Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten).

The Wanderer and his Shadow, the second supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1880.


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Previous Section   12. THE FUNDAMENTAL ERRORS   Next Section

The Fundamental Errors.  A man cannot feel any psychical pleasure or pain unless he is swayed by one of two illusions.  Either he believes in the identity of certain facts, certain sensations, and in that case finds spiritual pleasure and pain in comparing present with past conditions and in noting their similarity or difference (as is invariably the case with recollection); or he believes in the freedom of the will, perhaps when he reflects, "I ought not to have done this”, "This might have turned out differently” and from these reflections likewise he derives pleasure and pain.  Without the errors that are rife in every psychical pain and pleasure, humanity would never have developed.  For the root idea of humanity is that man is free in a world of bondage — man, the eternal wonder worker, whether his deeds be good or evil — man, the amazing exception, the super beast, the quasi God, the mind of creation, the indispensable, the keyword to the cosmic riddle, the mighty lord of nature and despiser of nature, the creature that calls its history "the history of the world"!  Vanitas vanitatum homo.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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