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IV "The Joyful Wisdom"
In 1882 Nietzsche wrote and published "The Joyful Wisdom" ("La Gay a Scienza"). Although originally intended as a supplement to "The Dawn of Day," under which title it was to have been issued in a later edition of this earlier work, it differs greatly, not only from "The Dawn of Day," but from everything else Nietzsche ever wrote. The destructive spirit of "Human, All-Too-Human" is nowhere to be found in it. The revolutionary doctrines of "The Dawn of Day" are but vaguely echoed. It is a book which shows Nietzsche in a unique and isolated mood—a mood which, throughout his whole life did not return to him. Temperamentally "The Joyful Wisdom" comes nearer being a parallel to "Thus Spake Zarathustra" than to any of his other writings. But even this comparison goes to pieces when pushed beyond the most superficial aspects of the two books. Nietzsche was at Naumburg at the time of writing this work. A long-standing stomach malady had suddenly shown signs of leaving him, and the period during which he wrote "The Joyful Wisdom" was one of the happiest of his life. Heretofore a sombre seriousness had marked both his thoughts and the expression of them. In the two volumes of "Human, All-Too-Human" he had attempted a complete devastation of all codes and ideals. In "The Dawn of Day" he waged a[Pg 114] bitter and serious warfare on modern moral standards and made attempts at supplanting them with new dogma. In "The Joyful Wisdom" he revealed an entirely new phase of his character—a lenient, jovial, almost buoyant attitude toward the world.

Although "The Joyful Wisdom" may be considered in the light of an interpolation into Nietzsche's philosophical works, the book is nevertheless among the most interesting of his output—not so much because it gives us any additions to the sum of his thinking, but because it throws a light on the philosopher himself. It may be lifted bodily out of his works without leaving a gap in the development of his doctrines, but it cannot be set aside without closing up a very important and significant facet in the man's nature. Unfortunately Nietzsche is looked upon as a man who was entirely consumed with rancour and hatred—a man unconscious of the comic side of existence—a thinker with whom pessimism was chronic. But this is only a half truth, a conclusion founded on partial evidence. Nietzsche's very earnestness at times defeated his own ends. "The Joyful Wisdom" is one of the most fundamentally hilarious books ever written. It deals with life as a supreme bit of humour. Yet there is little in it to provoke laughter. Nietzsche's humour is deeper than the externals. One finds no superficial jesting here, no smartness, no transient buffoonery. The book is a glorification of that subtle joy which accompanies the experiencing of knowledge. In order to catch its spirit it is necessary that one be familiar with the serious and formulating Nietzsche, for on his most serious doctrines is founded that attitude which makes "The Joyful Wisdom" hilarious. Once familiar with Nietzsche's earlier writings one may read[Pg 115] the present book with a feeling of exhilaration unlike that produced by his more manifestly solemn writings.

However, despite the buoyancy of this document, it is, beneath the surface, as serious as anything Nietzsche has ever written. His conception of the world and his assumption of the underlying aspects of existence are founded on deeply conceived formulas. It must be borne in mind that Nietzsche's thought is in a large measure personal, that the development of his doctrines is due to very definite biographical causes and to the flux and reflux of his own emotions. His system is not a spontaneous and complete conception, the sudden fruit of his entire research given to the world in a unified body. To the contrary, it is an amassing of data, a constant building up of ideas. No one book contains his entire teachings, logically thought out and carefully organised. Rather is his philosophy an intricate structure which begins with his earliest essays and does not reach completion until the end of "The Will to Power." Each book has some specific place in his thought: each book assumes a position relative to all the rest. Thus in "The Joyful Wisdom" we have the turning point between the denying and destructive Nietzsche and the asserting and fashioning Nietzsche. Says he in the fourth and most important section called "Sanctus Januarius": "Amor fati:[1] let that henceforth be my love! I do not want to wage war with the ugly. I do not want to accuse, I do not want even to accuse the accusers. Looking aside, let that be my sole negation! And all in all, to sum up: I wish to be at any time hereafter only a yea-sayer!"

