Among Sufferers Deluded by Fancy

There he stands in the midst of all the noisy summonses and importunities of the day, of the necessities of life, of society, of the state – as what? Perhaps as though he were the only one awake, the only one aware of the real and true, among confused and tormented sleepers, among sufferers deluded by fancy; sometimes no doubt he even feels as though a victim of a protracted sleeplessness, as though condemned to pass a clear and conscious life in the company of sleepwalkers and creatures of a spectral earnestness: so that all that seems everyday to others to him appears uncanny, and he feels tempted to counter the impression produced by this phenomenon with exuberant mockery. But this sensation becomes a peculiar hybrid, when to the brightness of this exuberance there is joined a quite different impulse, the longing to descend from the heights into the depths, the living desire for the earth, for the joy of communion – then, when he recalls all he is deprived of as a solitary creator, the longing at once to take all that is weak, human and lost and, like a god come to earth, ‘raise it to Heaven in fiery arms’, so as at last to find love and no longer only worship, and in love to relinquish himself utterly!

Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations – Richard Wagner in Bayreuth

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