT.--He who swerves from the traditional is a victim of
the unusual; he who keeps to the traditional is its slave. The man is
ruined in either case.


BELOW THE BEAST.--When a man roars with laughter he surpasses all the
animals by his vulgarity.


PARTIAL KNOWLEDGE.--He who speaks a foreign language imperfectly has
more enjoyment therein than he who speaks it well. The enjoyment is
with the partially initiated.


DANGEROUS HELPFULNESS.--There are people who wish to make human life
harder for no other reason than to be able afterwards to offer men
their life-alleviating recipes--their Christianity, for example.


conscientiousness are often antagonists, owing to the fact that
industriousness wants to pluck the fruit sour from the tree while
conscientiousness wants to let it hang too long, until it falls and is


CASTING SUSPICION.--We endeavour to cast suspicion on persons whom we
cannot endure.


THE CONDITIONS ARE LACKING.--Many people wait all their lives for the
opportunity to be good in _their own way._


LACK OF FRIENDS.--Lack of friends leads to the inference that a person
is envious or presumptuous. Many a man owes his friends merely to the
fortunate circumstance that he has no occasion for envy.


DANGER IN MANIFOLDNESS.--With one talent more we often stand less
firmly than with one less; just as a table stands better on three feet
than on four.


AN EXEMPLAR FOR OTHERS.--Whoever wants to set a good example must add a
grain of folly to his virtue; people then imitate their exemplar and at
the same time raise themselves above him, a thing they love to do.


BEING A TARGET.--The bad things others say about us are often not
really aimed at us, but are the manifestations of spite or ill-humour
occasioned by quite different causes.


EASILY RESIGNED.--We suffer but little on account of ungratified wishes
if we have exercised our imagination in distorting the past.


IN DANGER.--One is in greatest danger of being run over when one has
just got out of the way of a carriage.


THE ROLE ACCORDING TO THE VOICE.--Whoever is obliged to speak louder
than he naturally does (say, to a partially deaf person or before a
large audience), usually exaggerates what he has to communicate. Many
a one becomes a conspirator, malevolent gossip, or intriguer, merely
because his voice is best suited for whispering.


LOVE AND HATRED.--Love and hatred are not blind, but are dazzled by the
fire which they carry about with them.


ADVANTAGEOUSLY PERSECUTED.--People who cannot make their merits
perfectly obvious to the world endeavour to awaken a strong hostility
against themselves. They have then the consolation of thinking that
this hostility stands between their merits and the acknowledgment
thereof--- and that many others think the same thing, which is very
advantageous for their recognition.


CONFESSION.--We forget our fault when we have confessed it to another
person, but he does not generally forget it.


SELF-SUFFICIENCY.--The Golden Fleece of self-sufficiency is a
protection against blows, but not against needle-pricks.


SHADOWS IN THE FLAME.--The flame is not so bright to itself as to those
whom it illuminates,--so also the wise man.


OUR OWN OPINIONS.--The first opinion that occurs to us when we are
suddenly asked about anything is not usually our own, but only the
current opinion belonging to our caste, position, or family; our own
opinions seldom float on the surface.


THE ORIGIN OF COURAGE.--The ordinary man is as courageous and
invulnerable as a hero when he does not see the danger, when he has no
eyes for it. Reversely, the hero has his one vulnerable spot upon the
back, where he has no eyes.


THE DANGER IN THE PHYSICIAN.--One must be born for one's physician,
otherwise one comes to grief through him.


MARVELLOUS VANITY.--Whoever has courageously prophesied the weather
three times and has been successful in his hits, acquires a certain
amount of inward confidence in his prophetic gift. We give credence to
the marvellous and irrational when it flatters our self-esteem.


A PROFESSION.--A profession is the backbone of life.


THE DANGER OF PERSONAL INFLUENCE.--Whoever feels that he exercises a
great inward influence over another person must give him a perfectly
free rein, must, in fact, welcome and even induce occasional
opposition, otherwise he will inevitably make an enemy.


RECOGNITION OF THE HEIR.--Whoever has founded something great in an
unselfish spirit is careful to rear heirs for his work. It is the sign
of a tyrannical and ignoble nature to see opponents in all possible
heirs, and to live in a state of self-defence against them.


PARTIAL KNOWLEDGE.--Partial knowledge is more triumphant than complete
knowledge; it takes things to be simpler than they are, and so makes
its theory more popular and convincing.


UNSUITABLE FOR A PARTY-MAN.--Whoever thinks much is unsuitable for a
party-man; his thinking leads him too quickly beyond the party.


A BAD MEMORY.--The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several
times the same good things for the _first_ time.


SELF-AFFLICTION.--Want of consideration is often the sign of a
discordant inner nature, which craves for stupefaction.


MARTYRS.--The disciples of a martyr suffer more than the martyr.


ARREARS OF VANITY.--The vanity of many people who have no occasion to
be vain is the inveterate habit, still surviving from the time when
people had no right to the belief in themselves and only begged it in
small sums from others.


_PUNCTUM SALIENS_ OF PASSION.--A person falling into a rage or into a
violent passion of love reaches a point when the soul is full like a
hogshead, but nevertheless a drop of water has still to be added, the
good will for the passion (which is also generally called the evil
will). This item only is necessary, and then the hogshead overflows.


