Appendix - Part IV
In my opinion this part is Nietzsche's open avowal that all his philosophy, together with all his hopes, enthusiastic outbursts, blasphemies, prolixities, and obscurities, were merely so many gifts laid at the feet of higher men. He had no desire to save the world. What he wished to determine was: Who is to be master of the world? This is a very different thing. He came to save higher men;—to give them that freedom by which, alone, they can develop and reach their zenith (see Note on Chapter LIV., end). It has been argued, and with considerable force, that no such philosophy is required by higher men, that, as a matter of fact, higher men, by virtue of their constitutions always, do stand Beyond Good and Evil, and never allow anything to stand in the way of their complete growth. Nietzsche, however, was evidently not so confident about this. He would probably have argued that we only see the successful cases. Being a great man himself, he was well aware of the dangers threatening greatness in our age. In "Beyond Good and Evil" he writes: "There are few pains so grievous as to have seen, divined, or experienced how an exceptional man has missed his way and deteriorated..." He knew "from his painfullest recollections on what wretched obstacles promising developments of the highest rank have hitherto usually gone to pieces, broken down, sunk, and become contemptible." Now in Part IV. we shall find that his strongest temptation to descend to the feeling of "pity" for his contemporaries, is the "cry for help" which he hears from the lips of the higher men exposed to the dreadful danger of their modern environment.
Chapter LXI. The Honey Sacrifice.
In the fourteenth verse of this discourse Nietzsche defines the solemn duty he imposed upon himself: "Become what thou art." Surely the criticism which has been directed against this maxim must all fall to the ground when it is remembered, once and for all, that Nietzsche's teaching was never intended to be other than an esoteric one. "I am a law only for mine own," he says emphatically, "I am not a law for all." It is of the greatest importance to humanity that its highest individuals should be allowed to attain to their full development; for, only by means of its heroes can the human race be led forward step by step to higher and yet higher levels. "Become what thou art" applied to all, of course, becomes a vicious maxim; it is to be hoped, however, that we may learn in time that the same action performed by a given number of men, loses its identity precisely that same number of times.—"Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi."
At the last eight verses many readers may be tempted to laugh. In England we almost always laugh when a man takes himself seriously at anything save sport. And there is of course no reason why the reader should not be hilarious.—A certain greatness is requisite, both in order to be sublime and to have reverence for the sublime. Nietzsche earnestly believed that the Zarathustra-kingdom—his dynasty of a thousand years—would one day come; if he had not believed it so earnestly, if every artist in fact had not believed so earnestly in his Hazar, whether of ten, fifteen, a hundred, or a thousand years, we should have lost all our higher men; they would have become pessimists, suicides, or merchants. If the minor poet and philosopher has made us shy of the prophetic seriousness which characterized an Isaiah or a Jeremiah, it is surely our loss and the minor poet's gain.
Chapter LXII. The Cry of Distress.
We now meet with Zarathustra in extraordinary circumstances. He is confronted with Schopenhauer and tempted by the old Soothsayer to commit the sin of pity. "I have come that I may seduce thee to thy last sin!" says the Soothsayer to Zarathustra. It will be remembered that in Schopenhauer's ethics, pity is elevated to the highest place among the virtues, and very consistently too, seeing that the Weltanschauung is a pessimistic one. Schopenhauer appeals to Nietzsche's deepest and strongest sentiment—his sympathy for higher men. "Why dost thou conceal thyself?" he cries. "It is THE HIGHER MAN that calleth for thee!" Zarathustra is almost overcome by the Soothsayer's pleading, as he had been once already in the past, but he resists him step by step. At length he can withstand him no longer, and, on the plea that the higher man is on his ground and therefore under his protection, Zarathustra departs in search of him, leaving Schopenhauer—a higher man in Nietzsche's opinion—in the cave as a guest.
Chapter LXIII. Talk with the Kings.
On his way Zarathustra meets two more higher men of his time; two kings cross his path. They are above the average modern type; for their instincts tell them what real ruling is, and they despise the mockery which they have been taught to call "Reigning." "We ARE NOT the first men," they say, "and have nevertheless to STAND FOR them: of this imposture have we at last become weary and disgusted." It is the kings who tell Zarathustra: "There is no sorer misfortune in all human destiny than when the mighty of the earth are not also the first men. There everything becometh false and distorted and monstrous." The kings are also asked by Zarathustra to accept the shelter of his cave, whereupon he proceeds on his way.