In "The Joyful Wisdom" begins Nietzsche's almost[Pg 116] fanatical joy in life. Here, too, we encounter for the first time the symbol of the dance. Nietzsche constantly makes use of this figure in his later writings. Especially in "Thus Spake Zarathustra" does he exhort his readers to indulge themselves in dancing. The blasphemies and hatreds characteristic of the philosopher in his more solemn moods are nowhere discernible in this new book. It is therefore of considerable importance to the student in forming a just estimate of Nietzsche. Here the hater has departed; the idol-smasher has laid down his weapons; the analyst has become the satyr; the logician has turned poet; the blasphemer has become the child. Only occasionally does the pendulum swing toward the sombre Apollonian pole: the Dionysian ideal of joy is dominant. The month of January inspired the book, and Nietzsche says in his Ecce Homo that it was the most wonderful month of January he had ever spent. This spirit of gaiety was to remain with him in some degree throughout the remainder of his life. He realised that his preparatory work was completed. He saw his way clear to forge ahead as his doctrines led him; and his exuberance no doubt grew out of the satisfaction he took in this prospect.

Although the contents of "The Joyful Wisdom" are not inherently a part of Nietzsche's philosophy, but only detached applications of his theories—ideas which floated to the surface of his doctrines—the material encountered here is of wide and varied interest. There are criticisms of German and Southern culture; valuations of modern authors; views on the developments of art; theories of music; analyses of Schopenhauer and an explanation of his vogue; judgments of the ancient and the modern theatre; excursions into philological fields; arraignments of[Pg 117] contemporary classicism; doctrines of creative artistry; personal paragraphs on mental culture, politics and commerce. ... The book is, in fact, more critical than philosophical.

Nietzsche never entirely dissevered himself from his time and from the habits, both of thought and action, which characterised his contemporaries. From his first academic essays to his last transvaluation of values, he remained the patient and analytical observer of the life about him. For this reason it has been argued among disciples of "pure" thinking that he was not, in the strictest sense of the word, a "philosopher," but rather a critically intellectual force. This diagnosis might carry weight had not Nietzsche avowedly built his philosophical structure on a repudiation of abstract thinking. This misunderstanding of him arose from the adherents of rational thinking overlooking the fact that, where the older philosophers had detached themselves from reality because of the instability of natural hypotheses, Nietzsche re-established human bases on which he founded his syllogisms. Therefore one should not attempt to divorce the purely critical from the purely philosophical in his writings. Even in a book so frankly critical as "The Joyful Wisdom" there is a directing force of theoretical unity.

This is especially true of the third section. This division is made up almost entirely of comments on men and affairs, short analyses of human attitudes, desultory excursions into the sociological, brief remarks on man's emotional nature, apothegms dealing with human attributes, bits of racy philosophical gossip, religious and scientific maxims, and the like. Sometimes these observations are cynical, sometimes gracious, sometimes bitter,[Pg 118] sometimes buoyant, sometimes merely witty. But all of them are welded together by a profound conception of humanity.

The most stimulating division of the book is the fourth, in which Nietzsche's good humour is at its height. This section is a glorification of victory and of all those hardy qualities which go into the perfecting of the individual. Nietzsche reverses Schiller's famous doctrine expressed in "Die Braut von Messina": "Life is not of all good the highest." He sees no good over and beyond that of human relationships. The normal instincts to him are the ones which affirm life; the abnormal instincts are those which deny it. The former are summed up in the ethics of Greece under the sway of Dionysus; the latter are epitomised in the Christian religion.

The fifth book, called "We Fearless Ones," and the appendix of "Songs of Prince Free-as-a-Bird" were written four years later than the other material and added with an introduction in a later edition of the book. These addenda, while less specific and of a more dialectic nature than the preceding parts, are in spirit manifestly the same as the rest of the book.

In "The Joyful Wisdom" we have again an aphoristic style of writing, although it has become keener and more sure of itself since "Human, All-Too-Human" and "The Dawn of Day." In making selections from this book I have chosen those passages which are more general in tone. The connection between the various aphorisms is here even slighter than is Nietzsche's wont, and for that reason no attempt has been made to present a continuous perception of the work. However, the excerpts which follow, though of a less popular nature, are more[Pg 119] intimately related to his thoughts than the ones omitted, and consequently are of more interest to the student.

[1] Love of (one's) destiny.