A GLOOMY THOUGHT.--It is with men as with the charcoal fires in the
forest. It is only when young men have cooled down and have got
charred, like these piles, that they become _useful._ As long as they
fume and smoke they are perhaps more interesting, but they are useless
and too often uncomfortable. Humanity ruthlessly uses every individual
as material for the heating of its great machines; but what then is the
purpose of the machines, when all individuals (that is, the human race)
are useful only to maintain them? Machines that are ends in themselves:
is that the _umana commedia_?


THE HOUR-HAND OF LIFE.--Life consists of rare single moments of the
greatest importance, and of countless intervals during which, at best,
the phantoms of those moments hover around us. Love, the Spring, every
fine melody, the mountains, the moon, the sea--all speak but once
fully to the heart, if, indeed, they ever do quite attain to speech.
For many people have not those moments at all, and are themselves
intervals and pauses in the symphony of actual life.


ATTACK OR COMPROMISE.--We often make the mistake of showing violent
enmity towards a tendency, party, or period, because we happen only
to get a sight of its most exposed side, its stuntedness, or the
inevitable "faults of its virtues,"--perhaps because we ourselves have
taken a prominent part in them. We then turn our backs on them and
seek a diametrically opposite course; but the better way would be to
seek out their strong good sides, or to develop them in ourselves. To
be sure, a keener glance and a better will are needed to improve the
becoming and the imperfect than are required to see through it in its
imperfection and to deny it.


MODESTY.--There is true modesty (that is the knowledge that we are
not the works we create); and it is especially becoming in a great
mind, because such a mind can well grasp the thought of absolute
irresponsibility (even for the good it creates). People do not hate
a great man's presumptuousness in so far as he feels his strength,
but because he wishes to prove it by injuring others, by dominating
them, and seeing how long they will stand it. This, as a rule, is even
a proof of the absence of a secure sense of power, and makes people
doubt his greatness. We must therefore beware of presumption from the
stand-point of wisdom.


THE DAY'S FIRST THOUGHT.--The best way to begin a day well is to think,
on awakening, whether we cannot give pleasure during the day to at
least one person. If this could become a substitute for the religious
habit of prayer our fellow-men would benefit by the change.


misfortune, an intellectual defect, or a disease that we see therein
our predestined fate, our trial, or the mysterious punishment of our
former misdeeds, we thereby make our nature interesting and exalt
ourselves in imagination above our fellows. The proud sinner is a
well-known figure in all religious sects.


THE VEGETATION OF HAPPINESS.--Close beside the world's woe, and
often upon its volcanic soil, man has laid out his little garden of
happiness. Whether one regard life with the eyes of him who only seeks
knowledge therefrom, or of him who submits and is resigned, or of him
who rejoices over surmounted difficulties--everywhere one will find
some happiness springing up beside the evil--and in fact always the
more happiness the more volcanic the soil has been,--only it would be
absurd to say that suffering itself is justified by this happiness.


THE PATH OF OUR ANCESTORS.--It is sensible when a person develops still
further in himself the _talent_ upon which his father or grandfather
spent much trouble, and does not shift to something entirely new;
otherwise he deprives himself of the possibility of attaining
perfection in any one craft. That is why the proverb says, "Which road
shouldst thou ride?--That of thine ancestors."


VANITY AND AMBITION AS EDUCATORS.--As long as a person has not become
an instrument of general utility, ambition may torment him; if,
however, that point has been reached, if he necessarily works like a
machine for the good of all, then vanity may result; it will humanise
him in small matters and make him more sociable, endurable, and
considerate, when ambition has completed the coarser work of making him


PHILOSOPHICAL NOVICES.--Immediately we have comprehended the wisdom of
a philosopher, we go through the streets with a feeling as if we had
been re-created and had become great men; for we encounter only those
who are ignorant of this wisdom, and have therefore to deliver new and
unknown verdicts concerning everything. Because we now recognise a
law-book we think we must also comport ourselves as judges.


PLEASING BY DISPLEASING.--People who prefer to attract attention, and
thereby to displease, desire the same thing as those who neither wish
to please nor to attract attention, only they seek it more ardently and
indirectly by means of a step by which they apparently move away from
their goal. They desire influence and power, and therefore show their
superiority, even to such an extent that it becomes disagreeable; for
they know that he who has finally attained power, pleases in almost all
he says and does, and that even when he displeases he still seems to
please. The free spirit also, and in like manner the believer, desire
power, in order some day to please thereby; when, on account of their
doctrine, evil fate, persecution, dungeon, or execution threaten them,
they rejoice in the thought that their teaching will thus be engraved
and branded on the heart of mankind; though its effect is remote they
accept their fate as a painful but powerful means of still attaining to


_CASUS BELLI_ AND THE LIKE.--The prince who, for his determination
to make war against his neighbour, invents a _casus belli,_ is like
a father who foists on his child a mother who is henceforth to be
regarded as such. And are not almost all publicly avowed motives of
action just such spurious mothers?


PASSION AND RIGHT.--Nobody talks more passionately of his rights than
he who, in the depths of his soul, is doubtful about them. By getting
passion on his side he seeks to confound his understanding and its
doubts,--he thus obtains a good conscience, and along with it success
with his fellow-men.


