The Redeeming Man

But some time, in a stronger age than this mouldy, self-doubting present day, he will have to come to us, the redeeming man of great love and contempt, the creative spirit who is pushed out of any position ‘outside’ or ‘beyond’ by his surging strength again and again, whose solitude will be misunderstood by the people as though it were a flight from reality -: whereas it is just his way of being absorbed, buried and immersed in reality so that from it, when he emerges into the light again, he can return with the redemption of this reality: redeem it from the curse which its ideal has placed on it up till now. This man of the future will redeem us, not just from the ideal held up till now, but also from those things which had to arise from it, from the great nausea, the will to nothingness, from nihilism, that stroke of midday and of great decision that makes the will free again, which gives earth its purpose and man his hope again, this Antichrist and anti-nihilist, this conqueror of God and of nothingness – he must come one day . . .

– But what am I saying? Enough! Enough! At this point just one thing is proper, silence: otherwise I shall be misappropriating something that belongs to another, younger man, one ‘with more future’, one stronger than me – something to which Zarathustra alone is entitled, Zarathustra the Godless . . .

Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality

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He Could Not Forgive, Simply Because He – Forgot

To be unable to take his enemies, his misfortunes, and even his misdeeds seriously for long – that is the sign of strong, rounded natures with a superabundance of a power which is flexible, formative, healing and can make one forget (a good example from the modern world is Mirabeau, who had no recall of the insults and slights directed at him and who could not forgive, simply because he – forgot.) A man like this shakes from him, with one shrug, many worms which would have burrowed into another man; actual ‘love for your enemies’ is also possible here and here alone – assuming it is possible at all on earth.

Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality

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Justice

In truth, no one has a greater claim to our veneration than he who possesses the drive to and strength for justice. For the highest and rarest virtues are united and concealed in justice as in an unfathomable ocean that receives streams and rivers from all sides and takes them into itself. The hand of the just man who is empowered to judge no longer trembles when it holds the scales; he sets weight upon weight with inexorable disregard for himself, his eye is unclouded as it sees the scales rise and fall, his voice is neither harsh nor tearful when he pronounces the verdict.

Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life

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Blessed People of Hellas!

That there is a need for this effect is a feeling which each of us would grasp intuitively, if he were ever to feel himself translated, even just in dream, back into the life of an ancient Hellene. As he wandered beneath rows of high, Ionic columns, gazing upwards to a horizon cut off by pure and noble lines, seeing beside him reflections of his own, transfigured form in luminous marble, surrounded by human beings who walk solemnly or move delicately, with harmonious sounds and a rhythmic language of gestures – would such a person, with all this beauty streaming in on him from all sides, not be bound to call out, as he raised a hand to Apollo: ’Blessed people of Hellas! How great must Dionysos be amongst you, if the God of Delos considers such acts of magic are needed to heal your dithyrambic madness!’ It is likely, however, that an aged Athenian would reply to a visitor in this mood, looking up at him with the sublime eye of Aeschylus: ‘But say this, curious stranger: how much did this people have to suffer in order that it might become so beautiful! But now follow me to the tragedy and sacrifice along with me in the temple of both deities!’

Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

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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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The Task of Modern Art

And the task of modern art, too, suddenly becomes clear: stupefaction or delirium! To put to sleep or to intoxicate! To silence the conscience, by one means or the other! To help the modern soul to forget its feeling of guilt, not to help it to return to innocence! And this at least for moments at a time! To defend man against himself by compelling him to silence and to an inability to hear! – the few who have felt what this most shameful of tasks, this dreadful degradation of art, really means will find their souls filling to the brim with regret and pity: but also with a new mighty longing. he who desired to liberate art, to restore its desecrated sanctity, would first have to have liberated himself from the modern souls; only when innocent himself could he discover the innocence of art, and he thus has two tremendous acts of purification and consecration to accomplish. If he were victorious, if he spoke to men out of his liberated soul in the language of his liberated art, only then would he encounter his greatest danger and his most tremendous battle; men would rather tear him and his art to pieces than admit they must perish for shame in the face of them. It is possible that the redemption of art, the only gleam of light to be hoped for in the modern age, will be an event reserved to only a couple of solitary souls, while the many continue to gaze into the flickering and smoky fire of their art: for they do not want light, they want bedazzlement; they hate light – when it is thrown upon themselves.

Thus they avoid the new bringer of light; but, constrained by the love out of which he was born, he pursues them and wants to constrain them. ‘You shall pass through my mysteries’, he cries to them, ‘you need their purifications and convulsions. Risk it for the sake of your salvation and desert for once the dimly lit piece of nature and life which is all you seem to know; I lead you into a realm that is just as real, you yourselves shall say when you emerge out of my cave into our daylight which life is more real, which is really daylight and which cave. Nature is in its depths much richer, mightier, happier, more dreadful; in the way you usually live you do not know it: learn to become nature again yourselves and then with and in nature let yourselves be transformed by the magic of my love and fire.

Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations – Richard Wagner in Bayreuth

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The Poet

What makes a poet a poet is the fact that he sees himself surrounded by figures who live and act before him, and into his innermost essence he gazes…What allows Homer to depict things so much more vividly than all other poets? It is the fact that he looks at things so much more than they do. We talk so abstractly about poetry because we are usually all bad poets. Fundamentally the aesthetic phenomenon is simple; one only has to have the ability to watch a living play continuously and to live constantly surrounded by crowds of spirits, then one is a poet; if one feels the impulse to transform oneself and to speak out of other bodies and souls, then one is a dramatist.

Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

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Whither Does it Lead?

There exists in the world a single path along which no one can go except you: whither does it lead? Do not ask, go along it. Who was it who said: ‘a man never rises higher than when he does not know whither his path can still lead him?’

Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

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The Picture of Life

To understand the picture one must divine the painter. Nowadays, however, the whole guild of sciences is occupied in understanding the canvas and the pain but not the picture; one can say, indeed, that only he who has a clear view of the picture of life and existence as a whole can employ the individual sciences without harm to himself, for without such a regulatory total picture they are threads that nowhere come to an end and only render our life more confused and labyrinthine.

Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations

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