Beyond Good and Evil HTML version

indeed be great--it is well known that Schopenhauer also was unsuccessful in his efforts;
and whoever has thoroughly realized how absurdly false and sentimental this proposition
is, in a world whose essence is Will to Power, may be reminded that Schopenhauer,
although a pessimist, ACTUALLY--played the flute . . . daily after dinner: one may read
about the matter in his biography. A question by the way: a pessimist, a repudiator of
God and of the world, who MAKES A HALT at morality--who assents to morality, and
plays the flute to laede-neminem morals, what? Is that really--a pessimist?
187. Apart from the value of such assertions as "there is a categorical imperative in us,"
one can always ask: What does such an assertion indicate about him who makes it? There
are systems of morals which are meant to justify their author in the eyes of other people;
other systems of morals are meant to tranquilize him, and make him self-satisfied; with
other systems he wants to crucify and humble himself, with others he wishes to take
revenge, with others to conceal himself, with others to glorify himself and gave
superiority and distinction,--this system of morals helps its author to forget, that system
makes him, or something of him, forgotten, many a moralist would like to exercise power
and creative arbitrariness over mankind, many another, perhaps, Kant especially, gives us
to understand by his morals that "what is estimable in me, is that I know how to obey--
and with you it SHALL not be otherwise than with me!" In short, systems of morals are
188. In contrast to laisser-aller, every system of morals is a sort of tyranny against
"nature" and also against "reason", that is, however, no objection, unless one should again
decree by some system of morals, that all kinds of tyranny and unreasonableness are
unlawful What is essential and invaluable in every system of morals, is that it is a long
constraint. In order to understand Stoicism, or Port Royal, or Puritanism, one should
remember the constraint under which every language has attained to strength and
freedom--the metrical constraint, the tyranny of rhyme and rhythm. How much trouble
have the poets and orators of every nation given themselves!--not excepting some of the
prose writers of today, in whose ear dwells an inexorable conscientiousness-- "for the
sake of a folly," as utilitarian bunglers say, and thereby deem themselves wise--"from
submission to arbitrary laws," as the anarchists say, and thereby fancy themselves "free,"
even free-spirited. The singular fact remains, however, that everything of the nature of
freedom, elegance, boldness, dance, and masterly certainty, which exists or has existed,
whether it be in thought itself, or in administration, or in speaking and persuading, in art
just as in conduct, has only developed by means of the tyranny of such arbitrary law, and
in all seriousness, it is not at all improbable that precisely this is "nature" and "natural"--
and not laisser-aller! Every artist knows how different from the state of letting himself
go, is his "most natural" condition, the free arranging, locating, disposing, and
constructing in the moments of "inspiration"--and how strictly and delicately he then
obeys a thousand laws, which, by their very rigidness and precision, defy all formulation
by means of ideas (even the most stable idea has, in comparison therewith, something
floating, manifold, and ambiguous in it). The essential thing "in heaven and in earth" is,
apparently (to repeat it once more), that there should be long OBEDIENCE in the same
direction, there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which
has made life worth living; for instance, virtue, art, music, dancing, reason, spirituality--