THE TRICK OF THE RESIGNING ONE.--He who protests against marriage,
after the manner of Catholic priests, will conceive of it in its
lowest and vulgarest form. In the same way he who disavows the honour
of his contemporaries will have a mean opinion of it; he can thus
dispense with it and struggle against it more easily. Moreover, he
who denies himself much in great matters will readily indulge himself
in small things. It might be possible that he who is superior to the
approbation of his contemporaries would nevertheless not deny himself
the gratification of small vanities.


THE YEARS OF PRESUMPTION.--The proper period of presumption in gifted
people is between their twenty-sixth and thirtieth years; it is the
time of early ripeness, with a large residue of sourness. On the
ground of what we feel within ourselves we demand honour and humility
from men who see little or nothing of it, and because this tribute
is not immediately forthcoming we revenge ourselves by the look, the
gesture of arrogance, and the tone of voice, which a keen ear and
eye recognise in every product of those years, whether it be poetry,
philosophy, or pictures and music. Older men of experience smile
thereat, and think with emotion of those beautiful years in which one
resents the fate of _being_ so much and _seeming_ so little. Later on
one really _seems_ more,--but one has lost the good belief in _being_
much,--unless one remain for life an incorrigible fool of vanity.


DECEPTIVE AND YET DEFENSIBLE.--Just as in order to pass by an abyss or
to cross a deep stream on a plank we require a railing, not to hold
fast by,--for it would instantly break down with us,--but to give
the notion of security to the eye, so in youth we require persons
who unconsciously render us the service of that railing. It is true
they would not help us if we really wished to lean upon them in great
danger, but they afford the tranquillising sensation of protection
close to one (for instance, fathers, teachers, friends, as all three
usually are).


LEARNING TO LOVE.--One must learn to love, one must learn to be kind,
and this from childhood onwards; when education and chance give us no
opportunity for the exercise of these feelings our soul becomes dried
up, and even incapable of understanding the fine devices of loving men.
In the same way hatred must be learnt and fostered, when one wants to
become a proficient hater,--otherwise the germ of it will gradually die


RUIN AS ORNAMENT.--Persons who pass through numerous mental phases
retain certain sentiments and habits of their earlier states, which
then project like a piece of inexplicable antiquity and grey stonework
into their new thought and action, often to the embellishment of the
whole surroundings.


LOVE AND HONOUR.--Love desires, fear avoids. That is why one cannot
be both loved and honoured by the same person, at least not at the
same time.[2] For he who honours recognises power,--that is to say, he
fears it, he is in a state of reverential fear (_Ehr-furcht_) But love
recognises no power, nothing that divides, detaches, superordinates,
or subordinates. Because it does not honour them, ambitious people
secretly or openly resent being loved.


A PREJUDICE IN FAVOUR OF COLD NATURES.--People who quickly take fire
grow cold quickly, and therefore are, on the whole, unreliable. For
those, therefore, who are always cold, or pretend to be so, there
is the favourable prejudice that they are particularly trustworthy,
reliable persons; they are confounded with those who take fire slowly
and retain it long.


THE DANGER IN FREE OPINIONS.--Frivolous occupation with free opinions
has a charm, like a kind of itching; if one yields to it further,
one begins to chafe the places; until at last an open, painful wound
results; that is to say, until the free opinion begins to disturb and
torment us in our position in life and in our human relations.


DESIRE FOR SORE AFFLICTION.--When passion is over it leaves behind an
obscure longing for it, and even in disappearing it casts a seductive
glance at us. It must have afforded a kind of pleasure to have
been beaten with this scourge. Compared with it, the more moderate
sensations appear insipid; we still prefer, apparently, the more
violent displeasure to languid delight.


happens, we vent our dissatisfaction on others when we are really
dissatisfied with ourselves, we are in fact attempting to mystify and
deceive our judgment; we desire to find a motive _a posteriori_ for
this dissatisfaction, in the mistakes or deficiencies of others, and
so lose sight of ourselves. Strictly religious people, who have been
relentless judges of themselves, have at the same time spoken most ill
of humanity generally; there has never been a saint who reserved sin
for himself and virture for others, any more than a man who, according
to Buddha's rule, hides his good qualities from people and only shows
his bad ones.


CONFUSION OF CAUSE AND EFFECT.--Unconsciously we seek the principles
and opinions which are suited to our temperament, so that at last it
seems as if these principles and opinions had formed our character
and given it support and stability, whereas exactly the contrary has
taken place. Our thoughts and judgments are, apparently, to be taken
subsequently as the causes of our nature, but as a matter of fact _our_
nature is the cause of our so thinking and judging. And what induces
us to play this almost unconscious comedy? Inertness and convenience,
and to a large extent also the vain desire to be regarded as thoroughly
consistent and homogeneous in nature and thought; for this wins
respect and gives confidence and power.


AGE IN RELATION TO TRUTH.--Young people love what is interesting and
exceptional, indifferent whether it is truth or falsehood. Riper minds
love what is interesting and extraordinary when it is truth. Matured
minds, finally, love truth even in those in whom it appears plain and
simple and is found tiresome by ordinary people, because they have
observed that truth is in the habit of giving utterance to its highest
intellectual verities with all the appearance of simplicity.


