Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche - HTML preview

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Chapter II. The Free Spirit

24.  O  sancta  simplicitiatas!  In  what  strange  simplification  and  falsification  man  lives! One can never cease wondering when once one has got eyes for beholding this marvel! How we have made everything around us clear and free and easy and simple! how we have  been  able  to  give  our  senses  a  passport  to  everything  superficial,  our  thoughts  a godlike  desire  for  wanton  pranks  and  wrong  inferences!--how  from  the  beginning,  we have contrived to retain our ignorance in order to enjoy an almost inconceivable freedom, thoughtlessness, imprudence, heartiness, and gaiety--in order to enjoy life! And only on this solidified, granite-like foundation of ignorance could knowledge rear itself hitherto, the  will  to  knowledge  on  the  foundation  of  a  far  more  powerful  will,  the  will  to ignorance, to the uncertain, to the untrue! Not as its opposite, but--as its refinement! It is to  be  hoped,  indeed,  that  LANGUAGE,  here  as  elsewhere,  will  not  get  over  its awkwardness, and that it will continue to talk of opposites where there are only degrees and  many  refinements  of  gradation;  it  is  equally  to  be  hoped  that  the  incarnated Tartuffery  of  morals,  which  now  belongs to our unconquerable "flesh and blood," will turn the words round in the mouths of us discerning ones. Here and there we understand it, and laugh at the way in which precisely the best knowledge seeks most to retain us in this SIMPLIFIED, thoroughly artificial, suitably imagined, and suitably falsified world: at the way in which, whether it will or not, it loves error, because, as living itself, it loves life!

25. After such a cheerful commencement, a serious word would fain be heard; it appeals to  the  most  serious  minds.  Take  care,  ye  philosophers  and  friends  of  knowledge,  and beware of martyrdom! Of suffering "for the truth's sake"! even in your own defense! It spoils all the innocence and fine neutrality of your conscience; it makes you headstrong against  objections  and  red  rags;  it  stupefies,  animalizes,  and  brutalizes,  when  in  the struggle  with  danger,  slander,  suspicion,  expulsion,  and  even  worse  consequences  of enmity, ye have at last to play your last card as protectors of truth upon earth--as though "the Truth" were such an innocent and incompetent creature as to require protectors! and you of all people, ye knights of the sorrowful countenance, Messrs Loafers and Cobweb- spinners  of  the  spirit!  Finally,  ye  know  sufficiently  well  that  it  cannot  be  of  any consequence if YE just carry your point; ye know that hitherto no philosopher has carried his point, and that there might be a more laudable truthfulness in every little interrogative mark which you place after your special words and favourite doctrines (and occasionally after yourselves) than in all the solemn pantomime and trumping games before accusers and law-courts! Rather go out of the way! Flee into concealment! And have your masks and your ruses, that ye may be mistaken for what you are, or somewhat feared! And pray, don't forget the garden, the garden with golden trellis-work! And have people around you who  are  as  a  garden--or  as  music  on  the  waters  at  eventide,  when  already  the  day becomes  a  memory.  Choose  the  GOOD  solitude,  the  free,  wanton,  lightsome  solitude, which  also  gives  you  the  right  still  to  remain  good  in  any  sense  whatsoever!  How poisonous, how crafty, how bad, does every long war make one, which cannot be waged openly by means of force! How PERSONAL does a long fear make one, a long watching of  enemies,  of  possible  enemies!  These  pariahs  of  society,  these  long-pursued,  badly– persecuted ones--also the compulsory recluses, the Spinozas or Giordano Brunos--always become  in  the  end,  even  under  the  most  intellectual  masquerade,  and  perhaps  without being  themselves  aware  of  it,  refined  vengeance-seekers  and  poison-Brewers  (just  lay bare the foundation of Spinoza's ethics and theology!), not to speak of the stupidity of moral  indignation,  which  is  the  unfailing  sign  in  a  philosopher  that  the  sense  of philosophical humour has left him. The martyrdom of the philosopher, his "sacrifice for the sake of truth," forces into the light whatever of the agitator and actor lurks in him; and if one has hitherto contemplated him only with artistic curiosity, with regard to many a philosopher  it  is  easy  to  understand  the  dangerous  desire  to  see  him  also  in  his deterioration (deteriorated into a "martyr," into a stage-and- tribune-bawler). Only, that it is necessary with such a desire to be clear WHAT spectacle one will see in any case-- merely a satyric play, merely an epilogue farce, merely the continued proof that the long, real tragedy IS AT AN END, supposing that every philosophy has been a long tragedy in its origin.