Chapter LXIV. The Leech.
Among the higher men whom Zarathustra wishes to save, is also the scientific specialist—the man who honestly and scrupulously pursues his investigations, as Darwin did, in one department of knowledge. "I love him who liveth in order to know, and seeketh to know in order that the Superman may hereafter live. Thus seeketh he his own down-going." "The spiritually conscientious one," he is called in this discourse. Zarathustra steps on him unawares, and the slave of science, bleeding from the violence he has done to himself by his self-imposed task, speaks proudly of his little sphere of knowledge—his little hand's breadth of ground on Zarathustra's territory, philosophy. "Where mine honesty ceaseth," says the true scientific specialist, "there am I blind and want also to be blind. Where I want to know, however, there want I also to be honest—namely, severe, rigorous, restricted, cruel, and inexorable." Zarathustra greatly respecting this man, invites him too to the cave, and then vanishes in answer to another cry for help.
Chapter LXV. The Magician.
The Magician is of course an artist, and Nietzsche's intimate knowledge of perhaps the greatest artist of his age rendered the selection of Wagner, as the type in this discourse, almost inevitable. Most readers will be acquainted with the facts relating to Nietzsche's and Wagner's friendship and ultimate separation. As a boy and a youth Nietzsche had shown such a remarkable gift for music that it had been a question at one time whether he should not perhaps give up everything else in order to develop this gift, but he became a scholar notwithstanding, although he never entirely gave up composing, and playing the piano. While still in his teens, he became acquainted with Wagner's music and grew passionately fond of it. Long before he met Wagner he must have idealised him in his mind to an extent which only a profoundly artistic nature could have been capable of. Nietzsche always had high ideals for humanity. If one were asked whether, throughout his many changes, there was yet one aim, one direction, and one hope to which he held fast, one would be forced to reply in the affirmative and declare that aim, direction, and hope to have been "the elevation of the type man." Now, when Nietzsche met Wagner he was actually casting about for an incarnation of his dreams for the German people, and we have only to remember his youth (he was twenty-one when he was introduced to Wagner), his love of Wagner's music, and the undoubted power of the great musician's personality, in order to realise how very uncritical his attitude must have been in the first flood of his enthusiasm. Again, when the friendship ripened, we cannot well imagine Nietzsche, the younger man, being anything less than intoxicated by his senior's attention and love, and we are therefore not surprised to find him pressing Wagner forward as the great Reformer and Saviour of mankind. "Wagner in Bayreuth" (English Edition, 1909) gives us the best proof of Nietzsche's infatuation, and although signs are not wanting in this essay which show how clearly and even cruelly he was sub-consciously "taking stock" of his friend—even then, the work is a record of what great love and admiration can do in the way of endowing the object of one's affection with all the qualities and ideals that a fertile imagination can conceive.
When the blow came it was therefore all the more severe. Nietzsche at length realised that the friend of his fancy and the real Richard Wagner—the composer of Parsifal—were not one; the fact dawned upon him slowly; disappointment upon disappointment, revelation after revelation, ultimately brought it home to him, and though his best instincts were naturally opposed to it at first, the revulsion of feeling at last became too strong to be ignored, and Nietzsche was plunged into the blackest despair. Years after his break with Wagner, he wrote "The Case of Wagner", and "Nietzsche contra Wagner", and these works are with us to prove the sincerity and depth of his views on the man who was the greatest event of his life.
The poem in this discourse is, of course, reminiscent of Wagner's own poetical manner, and it must be remembered that the whole was written subsequent to Nietzsche's final break with his friend. The dialogue between Zarathustra and the Magician reveals pretty fully what it was that Nietzsche grew to loathe so intensely in Wagner,—viz., his pronounced histrionic tendencies, his dissembling powers, his inordinate vanity, his equivocalness, his falseness. "It honoureth thee," says Zarathustra, "that thou soughtest for greatness, but it betrayeth thee also. Thou art not great." The Magician is nevertheless sent as a guest to Zarathustra's cave; for, in his heart, Zarathustra believed until the end that the Magician was a higher man broken by modern values.