MEN AS BAD POETS.--Just as bad poets seek a thought to fit the rhyme
in the second half of the verse, so men in the second half of life,
having become more scrupulous, are in the habit of seeking pursuits,
positions, and conditions which suit those of their earlier life, so
that outwardly all sounds well, but their life is no longer ruled and
continuously determined anew by a powerful thought: in place thereof
there is merely the intention of finding a rhyme.


ENNUI AND PLAY.--Necessity compels us to work, with the product of
which the necessity is appeased; the ever new awakening of necessity,
however, accustoms us to work. But in the intervals in which necessity
is appeased and asleep, as it were, we are attacked by ennui. What is
this? In a word it is the habituation to work, which now makes itself
felt as a new and additional necessity; it will be all the stronger the
more a person has been accustomed to work, perhaps, even, the more a
person has suffered from necessities. In order to escape ennui, a man
either works beyond the extent of his former necessities, or he invents
play, that is to say, work that is only intended to appease the general
necessity for work. He who has become satiated with play, and has no
new necessities impelling him to work, is sometimes attacked by the
longing for a third state, which is related to play as gliding is to
dancing, as dancing is to walking, a blessed, tranquil movement; it is
the artists' and philosophers' vision of happiness.


LESSONS FROM PICTURES.--If we look at a series of pictures of
ourselves, from the time of later childhood to the time of mature
manhood, we discover with pleased surprise that the man bears more
resemblance to the child than to the youth: that probably, therefore,
in accordance with this fact, there has been in the interval a
temporary alienation of the fundamental character, over which the
collected, concentrated force of the man has again become master. With
this observation this other is also in accordance, namely, that all
strong influences of passions, teachers, and political events, which
in our youthful years draw us hither and thither, seem later on to be
referred back again to a fixed standard; of course they still continue
to exist and operate within us, but our fundamental sentiments and
opinions have now the upper hand, and use their influence perhaps as a
source of strength, but are no longer merely regulative, as was perhaps
the case in our twenties. Thus even the thoughts and sentiments of the
man appear more in accordance with those of his childish years,--and
this objective fact expresses itself in the above-mentioned subjective


THE TONE OF VOICE OF DIFFERENT AGES.--The tone in which youths speak,
praise, blame, and versify, displeases an older person because it is
too loud, and yet at the same time dull and confused like a sound in
a vault, which acquires such a loud ring owing to the emptiness; for
most of the thought of youths does not gush forth out of the fulness
of their own nature, but is the accord and the echo of what has been
thought, said, praised or blamed around them. As their sentiments,
however (their inclinations and aversions), resound much more forcibly
than the reasons thereof, there is heard, whenever they divulge these
sentiments, the dull, clanging tone which is a sign of the absence
or scarcity of reasons. The tone of riper age is rigorous, abruptly
concise, moderately loud, but, like everything distinctly articulated,
is heard very far off. Old age, finally, often brings a certain
mildness and consideration into the tone of the voice, and as it were,
sweetens it; in many cases, to be sure it also sours it.


THE ATAVIST AND THE FORERUNNER.--The man of unpleasant character,
full of distrust, envious of the success of fellow-competitors and
neighbours, violent and enraged at divergent opinions, shows that he
belongs to an earlier grade of culture, and is, therefore, an atavism;
for the way in which he behaves to people was right and suitable only
for an age of club-law; he is an _atavist._ The man of a different
character, rich in sympathy, winning friends everywhere, finding all
that is growing and becoming amiable, rejoicing at the honours and
successes of others and claiming no privilege of solely knowing the
truth, but full of a modest distrust,--he is a forerunner who presses
upward towards a higher human culture. The man of unpleasant character
dates from the times when the rude basis of human intercourse had
yet to be laid, the other lives on the upper floor of the edifice of
culture, removed as far as possible from the howling and raging wild
beast imprisoned in the cellars.


CONSOLATION FOR HYPOCHONDRIACS.--When a great thinker is temporarily
subjected to hypochondriacal self-torture he can say to himself, by
way of consolation: "It is thine own great strength on which this
parasite feeds and grows; if thy strength were smaller thou wouldst
have less to suffer." The statesman may say just the same thing when
jealousy and vengeful feeling, or, in a word, the tone of the _bellum
omnium contra omnes,_ for which, as the representative of a nation, he
must necessarily have a great capacity, occasionally intrudes into his
personal relations and makes his life hard.


ESTRANGED FROM THE PRESENT.--There are great advantages in estranging
one's self for once to a large extent from one's age, and being as
it were driven back from its shores into the ocean of past views of
things. Looking thence towards the coast one commands a view, perhaps
for the first time, of its aggregate formation, and when one again
approaches the land one has the advantage of understanding it better,
on the whole, than those who have never left it.


understand how to use their weaknesses, defects, and vices as manure
for their talent. When Rousseau bewails the corruption and degeneration
of society as the evil results of culture, there is a personal
experience at the bottom of it, the bitterness which gives sharpness to
his general condemnation and poisons the arrows with which he shoots;
he unburdens himself first as an individual, and thinks of getting a
remedy which, while benefiting society directly, will also benefit
himself indirectly by means of society.