26. Every select man strives instinctively for a citadel and a privacy, where he is FREE from the crowd, the many, the majority-- where he may forget "men who are the rule," as their exception;-- exclusive only of the case in which he is pushed straight to such men by a  still  stronger  instinct,  as  a  discerner  in  the  great  and  exceptional  sense.  Whoever,  in intercourse with men, does not occasionally glisten in all the green and grey colours of distress,  owing  to  disgust,  satiety,  sympathy,  gloominess,  and  solitariness,  is  assuredly not a man of elevated tastes; supposing, however, that he does not voluntarily take all this burden  and  disgust  upon  himself,  that  he  persistently  avoids  it,  and  remains,  as  I  said, quietly and proudly hidden in his citadel, one thing is then certain: he was not made, he was not predestined for knowledge. For as such, he would one day have to say to himself: "The devil take my good taste! but 'the rule' is more interesting than the exception--than myself, the exception!" And he would go DOWN, and above all, he would go "inside." The  long  and  serious  study  of  the  AVERAGE  man--and  consequently  much  disguise, self-overcoming,  familiarity,  and  bad  intercourse  (all  intercourse  is  bad  intercourse except  with one's  equals):--that  constitutes  a  necessary part  of  the  life-history of  every philosopher;  perhaps  the  most  disagreeable,  odious,  and  disappointing  part.  If  he  is fortunate,  however,  as  a  favourite  child  of  knowledge  should  be,  he  will  meet  with suitable auxiliaries who will shorten and lighten his task; I mean so- called cynics, those who simply recognize the animal, the commonplace and "the rule" in themselves, and at the  same  time  have  so  much  spirituality  and  ticklishness  as  to  make  them  talk  of themselves  and  their  like  BEFORE  WITNESSES--sometimes  they  wallow,  even  in books, as on their own dung-hill. Cynicism is the only form in which base souls approach what is called honesty; and the higher man must open his ears to all the coarser or finer cynicism, and congratulate himself when the clown becomes shameless right before him, or the scientific satyr speaks out. There are even cases where enchantment mixes with the disgust--  namely,  where  by  a  freak  of  nature,  genius  is  bound  to  some  such  indiscreet billy-goat  and  ape,  as  in  the  case  of  the  Abbe  Galiani,  the  profoundest,  acutest,  and perhaps  also  filthiest  man  of  his  century--he  was  far  profounder  than  Voltaire,  and consequently  also,  a  good  deal  more  silent.  It  happens  more  frequently,  as  has  been hinted, that a scientific head is placed on an ape's body, a fine exceptional understanding in  a  base  soul,  an  occurrence  by  no  means  rare,  especially  among  doctors  and  moral  physiologists. And whenever anyone speaks without bitterness, or rather quite innocently, of man as a belly with two requirements, and a head with one; whenever any one sees, seeks, and WANTS to see only hunger, sexual instinct, and vanity as the real and only motives of human actions; in short, when any one speaks "badly"--and not even "ill"--of man, then ought the lover of knowledge to hearken attentively and diligently; he ought, in general, to have an open ear wherever there is talk without indignation. For the indignant man, and he who perpetually tears and lacerates himself with his own teeth (or, in place of himself, the world, God, or society), may indeed, morally speaking, stand higher than the laughing and self- satisfied satyr, but in every other sense he is the more ordinary, more indifferent, and less instructive case. And no one is such a LIAR as the indignant man.

27. It is difficult to be understood, especially when one thinks and lives gangasrotogati [Footnote:  Like  the  river  Ganges:  presto.]  among  those  only  who  think  and  live otherwise--namely, kurmagati [Footnote: Like the tortoise: lento.], or at best "froglike," mandeikagati  [Footnote:  Like  the  frog:  staccato.]  (I  do  everything  to  be  "difficultly understood"  myself!)--and  one  should  be  heartily  grateful  for  the  good  will  to  some refinement of interpretation. As regards "the good friends," however, who are always too easy-going, and think that as friends they have a right to ease, one does well at the very first to grant them a play-ground and romping-place for misunderstanding--one can thus laugh still; or get rid of them altogether, these good friends-- and laugh then also!

