Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak:  Reflections on Moral Prejudice. Morgenröte: Gedanken über die moralischen Vorurteile (also could be translated as The Dawn).

Written and published in 1881.

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I find not more than six essentially different methods for combating the vehemence of a drive.  First of all we may avoid opportunities for satisfying the drive, weakening and eventually removing it by refraining from satisfying it for increasingly longer periods of time.  Secondly we may impose a severe regime upon ourselves as regards the satisfying of the drive.  By thus regulating the drive and limiting its ebb and flow to fixed periods we may obtain intervals in which it ceases to disturb us; and by beginning in this way we may perhaps be able to pass on to the first method.  Third, we may deliberately give ourselves over to an unrestrained and unbounded gratification of the drive in order that we may become disgusted with it and to obtain by means of this very disgust, mastery over the drive: provided of course that we do not imitate the rider who rides his horse to death and breaks his own neck in doing so.  For this unhappily is generally the outcome when the third method is used.  In the fourth place there is an intellectual trick which consists in associating the idea of the gratification so closely with some painful thought that after a little practice the thought of gratification is itself immediately felt as a very painful one.  (For example when the Christian accustoms himself to think of the presence and mockery of the devil in the course of sensual enjoyment or everlasting punishment in hell for revenge by murder; or simply of the contempt which he will meet from his respected fellow men if he steals a sum of money; or where a man has checked an intense desire for suicide by thinking of the grief and self reproach of his relations and friends and has thus succeeded in balancing himself upon the edge of life: for after some practice these ideas follow one another in the mind like cause and effect.)  Among instances of this kind may be mentioned the cases of Lord Byron and Napoleon in whom the pride of man revolted and took offence at the dominance of one particular passion over the mind and body.  From this arises the compulsion and the satisfaction in tyrannising over the drive and frustrating it.  "I will not be a slave of any appetite" wrote Byron in his diary.  In the fifth place we may bring about a redirection of our energies by imposing upon ourselves a particularly difficult and fatiguing task or by deliberately submitting to some new interest and pleasure so as to turn our thoughts and physical powers into other channels.  It comes to the same thing if we temporarily favour another drive by affording it numerous opportunities of gratification and thus allowing it to consume the energies that would otherwise be exploited by the tyrannical drive.  A few perhaps will be able to restrain the particular passion which aspires to domination by granting their other known passions a temporary encouragement and license in order that they may devour the food which the tyrant wishes for himself alone.  In the sixth and last place the man who can stand it and thinks it reasonable can weaken and depress his entire physical and psychical constitution and in doing so will achieve the goal of thereby also weakening a particular aggressive drive; as for example those ascetics who starve their sensuality and in doing so often destroy their health and their reason into the bargain.  Therefore, avoiding opportunities; regulating the drive; bringing about satiety and disgust in the impulse; association of a painful idea (such as that of discredit, disgust or offended pride); the dislocation of one’s energies and finally a general weakening and exhaustion: these are the six methods.  But, the will to oppose the drive, the method to be adopted, and the success we may have in applying the method are all beyond our control.  In all this process our intellect is rather merely the unseeing instrument of another rival drive whether it be the impulse to rest or the fear of disgrace and other evil consequences or love.  While "we" thus imagine that we are complaining of the violence of a drive it is at bottom merely one drive which is complaining about another i.  e.  that we become aware of suffering presupposes that there is another equally or more violent drive and that a struggle is imminent in which our intellect must take sides.  
 

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