Chapter LXVI. Out of Service.
Zarathustra now meets the last pope, and, in a poetical form, we get Nietzsche's description of the course Judaism and Christianity pursued before they reached their final break-up in Atheism, Agnosticism, and the like. The God of a strong, warlike race—the God of Israel—is a jealous, revengeful God. He is a power that can be pictured and endured only by a hardy and courageous race, a race rich enough to sacrifice and to lose in sacrifice. The image of this God degenerates with the people that appropriate it, and gradually He becomes a God of love—"soft and mellow," a lower middle-class deity, who is "pitiful." He can no longer be a God who requires sacrifice, for we ourselves are no longer rich enough for that. The tables are therefore turned upon Him; HE must sacrifice to us. His pity becomes so great that he actually does sacrifice something to us—His only begotten Son. Such a process carried to its logical conclusions must ultimately end in His own destruction, and thus we find the pope declaring that God was one day suffocated by His all-too-great pity. What follows is clear enough. Zarathustra recognises another higher man in the ex-pope and sends him too as a guest to the cave.
Chapter LXVII. The Ugliest Man.
This discourse contains perhaps the boldest of Nietzsche's suggestions concerning Atheism, as well as some extremely penetrating remarks upon the sentiment of pity. Zarathustra comes across the repulsive creature sitting on the wayside, and what does he do? He manifests the only correct feelings that can be manifested in the presence of any great misery—that is to say, shame, reverence, embarrassment. Nietzsche detested the obtrusive and gushing pity that goes up to misery without a blush either on its cheek or in its heart—the pity which is only another form of self-glorification. "Thank God that I am not like thee!"—only this self-glorifying sentiment can lend a well-constituted man the impudence to SHOW his pity for the cripple and the ill-constituted. In the presence of the ugliest man Nietzsche blushes,—he blushes for his race; his own particular kind of altruism—the altruism that might have prevented the existence of this man—strikes him with all its force. He will have the world otherwise. He will have a world where one need not blush for one's fellows—hence his appeal to us to love only our children's land, the land undiscovered in the remotest sea.
Zarathustra calls the ugliest man the murderer of God! Certainly, this is one aspect of a certain kind of Atheism—the Atheism of the man who reveres beauty to such an extent that his own ugliness, which outrages him, must be concealed from every eye lest it should not be respected as Zarathustra respected it. If there be a God, He too must be evaded. His pity must be foiled. But God is ubiquitous and omniscient. Therefore, for the really GREAT ugly man, He must not exist. "Their pity IS it from which I flee away," he says—that is to say: "It is from their want of reverence and lack of shame in presence of my great misery!" The ugliest man despises himself; but Zarathustra said in his Prologue: "I love the great despisers because they are the great adorers, and arrows of longing for the other shore." He therefore honours the ugliest man: sees height in his self-contempt, and invites him to join the other higher men in the cave.
Chapter LXVIII. The Voluntary Beggar.
In this discourse, we undoubtedly have the ideal Buddhist, if not Gautama Buddha himself. Nietzsche had the greatest respect for Buddhism, and almost wherever he refers to it in his works, it is in terms of praise. He recognised that though Buddhism is undoubtedly a religion for decadents, its decadent values emanate from the higher and not, as in Christianity, from the lower grades of society. In Aphorism 20 of "The Antichrist", he compares it exhaustively with Christianity, and the result of his investigation is very much in favour of the older religion. Still, he recognised a most decided Buddhistic influence in Christ's teaching, and the words in verses 29, 30, and 31 are very reminiscent of his views in regard to the Christian Savior.