PHILOSOPHICALLY MINDED.--We usually endeavour to acquire _one_
attitude of mind, _one_ set of opinions for all situations and events
of life--it is mostly called being philosophically minded. But for
the acquisition of knowledge it may be of greater importance not to
make ourselves thus uniform, but to hearken to the low voice of the
different situations in life; these bring their own opinions with
them. We thus take an intelligent interest in the life and nature of
many persons by not treating ourselves as rigid, persistent single


IN THE FIRE OF CONTEMPT.--It is a fresh step towards independence when
one first dares to give utterance to opinions which it is considered as
disgraceful for a person to entertain; even friends and acquaintances
are then accustomed to grow anxious. The gifted nature must also pass
through this fire; it afterwards belongs far more to itself.


SELF-SACRIFICE.--In the event of choice, a great sacrifice is preferred
to a small one, because we compensate ourselves for the great sacrifice
by self-admiration, which is not possible in the case of a small one.


LOVE AS AN ARTIFICE.--Whoever really wishes to _become acquainted
with_ something new (whether it be a person, an event, or a book),
does well to take up the matter with all possible love, and to avert
his eye quickly from all that seems hostile, objectionable, and false
therein,--in fact to forget such things; so that, for instance, he
gives the author of a book the best start possible, and straightway,
just as in a race, longs with beating heart that he may reach the goal.
In this manner one penetrates to the heart of the new thing, to its
moving point, and this is called becoming acquainted with it. This
stage having been arrived at, the understanding afterwards makes its
restrictions; the over-estimation and the temporary suspension of the
critical pendulum were only artifices to lure forth the soul of the


well or too ill of things, we always have the advantage of deriving
therefrom a greater pleasure, for with a too good preconception we
usually put more sweetness into things (experiences) than they actually
contain. A too bad preconception causes a pleasant disappointment, the
pleasantness that lay in the things themselves is increased by the
pleasantness of the surprise. A gloomy temperament, however, will have
the reverse experience in both cases.


PROFOUND PEOPLE.--Those whose strength lies in the deepening of
impressions--they are usually called profound people--are relatively
self-possessed and decided in all sudden emergencies, for in the first
moment the impression is still shallow, it only then _becomes_ deep.
Long foreseen, long expected events or persons, however, excite such
natures most, and make them almost incapable of eventually having
presence of mind on the arrival thereof.


INTERCOURSE WITH THE HIGHER SELF.--Every one has his good day, when
he finds his higher self; and true humanity demands that a person
shall be estimated according to this state and not according to his
work-days of constraint and bondage. A painter, for instance, should be
appraised and honoured according to the most exalted vision he could
see and represent. But men themselves commune very differently with
this their higher self, and are frequently their own playactors, in so
far as they repeatedly imitate what they are in those moments. Some
stand in awe and humility before their ideal, and would fain deny it;
they are afraid of their higher self because, when it speaks, it speaks
pretentiously. Besides, it has a ghost-like freedom of coming and
staying away just as it pleases; on that account it is often called a
gift of the gods, while in fact everything else is a gift of the gods
(of chance); this, however, is the man himself.


LONELY PEOPLE.--Some people are so much accustomed to being alone
in self-communion that they do not at all compare themselves with
others, but spin out their soliloquising life in a quiet, happy mood,
conversing pleasantly, and even hilariously, with themselves. If,
however, they are brought to the point of comparing themselves with
others, they are inclined to a brooding under-estimation of their own
worth, so that they have first to be compelled by others _to form_ once
more a good and just opinion of themselves, and even from this acquired
opinion they will always want to subtract and abate something. We must
not, therefore, grudge certain persons their loneliness or foolishly
commiserate them on that account, as is so often done.


WITHOUT MELODY.--There are persons to whom a constant repose in
themselves and the harmonious ordering of all their capacities is
so natural that every definite activity is repugnant to them. They
resemble music which consists of nothing but prolonged, harmonious
accords, without even the tendency to an organised and animated melody
showing itself. All external movement serves only to restore to the
boat its equilibrium on the sea of harmonious euphony. Modern men
usually become excessively impatient when they meet such natures, who
_will never be anything in_ the world, only it is not allowable to say
of them that they _are nothing._ But in certain moods the sight of them
raises the unusual question: "Why should there be melody at all? Why
should it not suffice us when life mirrors itself peacefully in a deep
lake?" The Middle Ages were richer in such natures than our times. How
seldom one now meets with any one who can live on so peacefully and
happily with himself even in the midst of the crowd, saying to himself,
like Goethe, "The best thing of all is the deep calm in which I live
and grow in opposition to the world, and gain what it cannot take away
from me with fire and sword."


TO LIVE AND EXPERIENCE.--If we observe how some people can deal with
their experiences--their unimportant, everyday experiences--so that
these become soil which yields fruit thrice a year; whilst others--and
how many!--are driven through the surf of the most exciting adventures,
the most diversified movements of times and peoples, and yet always
remain light, always remain on the surface, like cork; we are finally
tempted to divide mankind into a minority (minimality) of those who
know how to make much out of little, and a majority of those who
know how to make little out of much; indeed, we even meet with the
counter-sorcerers who, instead of making the world out of nothing,
make a nothing out of the world.