EXCERPTS FROM "THE JOYFUL WISDOM"

Whether I look with a good or an evil eye upon men, I find them always at one problem, each and all of them: to do that which conduces to the conservation of the human species. 31

To laugh at oneself as one would have to laugh in order to laugh out of the veriest truth,—to do this the best have not hitherto had enough of the sense of truth, and the most endowed have had far too little genius! There is perhaps still a future even for laughter! 32

The ignoble nature is distinguished by the fact that it keeps its advantage steadily in view, and that this thought of the end and advantage is even stronger than its strongest impulse: not to be tempted to inexpedient activities by its impulses—that is its wisdom and inspiration. In comparison with the ignoble nature the higher nature is more irrational:—for the noble, magnanimous, and self-sacrificing person succumbs in fact to his impulses, and in his best moments his reason lapses altogether. 37

The strongest and most evil spirits have hitherto advanced mankind the most: they always rekindled the sleeping passions—all orderly arranged society lulls the passions to sleep. 39

The lust of property and love: what different associations each of these ideas evokes!—and yet it might be the same impulse twice named. 51

The poison by which the weaker nature is destroyed is strengthening to the strong individual—and he does not call it poison. 56-57

[Pg 120]

The virtues of a man are called good, not in respect of the results they have for himself, but in respect of the results which we expect therefrom for ourselves and for society.... The praise of the virtues is the praise of something which is privately injurious to the individual; it is praise of impulses which deprive man of his noblest self-love, and the power to take the best care of himself.... The "neighbour" praises unselfishness because he profits by it! If the neighbour were "unselfishly" disposed himself, he would reject that destruction of power, that injury for his advantage, he would thwart such inclinations in their origin, and above all he would manifest his unselfishness just by not giving it a good name! 58-60

Living—that is to be cruel and inexorable towards all that becomes weak and old in ourselves, and not only in ourselves. 68

It is probable that the manufacturers and great magnates of commerce have hitherto lacked too much all those forms and attributes of a superior race, which alone make persons interesting; if they had had the nobility of the newly-born in their looks and bearing, there would perhaps have been no socialism in the masses of the people. For these are really ready for slavery of every kind, provided that the superior class above them constantly shows itself legitimately superior, and born to command—by its noble presence! 78

When one continually prohibits the expression of the passions as something to be left to the "vulgar," to coarser, bourgeois, and peasant natures—that is, when one does not want to suppress the passions themselves, but only their language and demeanour, one nevertheless realises therewith just what one does not want: the[Pg 121] suppression of the passions themselves, or at least their weakening and alteration.... 83

In magnanimity there is the same amount of egoism as in revenge.... 86-87

Where bad eyesight can no longer see the evil impulse as such, on account of its refinement,—there man sets up the kingdom of goodness.... 88

To become the advocate of the rule—that may perhaps be the ultimate form and refinement in which nobility of character will reveal itself on earth. 90

Women are all skilful in exaggerating their weaknesses, indeed they are inventive in weaknesses, so as to seem quite fragile ornaments to which even a grain of dust does harm; their existence is meant to bring home to man's mind his coarseness, and to appeal to his conscience. 101

There is something quite astonishing and extraordinary in the education of women of the higher class; indeed, there is perhaps nothing more paradoxical. All the world is agreed to educate them with as much ignorance as possible in erotics, and to inspire their soul with a profound shame of such things, and the extremest impatience and horror at the suggestion of them. It is really here only that all the "honour" of women is at stake; what would one not forgive in them in other respects! But here they are intended to remain ignorant to the very backbone:—they are intended to have neither eyes, ears, words, nor thoughts for this, their "wickedness"; indeed knowledge here is already evil. And then! To be hurled as with an awful thunderbolt into reality and knowledge with marriage—and indeed by him whom they most love and esteem: to have to encounter love and shame in contradiction, yea, to have to[Pg 122] feel rapture, abandonment, duty, sympathy, and fright at the unexpected proximity of God and animal, and whatever else besides! all at once!—There, in fact, a psychic entanglement has been effected which is quite unequalled! Even the sympathetic curiosity of the wisest discerner of men does not suffice to divine how this or that woman gets along with the solution of this enigma and the enigma of this solution; what dreadful, far-reaching suspicions must awaken thereby in the poor unhinged soul; and forsooth, how the ultimate philosophy and scepticism of the woman casts anchor at this point!—Afterwards the same profound silence as before: and often even a silence to herself, a shutting of her eyes to herself.—Young wives on that account make great efforts to appear superficial and thoughtless; the most ingenious of them simulate a kind of impudence.—Wives easily feel their husbands as a question-mark to their honour, and their children as an apology or atonement,—they require children, and wish for them in quite another spirit than a husband wishes for them.—In short, one cannot be gentle enough towards women! 104-105

Of what consequence is all our art in artistic products, if that higher art, the art of the festival, be lost by us? 124

The best thing I could say in honour of Shakespeare, the man, is that he believed in Brutus and cast not a shadow of suspicion on the kind of virtue which Brutus represents! 131