28. What is most difficult to render from one language into another is the TEMPO of its style, which has its basis in the character of the race, or to speak more physiologically, in the  average  TEMPO  of  the  assimilation  of  its  nutriment.  There  are  honestly  meant translations, which, as involuntary vulgarizations, are almost falsifications of the original, merely because its lively and merry TEMPO (which overleaps and obviates all dangers in word and expression) could not also be rendered. A German is almost incapacitated for PRESTO in his language; consequently also, as may be reasonably inferred, for many of the most delightful and daring NUANCES of free, free-spirited thought. And just as the buffoon  and  satyr  are  foreign  to  him  in  body  and  conscience,  so  Aristophanes  and Petronius  are  untranslatable  for  him.  Everything  ponderous,  viscous,  and  pompously clumsy, all long-winded and wearying species of style, are developed in profuse variety among Germans--pardon me for stating the fact that even Goethe's prose, in its mixture of stiffness and elegance, is no exception, as a reflection of the "good old time" to which it belongs, and as an expression of German taste at a time when there was still a "German taste," which was a rococo-taste in moribus et artibus. Lessing is an exception, owing to his  histrionic  nature,  which  understood  much,  and  was  versed  in  many  things;  he  who was not the translator of Bayle to no purpose, who took refuge willingly in the shadow of Diderot  and  Voltaire,  and  still  more  willingly  among  the  Roman  comedy-writers-- Lessing  loved  also  free-spiritism  in  the  TEMPO,  and  flight  out  of  Germany.  But  how could  the  German  language,  even  in  the  prose  of  Lessing,  imitate  the  TEMPO  of Machiavelli, who  in  his  "Principe"  makes  us  breathe  the  dry,  fine  air  of  Florence,  and cannot help presenting the most serious events in a boisterous allegrissimo, perhaps not without  a  malicious  artistic  sense  of  the  contrast  he  ventures  to  present--long,  heavy, difficult,  dangerous  thoughts,  and  a  TEMPO  of  the  gallop,  and  of  the  best,  wantonest humour? Finally, who would venture on a German translation of Petronius, who, more than  any  great  musician  hitherto,  was  a  master  of  PRESTO  in  invention,  ideas,  and words?  What  matter  in  the  end  about  the  swamps  of  the  sick,  evil  world,  or  of  the "ancient  world,"  when  like  him,  one  has  the  feet  of  a  wind,  the  rush,  the  breath,  the emancipating  scorn  of  a  wind,  which  makes  everything  healthy,  by  making  everything RUN!  And  with  regard  to  Aristophanes--that  transfiguring,  complementary  genius,  for whose   sake   one   PARDONS   all   Hellenism   for   having   existed,   provided   one   has understood in its full profundity ALL that there requires pardon and transfiguration; there is  nothing  that  has  caused  me  to  meditate  more  on  PLATO'S  secrecy  and  sphinx-like nature, than the happily preserved petit fait that under the pillow of his death-bed there was  found  no  "Bible,"  nor  anything  Egyptian,  Pythagorean,  or  Platonic--but  a  book  of Aristophanes. How could even Plato have endured life--a Greek life which he repudiated–-without an Aristophanes!

29. It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever  attempts  it,  even  with  the  best  right,  but  without  being  OBLIGED  to  do  so, proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life in itself already brings with it; not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing such a one comes to grief, it is so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it, nor sympathize with it. And he cannot any longer go back! He cannot even go back again to the sympathy of men!

30. Our   deepest   insights   must--and   should--appear   as   follies,   and   under   certain circumstances as crimes, when they come unauthorizedly to the ears of those who are not disposed and predestined for them. The exoteric and the esoteric, as they were formerly distinguished  by  philosophers--among  the  Indians,  as  among  the  Greeks,  Persians,  and Mussulmans,  in  short,  wherever  people  believed  in  gradations  of  rank  and  NOT  in equality and equal rights--are not so much in contradistinction to one another in respect to the  exoteric  class,  standing  without,  and  viewing,  estimating,  measuring,  and  judging from the outside, and not from the inside; the more essential distinction is that the class in question views things from below upwards--while the esoteric class views things FROM ABOVE  DOWNWARDS.  There  are  heights  of  the  soul  from  which  tragedy  itself  no longer appears to operate tragically; and if all the woe in the world were taken together, who  would  dare  to  decide  whether  the  sight  of  it  would  NECESSARILY  seduce  and constrain  to  sympathy,  and  thus  to  a  doubling  of  the  woe?  .  .  .  That  which  serves  the higher class of men for nourishment or refreshment, must be almost poison to an entirely different  and  lower  order  of  human  beings.  The  virtues  of  the  common  man  would perhaps  mean  vice  and  weakness  in  a  philosopher;  it  might  be  possible  for  a  highly developed man, supposing him to degenerate and go to ruin, to acquire qualities thereby alone, for the sake of which he would have to be honoured as a saint in the lower world into which he had sunk. There are books which have an inverse value for the soul and the health  according  as  the  inferior  soul  and  the  lower  vitality,  or  the  higher  and  more powerful, make use of them. In the former case they are dangerous, disturbing, unsettling books,  in  the  latter  case  they  are  herald-calls  which  summon  the  bravest  to  THEIR bravery. Books for the general reader are always ill-smelling books, the odour of paltry people clings to them. Where the populace eat and drink, and even where they reverence, it is accustomed to stink. One should not go into churches if one wishes to breathe PURE air.