The figure of Christ has been introduced often enough into fiction, and many scholars have undertaken to write His life according to their own lights, but few perhaps have ever attempted to present Him to us bereft of all those characteristics which a lack of the sense of harmony has attached to His person through the ages in which His doctrines have been taught. Now Nietzsche disagreed entirely with Renan's view, that Christ was "le grand maitre en ironie"; in Aphorism 31 of "The Antichrist", he says that he (Nietzsche) always purged his picture of the Humble Nazarene of all those bitter and spiteful outbursts which, in view of the struggle the first Christians went through, may very well have been added to the original character by Apologists and Sectarians who, at that time, could ill afford to consider nice psychological points, seeing that what they needed, above all, was a wrangling and abusive deity. These two conflicting halves in the character of the Christ of the Gospels, which no sound psychology can ever reconcile, Nietzsche always kept distinct in his own mind; he could not credit the same man with sentiments sometimes so noble and at other times so vulgar, and in presenting us with this new portrait of the Saviour, purged of all impurities, Nietzsche rendered military honours to a foe, which far exceed in worth all that His most ardent disciples have ever claimed for Him. In verse 26 we are vividly reminded of Herbert Spencer's words "'Le mariage de convenance' is legalised prostitution."
Chapter LXIX. The Shadow.
Here we have a description of that courageous and wayward spirit that literally haunts the footsteps of every great thinker and every great leader; sometimes with the result that it loses all aims, all hopes, and all trust in a definite goal. It is the case of the bravest and most broad-minded men of to-day. These literally shadow the most daring movements in the science and art of their generation; they completely lose their bearings and actually find themselves, in the end, without a way, a goal, or a home. "On every surface have I already sat!...I become thin, I am almost equal to a shadow!" At last, in despair, such men do indeed cry out: "Nothing is true; all is permitted," and then they become mere wreckage. "Too much hath become clear unto me: now nothing mattereth to me any more. Nothing liveth any longer that I love,—how should I still love myself! Have I still a goal? Where is MY home?" Zarathustra realises the danger threatening such a man. "Thy danger is not small, thou free spirit and wanderer," he says. "Thou hast had a bad day. See that a still worse evening doth not overtake thee!" The danger Zarathustra refers to is precisely this, that even a prison may seem a blessing to such a man. At least the bars keep him in a place of rest; a place of confinement, at its worst, is real. "Beware lest in the end a narrow faith capture thee," says Zarathustra, "for now everything that is narrow and fixed seduceth and tempteth thee."
Chapter LXX. Noontide.
At the noon of life Nietzsche said he entered the world; with him man came of age. We are now held responsible for our actions; our old guardians, the gods and demi-gods of our youth, the superstitions and fears of our childhood, withdraw; the field lies open before us; we lived through our morning with but one master—chance—; let us see to it that we MAKE our afternoon our own (see Note XLIX., Part III.).
Chapter LXXI. The Greeting.
Here I think I may claim that my contention in regard to the purpose and aim of the whole of Nietzsche's philosophy (as stated at the beginning of my Notes on Part IV.) is completely upheld. He fought for "all who do not want to live, unless they learn again to HOPE—unless THEY learn (from him) the GREAT hope!" Zarathustra's address to his guests shows clearly enough how he wished to help them: "I DO NOT TREAT MY WARRIORS INDULGENTLY," he says: "how then could ye be fit for MY warfare?" He rebukes and spurns them, no word of love comes from his lips. Elsewhere he says a man should be a hard bed to his friend, thus alone can he be of use to him. Nietzsche would be a hard bed to higher men. He would make them harder; for, in order to be a law unto himself, man must possess the requisite hardness. "I wait for higher ones, stronger ones, more triumphant ones, merrier ones, for such as are built squarely in body and soul." He says in par. 6 of "Higher Man":—
"Ye higher men, think ye that I am here to put right what ye have put wrong? Or that I wished henceforth to make snugger couches for you sufferers? Or show you restless, miswandering, misclimbing ones new and easier footpaths?"
"Nay! Nay! Three times nay! Always more, always better ones of your type shall succumb—for ye shall always have it worse and harder."
Chapter LXXII. The Supper.
In the first seven verses of this discourse, I cannot help seeing a gentle allusion to Schopenhauer's habits as a bon-vivant. For a pessimist, be it remembered, Schopenhauer led quite an extraordinary life. He ate well, loved well, played the flute well, and I believe he smoked the best cigars. What follows is clear enough.
Chapter LXXIII. The Higher Man. Par. 1.