We must rest from ourselves occasionally by contemplating and looking down upon ourselves, and by laughing or weeping over ourselves from an artistic remoteness: we must discover the hero, and likewise the fool, that is hidden in our passion for knowledge; we must now[Pg 123] and then be joyful in our folly, that we may continue to be joyful in our wisdom! And just because we are heavy and serious men in our ultimate depth, and are rather weights than men, there is nothing that does us so much good as the fool's cap and bells: we need them in presence of ourselves—we need all arrogant, soaring, dancing, mocking, childish and blessed Art, in order not to lose the free dominion over things which our ideal demands of us. 146

The general character of the world ... is to all eternity chaos; not by the absence of necessity, but in the sense of the absence of order, structure, form, beauty, wisdom, and whatever else our ?sthetic humanities are called. Judged by our reason, the unlucky casts are far oftenest the rule, the exceptions are not the secret purpose; and the whole musical box repeats eternally its air, which can never be called a melody,—and finally the very expression, "unlucky cast" is already an anthropomorphising which involves blame. But how could we presume to blame or praise the universe! Let us be on our guard against ascribing to it heartlessness and unreason, or their opposites; it is neither perfect, nor beautiful, nor noble; nor does it seek to be anything of the kind, it does not at all attempt to imitate man! It is altogether unaffected by our ?sthetic and moral judgments! Neither has it any self-preservative instinct, nor instinct at all; it also knows no law. Let us be on our guard against saying that there are laws in nature. There are only necessities: there is no one who commands, no one who obeys, no one who transgresses. When you know that there is no design, you know also that there is no chance: for it is only where there is a world of design that the word "chance" has a meaning.[Pg 124] Let us be on our guard against saying that death is contrary to life. The living being is only a species of dead being, and a very rare species.—Let us be on our guard against thinking that the world eternally creates the new. There are no eternally enduring substances; matter is just another such error as the God of the Eleatics. 152-153.

Man has been reared by his errors: firstly, he saw himself always imperfect; secondly, he attributed to himself imaginary qualities; thirdly, he felt himself in a false position in relation to the animals and nature; fourthly, he always devised new tables of values, and accepted them for a time as eternal and unconditioned, so that at one time this, and at another time that human impulse or state stood first, and was ennobled in consequence. When one has deducted the effect of these four errors, one has also deducted humanity, humaneness, and "human dignity." 160

Morality is the herd-instinct in the individual. 161

There is no such thing as health in itself, and all attempts to define a thing in that way have lamentably failed. It is necessary to know thy aim, thy horizon, thy powers, thy impulses, thy errors, and especially the ideals and fantasies of thy soul, in order to determine what health implies even for thy body. 163

Mystical explanations are regarded as profound; the truth is that they do not even go the length of being superficial. 169

I set the following propositions against those of Schopenhauer —Firstly, in order that Will may arise, an idea of pleasure and pain is necessary. Secondly, that a vigorous excitation may be felt as pleasure or pain, is the affair of the interpreting intellect, which, to be sure, operates thereby for the most part unconsciously to us, and[Pg 125] one and the same excitation may be interpreted as pleasure or pain. Thirdly, it is only in an intellectual being that there is pleasure, displeasure and Will; the immense majority of organisms have nothing of the kind. 171

Prayer has been devised for such men as have never any thoughts of their own, and to whom an elevation of the soul is unknown, or passes unnoticed. 171

Sin, as it is at present felt wherever Christianity prevails or has prevailed, is a Jewish feeling and a Jewish invention. 174

A Jesus Christ was only possible in a Jewish landscape—I mean in one over which the gloomy and sublime thunder-cloud of the angry Jehovah hung continually. 176

Where there is ruling there are masses: where there are masses there is need of slavery. Where there is slavery the individuals are but few, and have the instincts and conscience of the herd opposed to them. 183

We love the grandeur of Nature and have discovered it; that is because human grandeur is lacking in our minds. 186

Egoism is the perspective law of our sentiment, according to which the near appears large and momentous, while in the distance the magnitude and importance of all things diminish. 187

He who knows that he is profound strives for clearness; he who would like to appear profound to the multitude strives for obscurity. The multitude thinks everything profound of which it cannot see the bottom; it is so timid and goes so unwillingly into the water. 190

Thoughts are the shadows of our sentiments—always, however, obscurer, emptier, and simpler. 192