SERIOUSNESS IN PLAY.---In Genoa one evening, in the twilight, I heard
from a tower a long chiming of bells; it was never like to end, and
sounded as if insatiable above the noise of the streets, out into the
evening sky and sea-air, so thrilling, and at the same time so childish
and so sad. I then remembered the words of Plato, and suddenly felt the
force of them in my heart: "_Human matters, one and all, are not worthy
of great seriousness; nevertheless ..._"


CONVICTION AND JUSTICE.--The requirement that a person must afterwards,
when cool and sober, stand by what he says, promises, and resolves
during passion, is one of the heaviest burdens that weigh upon mankind.
To have to acknowledge for all future time the consequences of anger,
of fiery revenge, of enthusiastic devotion, may lead to a bitterness
against these feelings proportionate to the idolatry with which they
are idolised, especially by artists. These cultivate to its full extent
the _esteem of the passions,_ and have always done so; to be sure, they
also glorify the terrible satisfaction of the passions which a person
affords himself, the outbreaks of vengeance, with death, mutilation, or
voluntary banishment in their train, and the resignation of the broken
heart. In any case they keep alive curiosity about the passions; it is
as if they said: "Without passions you have no experience whatever."
Because we have sworn fidelity (perhaps even to a purely fictitious
being, such as a god), because we have surrendered our heart to a
prince, a party, a woman, a priestly order, an artist, or a thinker,
in a state of infatuated delusion that threw a charm over us and made
those beings appear worthy of all veneration, and every sacrifice--are
we, therefore, firmly and inevitably bound? Or did we not, after all,
deceive ourselves then? Was there not a hypothetical promise, under the
tacit presupposition that those beings to whom we consecrated ourselves
were really the beings they seemed to be in our imagination? Are we
under obligation to be faithful to our errors, even with the knowledge
that by this fidelity we shall cause injury to our higher selves? No,
there is no law, no obligation of that sort; we _must_ become traitors,
we must act unfaithfully and abandon our ideals again and again. We
cannot advance from one period of life into another without causing
these pains of treachery and also suffering from them. Might it be
necessary to guard against the ebullitions of our feelings in order
to escape these pains? Would not the world then become too arid, too
ghost-like for us? Rather will we ask ourselves whether these pains
are _necessary_ on a change of convictions, or whether they do not
depend on a _mistaken_ opinion and estimate. Why do we admire a person
who remains true to his convictions and despise him who changes them?
I fear the answer must be, "because every one takes for granted that
such a change is caused only by motives of more general utility or of
personal trouble." That is to say, we believe at bottom that nobody
alters his opinions as long as they are advantageous to him, or at
least as long as they do not cause him any harm. If it is so, however,
it furnishes a bad proof of the _intellectual_ significance of all
convictions. Let us once examine how convictions arise, and let us see
whether their importance is not greatly over-estimated; it will thereby
be seen that the _change_ of convictions also is in all circumstances
judged according to a false standard, that we have hitherto been
accustomed to suffer _too much_ from this change.


Conviction is belief in the possession of absolute truth on any matter
of knowledge. This belief takes it for granted, therefore, that there
are absolute truths; also, that perfect methods have been found for
attaining to them; and finally, that every one who has convictions
makes use of these perfect methods. All three notions show at once that
the man of convictions is not the man of scientific thought; he seems
to us still in the age of theoretical innocence, and is practically
a child, however grown-up he may be. Whole centuries, however, have
been lived under the influence of those childlike presuppositions, and
out of them have flowed the mightiest sources of human strength. The
countless numbers who sacrificed themselves for their convictions
believed they were doing it for the sake of absolute truth. They were
all wrong, however; probably no one has ever sacrificed himself for
Truth; at least, the dogmatic expression of the faith of any such
person has been unscientific or only partly scientific. But really,
people wanted to carry their point because they believed that they
_must be_ in the right. To allow their belief to be wrested from
them probably meant calling in question their eternal salvation. In
an affair of such extreme importance the "will" was too audibly the
prompter of the intellect. The presupposition of every believer of
every shade of belief has been that he _could not_ be confuted; if the
counter-arguments happened to be very strong, it always remained for
him to decry intellect generally, and, perhaps, even to set up the
"_credo quia absurdum est_" as the standard of extreme fanaticism. It
is not the struggle of opinions that has made history so turbulent; but
the struggle of belief in opinions,--that is to say, of convictions.
If all those who thought so highly of their convictions, who made
sacrifices of all kinds for them, and spared neither honour, body,
nor life in their service, had only devoted half of their energy to
examining their right to adhere to this or that conviction and by what
road they arrived at it, how peaceable would the history of mankind now
appear! How much more knowledge would there be! All the cruel scenes
in connection with the persecution of heretics of all kinds would have
been avoided, for two reasons: firstly, because the inquisitors would
above all have inquired of themselves, and would have recognised
the presumption of defending absolute truth; and secondly, because
the heretics themselves would, after examination, have taken no more
interest in such badly established doctrines as those of all religious
sectarians and "orthodox" believers.