Nietzsche admits, here, that at one time he had thought of appealing to the people, to the crowd in the market-place, but that he had ultimately to abandon the task. He bids higher men depart from the market-place.
Here we are told quite plainly what class of men actually owe all their impulses and desires to the instinct of self-preservation. The struggle for existence is indeed the only spur in the case of such people. To them it matters not in what shape or condition man be preserved, provided only he survive. The transcendental maxim that "Life per se is precious" is the ruling maxim here.
In the Note on Chapter LVII. (end) I speak of Nietzsche's elevation of the virtue, Courage, to the highest place among the virtues. Here he tells higher men the class of courage he expects from them.
Pars. 5, 6.
These have already been referred to in the Notes on Chapters LVII. (end) and LXXI.
I suggest that the last verse in this paragraph strongly confirms the view that Nietzsche's teaching was always meant by him to be esoteric and for higher man alone.
In the last verse, here, another shaft of light is thrown upon the Immaculate Perception or so-called "pure objectivity" of the scientific mind. "Freedom from fever is still far from being knowledge." Where a man's emotions cease to accompany him in his investigations, he is not necessarily nearer the truth. Says Spencer, in the Preface to his Autobiography:—"In the genesis of a system of thought, the emotional nature is a large factor: perhaps as large a factor as the intellectual nature" (see pages 134, 141 of Vol. I., "Thoughts out of Season").
Pars. 10, 11.
When we approach Nietzsche's philosophy we must be prepared to be independent thinkers; in fact, the greatest virtue of his works is perhaps the subtlety with which they impose the obligation upon one of thinking alone, of scoring off one's own bat, and of shifting intellectually for oneself.
"I am a railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me, may grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not." These two paragraphs are an exhortation to higher men to become independent.
Here Nietzsche perhaps exaggerates the importance of heredity. As, however, the question is by no means one on which we are all agreed, what he says is not without value.
A very important principle in Nietzsche's philosophy is enunciated in the first verse of this paragraph. "The higher its type, always the seldomer doth a thing succeed" (see page 82 of "Beyond Good and Evil"). Those who, like some political economists, talk in a business-like way about the terrific waste of human life and energy, deliberately overlook the fact that the waste most to be deplored usually occurs among higher individuals. Economy was never precisely one of nature's leading principles. All this sentimental wailing over the larger proportion of failures than successes in human life, does not seem to take into account the fact that it is the rarest thing on earth for a highly organised being to attain to the fullest development and activity of all its functions, simply because it is so highly organised. The blind Will to Power in nature therefore stands in urgent need of direction by man.
Pars. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
These paragraphs deal with Nietzsche's protest against the democratic seriousness (Pobelernst) of modern times. "All good things laugh," he says, and his final command to the higher men is, "LEARN, I pray you—to laugh." All that is GOOD, in Nietzsche's sense, is cheerful. To be able to crack a joke about one's deepest feelings is the greatest test of their value. The man who does not laugh, like the man who does not make faces, is already a buffoon at heart.
"What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not the word of him who said: 'Woe unto them that laugh now!' Did he himself find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought badly. A child even findeth cause for it."
Chapter LXXIV. The Song of Melancholy.
After his address to the higher men, Zarathustra goes out into the open to recover himself. Meanwhile the magician (Wagner), seizing the opportunity in order to draw them all into his net once more, sings the Song of Melancholy.
Chapter LXXV. Science.
The only one to resist the "melancholy voluptuousness" of his art, is the spiritually conscientious one—the scientific specialist of whom we read in the discourse entitled "The Leech". He takes the harp from the magician and cries for air, while reproving the musician in the style of "The Case of Wagner". When the magician retaliates by saying that the spiritually conscientious one could have understood little of his song, the latter replies: "Thou praisest me in that thou separatest me from thyself." The speech of the scientific man to his fellow higher men is well worth studying. By means of it, Nietzsche pays a high tribute to the honesty of the true specialist, while, in representing him as the only one who can resist the demoniacal influence of the magician's music, he elevates him at a stroke, above all those present. Zarathustra and the spiritually conscientious one join issue at the end on the question of the proper place of "fear" in man's history, and Nietzsche avails himself of the opportunity in order to restate his views concerning the relation of courage to humanity. It is precisely because courage has played the most important part in our development that he would not see it vanish from among our virtues to-day. "...courage seemeth to me the entire primitive history of man."
