Monday, June 18, 2007

"No one
is such a LIAR as the indignant man."

26. """"Every select man strives instinctively for a citadel and a
privacy, where he is FREE from the crowd, the many, the majority--
where he may forget "men who are the rule," as their exception;--
exclusive only of the case in which he is pushed straight to
such men by a still stronger instinct, as a discerner in the
great and exceptional sense. Whoever, in intercourse with men,
does not occasionally glisten in all the green and grey colours
of distress, owing to disgust, satiety, sympathy, gloominess, and
solitariness, is assuredly not a man of elevated tastes;
supposing, however, that he does not voluntarily take all this
burden and disgust upon himself, that he persistently avoids it,
and remains, as I said, quietly and proudly hidden in his
citadel, one thing is then certain: he was not made, he was not
predestined for knowledge. For as such, he would one day have to
say to himself: "The devil take my good taste! but 'the rule' is
more interesting than the exception--than myself, the exception!"
And he would go DOWN, and above all, he would go "inside." The
long and serious study of the AVERAGE man--and consequently much
disguise, self-overcoming, familiarity, and bad intercourse (all
intercourse is bad intercourse except with one's equals):--that
constitutes a necessary part of the life-history of every
philosopher; perhaps the most disagreeable, odious, and
disappointing part. If he is fortunate, however, as a favourite
child of knowledge should be, he will meet with suitable
auxiliaries who will shorten and lighten his task; I mean so-
called cynics, those who simply recognize the animal, the
commonplace and "the rule" in themselves, and at the same time
have so much spirituality and ticklishness as to make them talk
of themselves and their like BEFORE WITNESSES--sometimes they
wallow, even in books, as on their own dung-hill. Cynicism is the
only form in which base souls approach what is called honesty;
and the higher man must open his ears to all the coarser or finer
cynicism, and congratulate himself when the clown becomes
shameless right before him, or the scientific satyr speaks out.
There are even cases where enchantment mixes with the disgust--
namely, where by a freak of nature, genius is bound to some such
indiscreet billy-goat and ape, as in the case of the Abbe
Galiani, the profoundest, acutest, and perhaps also filthiest man
of his century--he was far profounder than Voltaire, and
consequently also, a good deal more silent. It happens more
frequently, as has been hinted, that a scientific head is placed
on an ape's body, a fine exceptional understanding in a base
soul, an occurrence by no means rare, especially among doctors
and moral physiologists. And whenever anyone speaks without
bitterness, or rather quite innocently, of man as a belly with
two requirements, and a head with one; whenever any one sees,
seeks, and WANTS to see only hunger, sexual instinct, and vanity
as the real and only motives of human actions; in short, when any
one speaks "badly"--and not even "ill"--of man, then ought the
lover of knowledge to hearken attentively and diligently; he
ought, in general, to have an open ear wherever there is talk
without indignation. For the indignant man, and he who
perpetually tears and lacerates himself with his own teeth (or,
in place of himself, the world, God, or society), may indeed,
morally speaking, stand higher than the laughing and self-
satisfied satyr, but in every other sense he is the more
ordinary, more indifferent, and less instructive case. And no one
is such a LIAR as the indignant man.""""

(F.W. Nietzsche, from Beyond Good and Evil)

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