To laugh means to love mischief, but with a good conscience. 196

[Pg 126] Virtue gives happiness and a state of blessedness only to those who have a strong faith in their virtue:—not, however, to the more refined souls whose virtue consists of a profound distrust of themselves and of all virtue. After all, therefore, it is "faith that saves" here also!—and be it well observed, not virtue! 198

Although the most intelligent judges of the witches, and even the witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchcraft, the guilt, nevertheless, was not there. So it is with all guilt. 205

It makes me happy to see that men do not want to think at all of the idea of death! I would fain do something to make the idea of life even a hundred times more worthy of their attention. 215-216

I greet all the signs indicating that a more manly and warlike age is commencing, which will, above all, bring heroism again into honour! For it has to prepare the way for a yet higher age, and gather the force which the latter will one day require,—the age which will carry heroism into knowledge, and wage war for the sake of ideas and their consequences. 218-219

They are disagreeable to me, those men in whom every natural inclination forthwith becomes a disease, something disfiguring, or even disgraceful. They have seduced us to the opinion that the inclinations and impulses of men are evil; they are the cause of our great injustice to our own nature, and to all nature! There are enough of men who may yield to their impulses gracefully and carelessly: but they do not do so, for fear of that imaginary "evil thing" in nature! That is the cause why there is so little nobility to be found among men: the indication of which will always be to have no fear of oneself, to expect nothing disgraceful from oneself, to fly[Pg 127] without hesitation whithersoever we are impelled—we free-born birds! Wherever we come, there will always be freedom and sunshine around us. 229

Every one knows at present that the ability to endure contradiction is a high indication of culture. Some people even know that the higher man courts opposition, and provokes it, so as to get a cue to his hitherto unknown partiality. But the ability to contradict, the attainment of good conscience in hostility to the accustomed, the traditional and the hallowed,—that is more than both the above-named abilities, and is the really great, new and astonishing thing in our culture, the step of all steps of the emancipated intellect: who knows that? 232

In the main all those moral systems are distasteful to me which say: "Do not do this! Renounce! Overcome thyself!" On the other hand I am favourable to those moral systems which stimulate me to do something, and to do it again from morning till evening, and dream of it at night, and think of nothing else but to do it well, as well as it is possible for me alone!... 238

In pain there is as much wisdom as in pleasure: like the latter it is one of the best self-preservatives of a species. Were it not so, pain would long ago have been done away with; that it is hurtful is no argument against it, for to be hurtful is its very essence. 247

One form of honesty has always been lacking among founders of religions and their kin:—they have never made their experiences a matter of the intellectual conscience.... But we who are different, who are thirsty for reason, want to look as carefully into our experiences, as in the case of a scientific experiment, hour by hour, day by day! We ourselves want to be our own experiments, and our own subjects of experiment. 248

[Pg 128]

Let us no longer think so much about punishing, blaming, improving! We shall seldom be able to alter an individual, and if we should succeed in doing so, something else may also succeed, perhaps unawares: we may have been altered by him! Let us rather see to it that our own influence on all that is to come outweighs and overweighs his influence! Let us not struggle in direct conflict!—all blaming, punishing, and desire to improve comes under this category. 249

Who could know how to laugh well and live well, who did not first understand the full meaning of war and victory? 250

That delightful animal, man, seems to lose his good-humour whenever he thinks well; he becomes "serious"! And "where there is laughing and gaiety, thinking cannot be worth anything:"—so speaks the prejudice of this serious animal against all "Joyful Wisdom." 252-253

If you had thought more acutely, observed more accurately, and had learned more, you would no longer under all circumstances call this and that your "duty" and your "conscience": the knowledge how moral judgments have in general always originated, would make you tired of these pathetic words.... 261

We would seek to become what we are,—the new, the unique, the incomparable, making laws for ourselves and creating ourselves! And for this purpose we must become the best students and discoverers of all the laws and necessities in the world. We must be physicists in order to be creators in that sense,—whereas hitherto all appreciations and ideals have been based on ignorance of physics, or in contradiction to it. 203

Our "benefactors" lower our value and volition more than our enemies. 265

[Pg 129]

It is always a metaphysical belief on which our belief in science rests,—and that even we knowing ones of to-day, the godless and anti-metaphysical, still take our fire from the conflagration kindled by a belief a millennium old, the Christian belief, which was also the belief of Plato, that God is truth, that the truth is divine. 279

Belief is always most desired, most pressingly needed where there is a lack of will: for the will, as emotion of command, is the distinguishing characteristic of sovereignty and power. That is to say, the less a person knows how to command, the more urgent is his desire for one who commands, who commands sternly,—a God, a prince, a caste, a physician, a confessor, a dogma, a party conscience. 286