From the ages in which it was customary to believe in the possession
of absolute truth, people have inherited a profound _dislike_ of all
sceptical and relative attitudes with regard to questions of knowledge;
they mostly prefer to acquiesce, for good or evil, in the convictions
of those in authority (fathers, friends, teachers, princes), and they
have a kind of remorse of conscience when they do not do so. This
tendency is quite comprehensible, and its results furnish no ground
for condemnation of the course of the development of human reason.
The scientific spirit in man, however, has gradually to bring to
maturity the virtue of _cautious forbearance,_ the wise moderation,
which is better known in practical than in theoretical life, and
which, for instance, Goethe has represented in "Antonio," as an object
of provocation for all Tassos,--that is to say, for unscientific and
at the same time inactive natures. The man of convictions has in
himself the right not to comprehend the man of cautious thought, the
theoretical Antonio; the scientific man, on the other hand, has no
right to blame the former on that account, he takes no notice thereof,
and knows, moreover, that in certain cases the former will yet cling
to him, as Tasso finally clung to Antonio.


He who has not passed through different phases of conviction, but
sticks to the faith in whose net he was first caught, is, under
all circumstances, just on account of this unchangeableness, a
representative of _atavistic_ culture; in accordance with this lack
of culture (which always presupposes plasticity for culture), he
is severe, unintelligent, unteachable, without liberality, an ever
suspicious person, an unscrupulous person who has recourse to all
expedients for enforcing his opinions because he cannot conceive that
there must be other opinions; he is, in such respects, perhaps a
source of strength, and even wholesome in cultures that have become
too emancipated and languid, but only because he strongly incites to
opposition: for thereby the delicate organisation of the new culture,
which is forced to struggle with him, becomes strong itself.


In essential respects we are still the same men as those of the time
of the Reformation; how could it be otherwise? But the fact that we
_no longer_ allow ourselves certain means for promoting the triumph
of our opinions distinguishes us from that age, and proves that we
belong to a higher culture. He who still combats and overthrows
opinions with calumnies and outbursts of rage, after the manner of
the Reformation men, obviously betrays the fact that he would have
burnt his adversaries had he lived in other times, and that he would
have resorted to all the methods of the Inquisition if he had been
an opponent of the Reformation. The Inquisition was rational at that
time; for it represented nothing else than the universal application of
martial law, which had to be proclaimed throughout the entire domain
of the Church, and which, like all martial law, gave a right to the
extremest methods, under the presupposition, of course, (which we now
no longer share with those people), that the Church _possessed_ truth
and had to preserve it at all costs, and at any sacrifice, for the
salvation of mankind. Now, however, one does not so readily concede to
any one that he possesses the truth; strict methods of investigation
have diffused enough of distrust and precaution, so that every one who
violently advocates opinions in word and deed is looked upon as an
enemy of our modern culture, or, at least, as an atavist. As a matter
of fact the pathos that man possesses truth is now of very little
consequence in comparison with the certainly milder and less noisy
pathos of the search for truth, which is never weary of learning afresh
and examining anew.


Moreover, the methodical search for truth is itself the outcome of
those ages in which convictions were at war with each other. If the
individual had not cared about _his_ "truth," that is to say, about
carrying his point, there would have been no method of investigation;
thus, however, by the eternal struggle of the claims of different
individuals to absolute truth, people went on step by step to find
irrefragable principles according to which the rights of the claims
could be tested and the dispute settled. At first people decided
according to authorities; later on they criticised one another's ways
and means of finding the presumed truth; in the interval there was a
period when people deduced the consequences of the adverse theory, and
perhaps found them to be productive of injury and unhappiness; from
which it was then to be inferred by every one that the conviction of
the adversary involved an error. The _personal struggle of the thinker_
at last so sharpened his methods that real truths could be discovered,
and the mistakes of former methods exposed before the eyes of all.


On the whole, scientific methods are at least as important results
of investigation as any other results, for the scientific spirit is
based upon a knowledge of method, and if the methods were lost, all
the results of science could not prevent the renewed prevalence of
superstition and absurdity. Clever people may _learn_ as much as
they like of the results of science, but one still notices in their
conversation, and especially in the hypotheses they make, that they
lack the scientific spirit; they have not the instinctive distrust of
the devious courses of thinking which, in consequence of long training,
has taken root in the soul of every scientific man. It is enough for
them to find any kind of hypothesis on a subject, they are then all
on fire for it, and imagine the matter is thereby settled. To have
an opinion is with them equivalent to immediately becoming fanatical
for it, and finally taking it to heart as a conviction. In the case
of an unexplained matter they become heated for the first idea that
comes into their head which has any resemblance to an explanation--a
course from which the worst results constantly follow, especially in
the field of politics. On that account everybody should nowadays have
become thoroughly acquainted with at least _one_ science, for then
surely he knows what is meant by method, and how necessary is the
extremest carefulness. To women in particular this advice is to be
given at present; as to those who are irretrievably the victims of all
hypotheses, especially when these have the appearance of being witty,
attractive, enlivening, and invigorating. Indeed, on close inspection
one sees that by far the greater number of educated people still desire
convictions from a thinker and nothing but _convictions,_ and that
only a small minority want _certainty._ The former want to be forcibly
carried away in order thereby to obtain an increase of strength; the
latter few have the real interest which disregards personal advantages
and the increase of strength also. The former class, who greatly
predominate, are always reckoned upon when the thinker comports himself
and labels himself as a _genius,_ and thus views himself as a higher
being to whom authority belongs. In so far as genius of this kind
upholds the ardour of convictions, and arouses distrust of the cautious
and modest spirit of science, it is an enemy of truth, however much it
may think itself the wooer thereof.