31.  In  our  youthful  years  we  still  venerate  and  despise  without  the  art  of  NUANCE, which is the best gain of life, and we have rightly to do hard penance for having fallen upon men and things with Yea and Nay. Everything is so arranged that the worst of all tastes, THE TASTE FOR THE UNCONDITIONAL, is cruelly befooled and abused, until a man learns to introduce a little art into his sentiments, and prefers to try conclusions with the artificial, as do the real artists of life. The angry and reverent spirit peculiar to youth appears to allow itself no peace, until it has suitably falsified men and things, to be able  to  vent  its  passion  upon  them:  youth  in  itself  even,  is  something  falsifying  and deceptive. Later on, when the young soul, tortured by continual disillusions, finally turns suspiciously against itself--still ardent and savage  even  in  its  suspicion  and  remorse  of conscience: how it upbraids itself, how impatiently it tears itself, how it revenges itself for its long self-blinding, as though it had been a voluntary blindness! In this transition one punishes oneself by distrust of one's sentiments; one tortures one's enthusiasm with doubt,  one  feels  even  the  good  conscience  to  be  a  danger,  as  if  it  were  the  self- concealment  and  lassitude  of  a  more  refined  uprightness;  and  above  all,  one  espouses upon principle the cause AGAINST "youth."--A decade later, and one comprehends that all this was also still--youth!

32. Throughout the longest period of human history--one calls it the prehistoric period-- the value or non-value of an action was inferred from its CONSEQUENCES; the action in itself was not taken into consideration, any more than its origin; but pretty much as in China at present, where the distinction or disgrace of a child redounds to its parents, the retro-operating power of success or failure was what induced men to think well or ill of an action. Let us call this period the PRE-MORAL period of mankind; the imperative, "Know  thyself!"  was  then  still  unknown.  --In  the  last  ten  thousand  years,  on  the  other hand,  on  certain  large  portions  of  the  earth,  one  has  gradually  got  so  far,  that  one  no longer lets the consequences of an action, but its origin, decide with regard to its worth: a great  achievement  as  a  whole,  an  important  refinement  of  vision  and  of  criterion,  the unconscious effect of the supremacy of aristocratic values and of the belief in "origin," the mark of a period which may be designated in the narrower sense as the MORAL one: the  first  attempt  at  self-knowledge  is  thereby  made.  Instead  of  the  consequences,  the origin--what an inversion of perspective! And assuredly an inversion effected only after long  struggle  and  wavering!  To  be  sure,  an  ominous  new  superstition,  a  peculiar narrowness of interpretation, attained supremacy precisely thereby: the origin of an action was  interpreted  in  the  most  definite  sense  possible,  as  origin  out  of  an  INTENTION; people  were  agreed  in  the  belief  that  the  value  of  an  action  lay  in  the  value  of  its intention. The intention as the sole origin and antecedent history of an action: under the influence of this prejudice moral praise and blame have been bestowed, and men have judged and even philosophized almost up to the present day.--Is it not possible, however, that the necessity may now have arisen of again making up our minds with regard to the reversing  and  fundamental  shifting  of  values,  owing  to  a  new  self-consciousness  and  acuteness in man--is it not possible that we may be standing on the threshold of a period which to begin with, would be distinguished negatively as ULTRA-MORAL: nowadays when,  at  least  among  us  immoralists,  the  suspicion arises that the decisive value of an action   lies   precisely   in   that   which   is   NOT   INTENTIONAL,   and   that   all   its intentionalness, all that is seen, sensible, or "sensed" in it, belongs to its surface or skin-- which,  like  every  skin,  betrays  something,  but  CONCEALS  still  more?  In  short,  we believe that the intention is only a sign or symptom, which first requires an explanation-- a  sign,  moreover,  which  has  too  many  interpretations,  and  consequently  hardly  any meaning  in  itself  alone:  that  morality,  in  the  sense  in  which  it  has  been  understood hitherto,   as   intention-morality,   has   been   a   prejudice,   perhaps   a   prematureness   or preliminariness, probably something of the same rank as astrology and alchemy, but in any case something which must be surmounted. The surmounting of morality, in a certain sense even the self-mounting of morality-- let that be the name for the long-secret labour which has been reserved for the most refined, the most upright, and also the most wicked consciences of today, as the living touchstones of the soul.

33. It cannot be helped: the sentiment of surrender, of sacrifice for one's neighbour, and all  self-renunciation-morality,  must  be  mercilessly  called  to  account,  and  brought  to judgment;  just  as  the  aesthetics  of  "disinterested  contemplation,"  under  which  the emasculation of art nowadays seeks insidiously enough to create itself a good conscience. There is far too much witchery and sugar in the sentiments "for others" and "NOT for myself," for one not needing to be doubly distrustful here, and for one asking promptly: "Are they not perhaps--DECEPTIONS?"--That they PLEASE-- him who has them, and him who enjoys their fruit, and also the mere spectator--that is still no argument in their FAVOUR, but just calls for caution. Let us therefore be cautious!

