Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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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 everyone 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.  
 

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