To seek self-preservation merely, is the expression of a state of distress, or of limitation of the true, fundamental instinct of life, which aims at the extension of power, and with this in view often enough calls in question self-preservation and sacrifices it. 289

The subtlety and strength of consciousness are always in proportion to the capacity for communication of a man (or an animal), the capacity for communication in its turn being in proportion to the necessity for communication.... Consciousness generally has only been developed under the pressure of the necessity for communication, —that from the first it has been necessary and useful only between man and man (especially between those commanding and those obeying), and has only developed in proportion to its utility. 296-297

The Church is under all circumstances a nobler institution than the State. 314

It seems to me one of my most essential steps and advances that I have learned to distinguish the cause of[Pg 130] the action generally from the cause of action in a particular manner, say, in this direction, with this aim. The first kind of cause is a quantum of stored-up force, which waits to be used in some manner, for some purpose; the second kind of cause, on the contrary, is something quite unimportant in comparison with the first, an insignificant hazard for the most part, in conformity with which the quantum of force in question "discharges" itself in some unique and definite manner: the lucifer-match in relation to the barrel of gunpowder. 317

I will never admit that we should speak of equal rights in the love of man and woman: there are no such equal rights. The reason is that man and woman understand something different by the term love,—and it belongs to the conditions of love in both sexes that the one sex does not presuppose the same feeling, the same conception of "love," in the other sex. What woman understands by love is clear enough: complete surrender (not merely devotion) of soul and body, without any motive, without any reservation, rather with shame and terror at the thought of a devotion restricted by clauses or associated with conditions. In this absence of conditions her love is precisely a faith: woman has no other.—Man, when he loves a woman, wants precisely this love from her; he is consequently, as regards himself, furthest removed from the prerequisites of feminine love; granted, however, that there should also be men to whom on their side the demand for complete devotion is not unfamiliar,—well, they are really—not men. A man who loves like a woman becomes thereby a slave: a woman, however, who loves like a woman becomes thereby a more perfect woman.... Woman wants to be taken and accepted as a possession, she wishes to be merged in the conceptions[Pg 131] of "possession" and "possessed"; consequently she wants one who takes, who does not offer and give himself away, but who reversely is rather to be made richer in "himself"—by the increase of power, happiness and faith which the woman herself gives to him. Woman gives herself, man takes her.—I do not think one will get over this natural contrast by any social contract, or with the very best will to do justice, however desirable it may be to avoid bringing the severe, frightful, enigmatical, and unmoral elements of this antagonism constantly before our eyes. For love, regarded as complete, great, and full, is nature, and as nature, is to all eternity something "unmoral."—Fidelity is accordingly included in woman's love, it follows from the definition thereof; with man fidelity may readily result in consequence of his love, perhaps as gratitude or idiosyncrasy of taste, and so-called elective affinity, but it does not belong to the essence of his love—and indeed so little, that one might almost be entitled to speak of a natural opposition between love and fidelity in man, whose love is just a desire to possess, and not a renunciation and giving away; the desire to possess, however, comes to an end every time with the possession. 321-323

Everything that is thought, versified, painted and composed, yea, even built and moulded, belongs either to monologic art, or to art before witnesses. Under the latter there is also to be included the apparently monologic art which involves the belief in God, the whole lyric of prayer; because for a pious man there is no solitude,—we, the godless, have been the first to devise this invention. 328

A "scientific" interpretation of the world as you understand it might consequently still be one of the stupidest,[Pg 132] that is to say, the most destitute of significance, of all possible world-interpretations.... An essentially mechanical world would be an essentially meaningless World! 339-340

We, the new, the nameless, the hard-to-understand, we firstlings of a yet untried future—we require for a new end also a new means, namely, a new healthiness, stronger, sharper, tougher, bolder and merrier than any healthiness hitherto. 351

Another ideal runs on before us, a strange, tempting ideal, full of danger, to which we should not like to persuade any one, because we do not so readily acknowledge any one's right thereto: the ideal of a spirit who plays naively (that is to say involuntarily and from overflowing abundance and power) with everything that has hitherto been called holy, good, inviolable, divine; to whom the loftiest conception which the people have reasonably made their measure of value, would already imply danger, ruin, abasement, or at least relaxation, blindness, or temporary self-forgetfulness; the ideal of a humanly superhuman welfare and benevolence, which may often enough appear inhuman. ... 352-353
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