34. At  whatever  standpoint  of  philosophy  one  may  place  oneself  nowadays,  seen  from every position, the ERRONEOUSNESS of the world in which we think we live is the surest and most certain thing our eyes can light upon: we find proof after proof thereof, which would fain allure us into surmises concerning a deceptive principle in the "nature of  things."  He,  however,  who  makes  thinking  itself,  and  consequently  "the  spirit," responsible for the falseness of the world--an honourable exit, which every conscious or unconscious advocatus dei avails himself of--he who regards this world, including space, time, form, and movement, as falsely DEDUCED, would have at least good reason in the end to become distrustful also of all thinking; has it not hitherto been playing upon us the worst of scurvy tricks? and what guarantee would it give that it would not continue to do what  it  has  always  been  doing?  In  all  seriousness,  the  innocence  of  thinkers  has something  touching  and  respect-inspiring  in  it,  which  even  nowadays  permits  them  to wait upon consciousness with the request that it will give them HONEST answers: for example, whether it be "real" or not, and why it keeps the outer world so resolutely at a distance,   and   other   questions   of   the   same   description.   The   belief   in   "immediate certainties" is a MORAL NAIVETE which does honour to us philosophers; but--we have now to cease being "MERELY moral" men! Apart from morality, such belief is a folly which does little honour to us! If in middle-class life an ever- ready distrust is regarded as the sign of a "bad character," and consequently as an imprudence, here among us, beyond the middle- class world and its Yeas and Nays, what should prevent our being imprudent  and saying: the philosopher has at length a RIGHT to "bad character," as the being who has   hitherto   been   most   befooled   on   earth--he   is   now   under   OBLIGATION   to distrustfulness, to the wickedest squinting out of every abyss of suspicion.--Forgive me the  joke  of  this  gloomy  grimace  and  turn  of  expression;  for  I  myself  have  long  ago learned to think and estimate differently with regard to deceiving and being deceived, and I  keep  at  least  a  couple  of  pokes  in  the  ribs  ready  for  the  blind  rage  with  which philosophers struggle against being deceived. Why NOT? It is nothing more than a moral prejudice  that  truth  is  worth  more  than  semblance;  it  is,  in  fact,  the  worst  proved supposition in the world. So much must be conceded: there could have been no life at all except upon the basis of perspective estimates and semblances; and if, with the virtuous enthusiasm and stupidity of many philosophers, one wished to do away altogether with the  "seeming  world"--well,  granted  that  YOU  could  do  that,--at  least  nothing  of  your "truth"  would  thereby  remain!  Indeed,  what  is  it  that  forces  us  in  general  to  the supposition that there is an essential opposition of "true" and "false"? Is it not enough to suppose degrees of seemingness, and as it were lighter and darker shades and tones of semblance--different  valeurs,  as  the  painters  say?  Why  might  not  the  world  WHICH CONCERNS US--be a fiction? And to any one who suggested: "But to a fiction belongs an originator?"--might it not be bluntly replied: WHY? May not this "belong" also belong to the fiction? Is it not at length permitted to be a little ironical towards the subject, just as towards the predicate and object? Might not the philosopher elevate himself above faith in  grammar?  All  respect  to  governesses,  but  is  it  not  time  that  philosophy  should renounce governess-faith?

35. O Voltaire! O humanity! O idiocy! There is something ticklish in "the truth," and in the SEARCH for the truth; and if man goes about it too humanely--"il ne cherche le vrai que pour faire le bien"--I wager he finds nothing!

