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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FOR TRANQUILLITY.  But does not our philosophy thus become a tragedy?  Does not truth become hostile to life, to improvement?  A question seems to weigh upon our tongue and yet hesitate to make itself heard: whether one can consciously remain in untruthfulness?  Or, supposing one were obliged to do this, would not death be preferable?  For there is no longer any "must"; morality, in so far as it had any "must" or "shalt”, has been destroyed by our mode of contemplation, just as religion has been destroyed.  Knowledge can only allow pleasure and pain, benefit and injury to subsist as motives; but how will these motives agree with the sense of truth?  They also contain errors (for, as already said, inclination and aversion, and their very incorrect determinations, practically regulate our pleasure and pain).  The whole of human life is deeply immersed in untruthfulness; the individual cannot draw it up out of this well, without thereby taking a deep dislike to his whole past, without finding his present motives those of honour, for instance inconsistent, and without opposing scorn and disdain to the passions which conduce to happiness in the future.  Is it true that there remains but one sole way of thinking which brings after it despair as a personal experience, as a theoretical result, a philosophy of dissolution, disintegration, and self destruction?  I believe that the decision with regard to the after effects of the knowledge will be given through the temperament of a man; I could imagine another after effect, just as well as that one described, which is possible in certain natures, by means of which a life would arise much simpler, freer from emotions than is the present one, so that though at first, indeed, the old motives of passionate desire might still have strength from old hereditary habit, they would gradually become weaker under the influence of purifying knowledge.  One would live at last amongst men, and with one's self as with Nature, without praise, reproach, or agitation, feasting one's eyes, as if it were a play, upon much of which one was formerly afraid.  One would be free from the emphasis, and would no longer feel the goading, of the thought that one is not only nature or more than nature.  Certainly, as already remarked, a good temperament would be necessary for this, an even, mild, and naturally joyous soul, a disposition which would not always need to be on its guard against spite and sudden outbreaks, and would not convey in its utterances anything of a grumbling or sudden nature, those well known vexatious qualities, of old dogs and men who have been long chained up.  On the contrary, a man from whom the ordinary fetters of life have so far fallen that he continues to live only for the sake of ever better knowledge must be able to renounce without envy and regret: much, indeed almost everything that is precious to other men, he must regard as the all sufficing and the most desirable condition; the free, fearless soaring over men, customs, laws, and the traditional valuations of things.  The joy of this condition he imparts willingly, and he has perhaps nothing else to impart, wherein, to be sure, there is more privation and renunciation.  If, nevertheless, more is demanded from him, he will point with a friendly shake of his head to his brother, the free man of action, and will perhaps not conceal a little derision, for as regards this "freedom" it is a very peculiar case.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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