Nietzsche genealogy of morals essay three

Genealogy of morals discussion questions

So, of course, it's no wonder that philosophers in particular never treat the ascetic ideal without some bias. I remember the famous story of the King Vicvamitra , who, as the result of a thousand years of self-martyrdom, reached such a consciousness of power and such a confidence in himself that he undertook to build a new heaven: the sinister symbol of the oldest and newest history of philosophy in the whole world. But his enemies held him securely; his enemies always seduced him back to existence. And in so doing, we necessarily become every day constantly more questionable, more worthy of asking questions, and in the process perhaps also worthier—to live? Everyone who at some time or another has built a "new heaven," found the power to do that first in his own hell. He would have run off. Expressed plainly and palpably, the ascetic priest has taken the repulsive and sinister form of the caterpillar, beneath which and behind which alone philosophy could live and slink about. We should be on our guard against that confusion which arises from psychological contiguity to use an English word , a confusion in which even an artist can too easily get caught up, as if he himself were what he can present, imagine, and express. Let us listen, for instance, to one of the most expressive among the countless passages which he has written in honour of the aesthetic state World as Will and Idea , i. The contemplative, skeptical mood of philosophy ran counter to ancient morality, and must have been mistrusted. He cares for only one thing and for that gathers up and holds everything—time, power, love, and interest. This is not the place to discuss whether this was not a complete mistake; all that I wish to emphasise is that Kant, just like other philosophers, instead of envisaging the aesthetic problem from the standpoint of the experiences of the artist the creator , has only considered art and beauty from the standpoint of the spectator, and has thereby imperceptibly imported the spectator himself into the idea of the "beautiful"! It will, for instance, after the example of the ascetics of the Vedanta Philosophy , reduce matter to an illusion, and similarly treat pain, multiplicity, the whole logical contrast of "Subject" and "Object"—errors, nothing but errors! The circumstance is marvellous enough: he interprets the expression, "without interest," in the most personal fashion, out of an experience which must in his case have been part and parcel of his regular routine.

Every one of the smallest steps on earth in earlier days was fought for with spiritual and physical torture. Compare this definition with this other one, made by a real "spectator" and "artist"—by Stendhalwho once called the beautiful une promesse de bonheur.

Man would rather will nothingness than not will

At least this should be the case for all successful and cheerful mortals, who are far from considering their unstable equilibrium between "animal and angel" as, in itself, an argument against existence. The circumstance is marvellous enough: he interprets the expression, "without interest," in the most personal fashion, out of an experience which must in his case have been part and parcel of his regular routine. It's obvious that the interpretation which has been given for conditions of this sort by those afflicted with them has always been as effusively false as possible. Certainly he has also dared, innovated, braved more, challenged fate more than all the other animals put together; he, the great experimenter with himself, the unsatisfied, the insatiate, who struggles for the supreme mastery with beast, Nature, and gods, he, the as yet ever uncompelled, the ever future, who finds no more any rest from his own aggressive strength, goaded inexorably on by the spur of the future dug into the flesh of the present:—how should not so brave and rich an animal also be the most endangered, the animal with the longest and deepest sickness among all sick animals? Has he perhaps imagined himself hoarse? But I fear the opposite has always been the case. In this matter they think about what is most immediately indispensable to them: freedom from compulsion, disturbance, fuss, business, duties, worries—a bright light in the head, the dance, the leap and flight of ideas; a good air—thin, clear, free, dry—like the air at high altitudes, with which everything in animal being grows more spiritual and acquires wings; calm in all basement areas; all dogs nicely tied up in chains; no hostile barking or shaggy rancour; no gnawing worm of wounded ambition; with modest and humble inner organs busy as windmills but at a distance; heart strange, distant, looking to the future, posthumous—all in all, so far as the ascetic ideal is concerned, they think of the cheerful asceticism of some deified and independent animal, which wanders above life rather than resting in it. Why should we? Wagner would, it seems to me, have done well to have brought this pleasing reality home once again to his Germans, by means of a bold and graceful "Luther Comedy," for there were and are among the Germans many revilers of sensuality; and perhaps Luther's greatest merit lies just in the fact of his having had the courage of his sensuality it used to be called, prettily enough, "evangelistic freedom". What wonder that we here run up against a terrible opponent on the supposition, of course, that we are the opponents of that ideal , an opponent fighting for his life against those who repudiate that ideal! Hence he shies away from his time and its "day. The inactive, brooding, unwarlike elements in the instincts of contemplative people for a long time fostered mistrust around them, against which the only way to cope was to arose an emphatic fear of the self. To express that assumption in broader terms: I consider that "spiritual pain" itself is not, in general, a fact, but only an interpretation a causal interpretation of facts which up to that point have not been precisely formulated, and thus something that is still completely up in the air and scientifically empty—basically a fat word set in place of a spindly question mark. And now we have and hold with both our hands the essence of the ascetic priest. To use this for once to see differently, the will to see things differently, is no small discipline and preparation of the intellect for its coming "objectivity," and not in the sense of "disinterested contemplation" which is conceptual nonsense , but as the capability of having power over one's positive and negative arguments and to raise them and dispose of them so that one knows how to make the various perspectives and interpretations of emotions useful for knowledge.

For a long time the "law" was a vetitum [something prohibited], a sacrilege, an innovation—it appeared with force and as force, something to which people submitted only with a feeling of shame for their conduct. This point brings us back to Schopenhauer, who stood measurably closer to the arts than Kant but who nonetheless did not get away from the spell of the Kantian definition.

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Just remember with what enthusiasm Wagner followed in the footsteps of Feuerbach. And what lying so as not to acknowledge this hate as hate! For it seems at any rate that he eventually wished to change his teaching on that subject.

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What's the meaning of that? As a matter of fact, a great deal of preparation has gone on for this union.

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Wouldn't we call that castrating the intellect? Look into the background of every family, of every body, of every community: everywhere the fight of the sick against the healthy—a silent fight for the most part with minute poisoned powders, with pin-pricks, with spiteful grimaces of patience, but also at times with that diseased pharisaism of pure pantomime, which plays for the choice role of "righteous indignation.

Nietzsche genealogy of morals essay three

To renounce the belief in one's own ego, to deny to one's self one's own "reality"—what a triumph! The hypnotic sensation of nothingness, the peace of deepest sleep, anaesthesia in short—that is what passes with the sufferers and the absolutely depressed for, forsooth, their supreme good, their value of values; that is what must be treasured by them as something positive, be felt by them as the essence of the Positive according to the same logic of the feelings, nothingness is in all pessimistic religions called God. This is without consideration of the question whether an artist without the milk [1] of an orthodoxy would have been possible at all. It's true there's no lack of camels there—but that's the only similarity between them. The ascetic priest is the incarnation of the desire for another state of being, a life somewhere else—indeed, the highest stage of this desire, its characteristic zeal and passion. Thus Spoke Zarathustra 1 What do ascetic ideals mean? So what, then, does the ascetic ideal mean as far as a philosopher is concerned? But there could not possibly be a greater and more fatal misunderstanding than that of the happy, the fit, the strong in body and soul, beginning in this way to doubt their right to happiness. I will come back to this point of view at another time, in connection with the even more delicate problems of the physiology of aesthetics, a problem untouched up to this point, so unanalyzed. After all, they demand little enough, do these philosophers, their favourite motto is, "He who possesses is possessed. That's the reason their methodology belongs with the most universal ethnological facts.

Now we understand the meaning of the ascetic priest—we're holding it in both hands.

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Nietzsche: Genealogy of Morals: Third Essay