36. Supposing that nothing else is "given" as real but our world of desires and passions, that  we  cannot  sink  or  rise  to  any  other  "reality"  but  just  that  of  our  impulses--for thinking  is  only  a  relation  of  these  impulses  to  one  another:--are  we  not  permitted  to make  the  attempt  and  to  ask  the  question  whether  this  which  is  "given"  does  not SUFFICE,  by  means  of  our  counterparts,  for  the  understanding  even  of  the  so-called mechanical  (or  "material")  world?  I  do  not  mean  as  an  illusion,  a  "semblance,"  a "representation"  (in  the  Berkeleyan  and  Schopenhauerian  sense),  but  as  possessing  the same degree of reality as our emotions themselves--as a more primitive form of the world of  emotions,  in  which  everything  still  lies  locked  in  a  mighty  unity,  which  afterwards branches  off  and  develops  itself  in  organic  processes  (naturally  also,  refines  and debilitates)--as  a  kind  of  instinctive  life  in  which  all  organic  functions,  including  self- regulation, assimilation, nutrition, secretion, and change of matter, are still synthetically united  with  one  another--as  a  PRIMARY  FORM  of  life?--In  the  end,  it  is  not  only permitted  to  make  this  attempt,  it  is  commanded  by  the  conscience  of  LOGICAL METHOD. Not to assume several kinds of causality, so long as the attempt to get along with  a  single  one  has  not  been  pushed  to  its  furthest  extent  (to  absurdity,  if  I  may  be allowed to say so): that is a morality of method which one may not repudiate nowadays-- it follows "from its definition," as mathematicians say. The question is ultimately whether we really recognize the will as OPERATING, whether we believe in the causality of the  will;  if  we  do  so--and  fundamentally  our  belief IN  THIS  is just  our  belief  in causality itself--we MUST make the attempt to posit hypothetically the causality of the will as the only causality. "Will" can naturally only operate on "will"--and not on "matter" (not on "nerves," for instance): in short, the hypothesis must be hazarded, whether will does not operate  on  will  wherever  "effects"  are  recognized--and  whether  all  mechanical  action, inasmuch  as  a  power  operates  therein,  is  not  just  the  power  of  will,  the  effect  of  will. Granted,  finally,  that  we  succeeded  in  explaining  our  entire  instinctive  life  as  the development  and  ramification  of  one  fundamental  form  of  will--namely,  the  Will  to Power, as my thesis puts it; granted that all organic functions could be traced back to this Will to Power, and that the solution of the problem of generation and nutrition--it is one problem-- could also be found therein: one would thus have acquired the right to define ALL active force unequivocally as WILL TO POWER. The world seen from within, the world defined and designated according to its "intelligible character"--it would simply be "Will to Power," and nothing else.

37.  "What?  Does  not  that  mean  in  popular  language:  God  is  disproved,  but  not  the devil?"--On the contrary! On the contrary, my friends! And who the devil also compels you to speak popularly!

38.  As  happened  finally  in  all  the  enlightenment  of  modern  times  with  the  French Revolution (that terrible farce, quite superfluous when judged close at hand, into which, however,  the  noble  and  visionary  spectators  of  all  Europe  have  interpreted  from  a distance  their  own  indignation  and  enthusiasm  so  long  and  passionately,  UNTIL  THE TEXT HAS DISAPPEARED UNDER THE INTERPRETATION), so a noble posterity might once more misunderstand the whole of the past, and perhaps only thereby make ITS aspect endurable.--Or rather, has not this already happened? Have not we ourselves been--that "noble posterity"? And, in so far as we now comprehend this, is it not--thereby already past?

39. Nobody will very readily regard a doctrine as true merely because it makes people happy or virtuous--excepting, perhaps, the amiable "Idealists," who are enthusiastic about the  good,  true,  and  beautiful,  and  let  all  kinds  of  motley,  coarse,  and  good-natured desirabilities  swim  about  promiscuously  in  their  pond.  Happiness  and  virtue  are  no arguments. It is willingly forgotten, however, even on the part of thoughtful minds, that to make unhappy and to make bad are just as little counter- arguments. A thing could be TRUE,  although  it  were  in  the  highest  degree  injurious  and  dangerous;  indeed,  the fundamental  constitution  of  existence  might  be  such  that  one  succumbed  by  a  full knowledge  of  it--so  that  the  strength  of  a  mind  might  be  measured  by  the  amount  of "truth" it could endure--or to speak more plainly, by the extent to which it REQUIRED truth attenuated, veiled, sweetened, damped, and falsified. But there is no doubt that for the  discovery  of  certain  PORTIONS  of  truth  the  wicked  and  unfortunate  are  more favourably situated and have a greater likelihood of success; not to speak of the wicked who are happy--a species about whom moralists are silent. Perhaps severity and craft are more  favourable  conditions  for  the  development  of  strong,  independent  spirits  and philosophers  than  the  gentle,  refined,  yielding  good-nature,  and  habit  of  taking  things easily,  which  are  prized,  and  rightly  prized  in  a  learned  man.  Presupposing  always,  to  begin  with,  that  the  term  "philosopher"  be  not  confined  to  the  philosopher  who  writes books, or even introduces HIS philosophy into books!--Stendhal furnishes a last feature of the portrait of the free-spirited philosopher, which for the sake of German taste I will not omit to underline--for it is OPPOSED to German taste. "Pour etre bon philosophe," says this last great psychologist, "il faut etre sec, clair, sans illusion. Un banquier, qui a fait fortune, a une partie du caractere requis pour faire des decouvertes en philosophie, c'est-a-dire pour voir clair dans ce quiest."

