Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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Wisdom in Pain.  In pain there is as much wisdom as in pleasure: like the latter it is one of the best self preservatives of a species.  Were it not so, pain would long ago have been done away with; that it is hurtful is no argument against it, for to be hurtful is its very essence.  In pain I hear the commanding call of the ship's captain:" Take in sail!"  "Man," the bold seafarer, must have learned to set his sails in a thousand different ways, otherwise he could not have sailed long, for the ocean would soon have swallowed him up.  We must also know how to live with reduced energy: as soon as pain gives its precautionary signal, it is time to reduce the speed some great danger, some storm, is approaching, and we do well to "catch" as little wind as possible.  It is true that there are men who, on the approach of severe pain, hear the very opposite call of command, and never appear more proud, more martial, or more happy than when the storm is brewing; indeed, pain itself provides them with their supreme moments!  These are the heroic men, the great pain bringers of mankind: those few and rare ones who need just the same apology as pain generally, and indeed, it should not be denied them!  They are forces of the greatest importance for preserving and advancing the species, be it only because they are opposed to smug ease, and do not conceal their disgust at this kind of happiness.  
 

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