There is, certainly, also an entirely different species of genius, that
of justice; and I cannot make up my mind to estimate it lower than any
kind of philosophical, political, or artistic genius. Its peculiarity
is to go, with heartfelt aversion, out of the way of everything that
blinds and confuses people's judgment of things; it is consequently
an _adversary of convictions,_ for it wants to give their own to all,
whether they be living or dead, real or imaginary--and for that purpose
it must know thoroughly; it therefore places everything in the best
light and goes around it with careful eyes. Finally, it will even give
to its adversary the blind or short-sighted "conviction" (as men call
it,--among women it is called "faith"), what is due to conviction--for
the sake of truth.


Opinions evolve out of _passions; indolence of intellect_ allows those
to congeal into _convictions._ He, however, who is conscious of himself
as a _free,_ restless, lively spirit can prevent this congelation by
constant change; and if he is altogether a thinking snowball, he will
not have opinions in his head at all, but only certainties and properly
estimated probabilities. But we, who are of a mixed nature, alternately
inspired with ardour and chilled through and through by the intellect,
want to kneel before justice, as the only goddess we acknowledge. The
_fire_ in us generally makes us unjust, and impure in the eyes of our
goddess; in this condition we are not permitted to take her hand, and
the serious smile of her approval never rests upon us. We reverence
her as the veiled Isis of our life; with shame we offer her our pain
as penance and sacrifice when the fire threatens to burn and consume
us. It is the _intellect_ that saves us from being utterly burnt and
reduced to ashes; it occasionally drags us away from the sacrificial
altar of justice or enwraps us in a garment of asbestos. Liberated from
the fire, and impelled by the intellect, we then pass from opinion to
opinion, through the change of parties, as noble _betrayers_ of all
things that can in any way be betrayed--and nevertheless without a
feeling of guilt.


THE WANDERER.--He who has attained intellectual emancipation to any
extent cannot, for a long time, regard himself otherwise than as
a wanderer on the face of the earth--and not even as a traveller
_towards_ a final goal, for there is no such thing. But he certainly
wants to observe and keep his eyes open to whatever actually happens
in the world; therefore he cannot attach his heart too firmly to
anything individual; he must have in himself something wandering that
takes pleasure in change and transitoriness. To be sure such a man will
have bad nights, when he is weary and finds the gates of the town that
should offer him rest closed; perhaps he may also find that, as in
the East, the desert reaches to the gates, that wild beasts howl far
and near, that a strong wind arises, and that robbers take away his
beasts of burden. Then the dreadful night closes over him like a second
desert upon the desert, and his heart grows weary of wandering. Then
when the morning sun rises upon him, glowing like a Deity of anger,
when the town is opened, he sees perhaps in the faces of the dwellers
therein still more desert, uncleanliness, deceit, and insecurity than
outside the gates--and the day is almost worse than the night. Thus
it may occasionally happen to the wanderer; but then there come as,
compensation the delightful mornings of other lands and days, when
already in the grey of the dawn he sees the throng of muses dancing
by, close to him, in the mist of the mountain; when afterwards, in
the symmetry of his ante-meridian soul, he strolls silently under
the trees, out of whose crests and leafy hiding-places all manner of
good and bright things are flung to him, the gifts of all the free
spirits who are at home in mountains, forests, and solitudes, and who,
like himself, alternately merry and thoughtful, are wanderers and
philosophers. Born of the secrets of the early dawn, they ponder the
question how the day, between the hours of ten and twelve, can have
such a pure, transparent, and gloriously cheerful countenance: they
seek the _ante-meridian_ philosophy.

[Footnote 1: This is why Nietzsche pointed out later on that he had an
interest in the preservation of Christianity, and that he was sure his
teaching would not undermine this faith--just as little as anarchists
have undermined kings; but have left them seated all the more firmly on
their thrones.--J.M.K.]

[Footnote 2: Women never understand this.--J.M.K.]

                        AN EPODE.

                        AMONG FRIENDS.

                        (Translated by T. COMMON.)

                        Nice, when mute we lie a-dreaming,
                        Nicer still when we are laughing,
                        'Neath the sky heaven's chariot speeding,
                        On the moss the book a-reading,
                        Sweetly loud with friends all laughing
                        Joyous, with white teeth a-gleaming.
                        Do I well, we're mute and humble;
                        Do I ill--we'll laugh exceeding;
                        Make it worse and worse, unheeding,
                        Worse proceeding, more laughs needing,
                        Till into the grave we stumble.
                        Friends! Yea! so shall it obtain?
                        Amen! Till we meet again.


                        No excuses need be started!
                        Give, ye glad ones, open hearted,
                        To this foolish book before you
                        Ear and heart and lodging meet;
                        Trust me, 'twas not meant to bore you,
                        Though of folly I may treat!
                        What I find, seek, and am needing,
                        Was it e'er in book for reading?
                        Honour now fools in my name,
                        Learn from out this book by reading
                        How "our sense" from reason came.
                        Thus, my friends, shall it obtain?
                        Amen! Till we meet again.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Human All-Too-Human, Part 1 - Complete Works, Volume Six" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.