40. Everything that is profound loves the mask: the profoundest things have a hatred even of  figure  and  likeness.  Should  not  the  CONTRARY  only  be  the  right  disguise  for  the shame of a God to go about in? A question worth asking!--it would be strange if some mystic has not already ventured on the same kind of thing. There are proceedings of such a  delicate  nature  that  it  is  well  to  overwhelm  them  with  coarseness  and  make  them unrecognizable; there are actions of love and of an extravagant magnanimity after which nothing  can  be  wiser  than  to  take  a  stick  and  thrash  the  witness  soundly:  one  thereby obscures his recollection. Many a one is able to obscure and abuse his own memory, in order at least to have vengeance on this sole party in the secret: shame is inventive. They are not the worst things of which one is most ashamed: there is not only deceit behind a mask--there  is  so  much  goodness  in  craft.  I  could  imagine  that  a  man  with  something costly and fragile to conceal, would roll through life clumsily and rotundly like an old, green,  heavily-hooped  wine-cask:  the  refinement  of  his  shame  requiring  it  to  be  so.  A man who has depths in his shame meets his destiny and his delicate decisions upon paths which  few  ever  reach,  and  with  regard  to  the  existence  of which  his  nearest  and  most intimate friends may be ignorant; his mortal danger conceals itself from their eyes, and equally  so  his  regained  security.  Such  a  hidden  nature,  which  instinctively  employs speech for silence and concealment, and is inexhaustible in evasion of communication, DESIRES  and  insists  that  a  mask  of  himself  shall  occupy  his  place  in  the  hearts  and heads  of  his  friends;  and  supposing  he  does  not  desire  it,  his  eyes  will  some  day  be opened to the fact that there is nevertheless a mask of him there--and that it is well to be so.  Every  profound  spirit  needs  a  mask;  nay,  more,  around  every  profound  spirit  there continually grows a mask, owing to the constantly false, that is to say, SUPERFICIAL interpretation of every word he utters, every step he takes, every sign of life he manifests.

41. One must subject oneself to one's own tests that one is destined for independence and command,  and  do  so  at  the  right  time.  One  must  not  avoid  one's  tests,  although  they constitute perhaps the most dangerous game one can play, and are in the end tests made only before ourselves and before no other judge. Not to cleave to any person, be it even the dearest--every person is a prison and also a recess. Not to cleave to a fatherland, be it even  the  most  suffering  and  necessitous--it  is  even  less  difficult  to  detach  one's  heart from a victorious fatherland. Not to cleave to a sympathy, be it even for higher men, into whose peculiar torture and helplessness chance has given us an insight. Not to cleave to a science,  though  it  tempt  one  with  the  most  valuable  discoveries,  apparently  specially reserved  for  us.  Not  to  cleave  to  one's  own  liberation,  to  the  voluptuous  distance  and remoteness of the bird, which always flies further aloft in order always to see more under it--the  danger  of  the  flier.  Not  to  cleave  to  our  own  virtues,  nor  become  as  a  whole  a victim to any of our specialties, to our "hospitality" for instance, which is the danger of  dangers   for   highly   developed   and   wealthy   souls,   who   deal   prodigally,   almost indifferently with themselves, and push the virtue of liberality so far that it becomes a vice. One must know how TO CONSERVE ONESELF--the best test of independence.

42. A new order of philosophers is appearing; I shall venture to baptize them by a name not without danger. As far as I understand them, as far as they allow themselves to be understood--for  it  is  their  nature  to  WISH  to  remain  something  of  a  puzzle--these philosophers of the future might rightly, perhaps also wrongly, claim to be designated as "tempters." This name itself is after all only an attempt, or, if it be preferred, a temptation.

43. Will they be new friends of "truth," these coming philosophers? Very probably, for all   philosophers   hitherto   have   loved   their   truths.   But   assuredly   they   will   not   be dogmatists. It must be contrary to their pride, and also contrary to their taste, that their truth should still be truth for every one--that which has hitherto been the secret wish and ultimate purpose of all dogmatic efforts. "My opinion is MY opinion: another person has not  easily  a  right  to  it"--such  a  philosopher  of  the  future  will  say,  perhaps.  One  must renounce the bad taste of wishing to agree with many people. "Good" is no longer good when one's neighbour takes it into his mouth. And how could there be a "common good"! The expression contradicts itself; that which can be common is always of small value. In the end things must be as they are and have always been--the great things remain for the great, the abysses for the profound, the delicacies and thrills for the refined, and, to sum up shortly, everything rare for the rare.

