Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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Prelude to Science.  Do you believe then that the sciences would have arisen and grown if the sorcerers, alchemists, astrologers and witches had not been their forerunners; those who, with their promisings and foreshadowings, had first to create a thirst, a hunger, and a taste for hidden and forbidden powers?  Yea, that infinitely more had to be promised than could ever be fulfilled, in order that something might be fulfilled in the domain of knowledge?  Perhaps the whole of religion, also, may appear to some distant age as an exercise and a prelude, in like manner as the prelude and preparation of science here exhibit themselves, though not at all practised and regarded as such.  Perhaps religion may have been the peculiar means for enabling individual men to enjoy but once the entire self satisfaction of a God and all his self redeeming power.  Indeed!  one may ask would man have learned at all to get on the tracks of hunger and thirst for himself, and to extract satiety and fullness out of himself, without that religious schooling and preliminary history?  Had Prometheus first to fancy that he had stolen the light, and that he did penance for the theft, in order finally to discover that he had created the light, in that he had longed for the light, and that not only man, but also God, had been the work of his hands and the\ clay in his hands?  All mere creations of the creator?  just as the illusion, the theft, the Caucasus, the vulture, and the whole tragic Prometheia of all thinkers?  
 

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