Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

  Friedrich Nietzsche Full Text EBook  
Previous Section   326. Physicians of the Soul and Pain   Next Section

Physicians of the Soul and Pain.  All preachers of morality, as also all theologians have a bad habit in common: all of them try to persuade man that he is very ill, and that a severe, final, radical cure is necessary.  And because mankind as a whole has for centuries listened too eagerly to those teachers, something of the superstition that the human race is in a very bad way has actually come over men: so that they are now far too ready to sigh; they find nothing more in life and make melancholy faces at each other, as if life were indeed very hard to endure.  In truth, they are inordinately assured of their life and in love with it, and full of untold intrigues and subtleties for suppressing everything unpleasant, and for extracting the thorn from pain and misfortune.  It seems to me that people always speak with exaggeration about pain and misfortune, as if it were a matter of good behaviour to exaggerate here: on the other hand people are intentionally silent in regard to the number of expedients for alleviating pain; as for instance, the deadening of it, feverish flurry of thought, a peaceful position, or good and bad reminiscences, intentions, and hopes, also many kinds of pride and fellow feeling, which have almost the effect of anaesthetics: while in the greatest degree of pain fainting takes place of itself.  We understand very well how to pour sweetness on our bitterness, especially on the bitterness of our soul; we find a remedy in our bravery and sublimity, as well as in the nobler delirium of submission and resignation.  A loss scarcely remains a loss for an hour: in some way or other a gift from heaven has always fallen into our lap at the same moment a new form of strength, for example: be it but a new opportunity for the exercise of strength!  What have the preachers of morality not dreamt concerning the inner "misery" of evil men!  What lies have they not told us about the misfortunes of impassioned men!  Yes, lying is here the right word: they were only too well aware of the overflowing happiness of this kind of man, but they kept silent as death about it; because it was a refutation of their theory, according to which happiness only originates through the annihilation of the passions and the silencing of the will!  And finally, as regards the recipe of all those physicians of the soul and their recommendation of a severe radical cure, we may be allowed to ask: Is our life really painful and burdensome enough for us to exchange it with advantage for a Stoical mode of living, and Stoical petrification?  We do not feel sufficiently miserable to have to feel ill in the Stoical fashion!  
 

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

Kindle Version : $1 from Amazon!

PDA, Mobile/Smart phone : $1 from MobiPocket.com!

 

All works are unique editions by Lexido of public domain texts provided by kind permission of Project Gutenberg

Wiki Portal Quotes Quotations Frases Citas Citações Citations Zitate Citazioni Cytat цитат Aforismi Aphorism Sözleri Vida Biografia