44.  Need  I  say  expressly  after  all  this  that  they  will  be  free,  VERY  free  spirits,  these philosophers  of  the  future--as  certainly  also  they  will  not  be  merely  free  spirits,  but something more, higher, greater, and fundamentally different, which does not wish to be misunderstood and mistaken? But while I say this, I feel under OBLIGATION almost as much to them as to ourselves (we free spirits who are their heralds and forerunners), to sweep  away  from  ourselves  altogether  a  stupid  old  prejudice  and  misunderstanding, which,  like  a  fog,  has  too  long  made  the  conception  of  "free  spirit"  obscure.  In  every country of Europe, and the same in America, there is at present something which makes an abuse of this name a very narrow, prepossessed, enchained class of spirits, who desire almost the opposite of what our intentions and instincts prompt--not to mention that in respect  to  the  NEW  philosophers  who  are  appearing,  they  must  still  more  be  closed windows  and  bolted  doors.  Briefly  and  regrettably,  they  belong  to  the  LEVELLERS, these  wrongly  named  "free  spirits"--as  glib-tongued  and  scribe-fingered  slaves  of  the democratic  taste  and  its  "modern  ideas"  all  of  them  men  without  solitude,  without personal solitude, blunt honest fellows to whom neither courage nor honourable conduct ought to be denied, only, they are not free, and are ludicrously superficial, especially in their innate partiality for seeing the cause of almost ALL human misery and failure in the old forms in which society has hitherto existed--a notion which happily inverts the truth entirely!  What  they  would  fain  attain  with  all  their  strength,  is  the  universal,  green- meadow happiness of the herd, together with security, safety, comfort, and alleviation of life  for  every  one,  their  two  most  frequently  chanted  songs  and  doctrines  are  called "Equality  of  Rights"  and  "Sympathy  with  All  Sufferers"--and  suffering  itself  is  looked upon  by  them  as  something  which  must  be  DONE  AWAY  WITH.  We  opposite  ones,  however, who have opened our eye and conscience to the question how and where the plant "man" has hitherto grown most vigorously, believe that this has always taken place under the opposite conditions, that for this end the dangerousness of his situation had to be increased enormously, his inventive faculty and dissembling power (his "spirit") had to develop into subtlety and daring under long oppression and compulsion, and his Will to Life had to be increased to the unconditioned Will to Power--we believe that severity, violence, slavery, danger in the street and in the heart, secrecy, stoicism, tempter's art and devilry  of  every  kind,--that  everything  wicked,  terrible,  tyrannical,  predatory,  and serpentine in man, serves as well for the elevation of the human species as its opposite-- we do not even say enough when we only say THIS MUCH, and in any case we find ourselves  here,  both  with  our  speech  and  our  silence,  at  the  OTHER  extreme  of  all modern  ideology  and  gregarious  desirability,  as  their  antipodes  perhaps?  What  wonder that we "free spirits" are not exactly the most communicative spirits? that we do not wish to betray in every respect WHAT a spirit can free itself from, and WHERE perhaps it will then be driven? And as to the import of the dangerous formula, "Beyond Good and Evil," with which we at least avoid confusion, we ARE something else than "libres-penseurs," "liben pensatori" "free-thinkers," and whatever these honest advocates of "modern ideas" like to call themselves. Having been at home, or at least guests, in many realms of the spirit,  having  escaped  again  and  again  from  the  gloomy,  agreeable  nooks  in  which preferences  and  prejudices,  youth,  origin,  the  accident  of  men  and  books,  or  even  the weariness  of  travel  seemed  to  confine  us,  full  of  malice  against  the  seductions  of dependency which he concealed in honours, money, positions, or exaltation of the senses, grateful even for distress and the vicissitudes of illness, because they always free us from some  rule,  and  its  "prejudice,"  grateful  to  the  God,  devil,  sheep,  and  worm  in  us, inquisitive to a fault, investigators to the point of cruelty, with unhesitating fingers for the intangible, with teeth and stomachs for the most indigestible, ready for any business that requires sagacity and acute senses, ready for every adventure, owing to an excess of "free will", with anterior and posterior souls, into the ultimate intentions of which it is difficult to pry, with foregrounds and backgrounds to the end of which no foot may run, hidden ones   under   the   mantles   of   light,   appropriators,   although   we   resemble   heirs   and spendthrifts, arrangers and collectors from morning till night, misers of our wealth and our full-crammed drawers, economical in learning and forgetting, inventive in scheming, sometimes  proud  of  tables  of  categories,  sometimes  pedants,  sometimes  night-owls  of work even in full day, yea, if necessary, even scarecrows--and it is necessary nowadays, that is to say, inasmuch as we are the born, sworn, jealous friends of SOLITUDE, of our own profoundest midnight and midday solitude--such kind of men are we, we free spirits! And  perhaps  ye  are  also  something  of  the  same  kind,  ye  coming  ones?  ye  NEW philosophers?