Chapter LXXVI. Among the Daughters of the Desert.
This tells its own tale.
Chapter LXXVII. The Awakening.
In this discourse, Nietzsche wishes to give his followers a warning. He thinks he has so far helped them that they have become convalescent, that new desires are awakened in them and that new hopes are in their arms and legs. But he mistakes the nature of the change. True, he has helped them, he has given them back what they most need, i.e., belief in believing—the confidence in having confidence in something, but how do they use it? This belief in faith, if one can so express it without seeming tautological, has certainly been restored to them, and in the first flood of their enthusiasm they use it by bowing down and worshipping an ass! When writing this passage, Nietzsche was obviously thinking of the accusations which were levelled at the early Christians by their pagan contemporaries. It is well known that they were supposed not only to be eaters of human flesh but also ass-worshippers, and among the Roman graffiti, the most famous is the one found on the Palatino, showing a man worshipping a cross on which is suspended a figure with the head of an ass (see Minucius Felix, "Octavius" IX.; Tacitus, "Historiae" v. 3; Tertullian, "Apologia", etc.). Nietzsche's obvious moral, however, is that great scientists and thinkers, once they have reached the wall encircling scepticism and have thereby learned to recover their confidence in the act of believing, as such, usually manifest the change in their outlook by falling victims to the narrowest and most superstitious of creeds. So much for the introduction of the ass as an object of worship.
Now, with regard to the actual service and Ass-Festival, no reader who happens to be acquainted with the religious history of the Middle Ages will fail to see the allusion here to the asinaria festa which were by no means uncommon in France, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe during the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries.
Chapter LXXVIII. The Ass-Festival.
At length, in the middle of their feast, Zarathustra bursts in upon them and rebukes them soundly. But he does not do so long; in the Ass-Festival, it suddenly occurs to him, that he is concerned with a ceremony that may not be without its purpose, as something foolish but necessary—a recreation for wise men. He is therefore highly pleased that the higher men have all blossomed forth; they therefore require new festivals,—"A little valiant nonsense, some divine service and ass-festival, some old joyful Zarathustra fool, some blusterer to blow their souls bright."
He tells them not to forget that night and the ass-festival, for "such things only the convalescent devise! And should ye celebrate it again," he concludes, "do it from love to yourselves, do it also from love to me! And in remembrance of ME!"
Chapter LXXIX. The Drunken Song.
It were the height of presumption to attempt to fix any particular interpretation of my own to the words of this song. With what has gone before, the reader, while reading it as poetry, should be able to seek and find his own meaning in it. The doctrine of the Eternal Recurrence appears for the last time here, in an art-form. Nietzsche lays stress upon the fact that all happiness, all delight, longs for repetitions, and just as a child cries "Again! Again!" to the adult who happens to be amusing him; so the man who sees a meaning, and a joyful meaning, in existence must also cry "Again!" and yet "Again!" to all his life.
Chapter LXXX. The Sign.
In this discourse, Nietzsche disassociates himself finally from the higher men, and by the symbol of the lion, wishes to convey to us that he has won over and mastered the best and the most terrible in nature. That great power and tenderness are kin, was already his belief in 1875—eight years before he wrote this speech, and when the birds and the lion come to him, it is because he is the embodiment of the two qualities. All that is terrible and great in nature, the higher men are not yet prepared for; for they retreat horror-stricken into the cave when the lion springs at them; but Zarathustra makes not a move towards them. He was tempted to them on the previous day, he says, but "That hath had its time! My suffering and my fellow suffering,—what matter about them! Do I then strive after HAPPINESS? I strive after my work! Well! the lion hath come, my children are nigh. Zarathustra hath grown ripe. MY day beginneth: ARISE NOW, ARISE, THOU GREAT NOONDAY!"
The above I know to be open to much criticism. I shall be grateful to all those who will be kind enough to show me where and how I have gone wrong; but I should like to point out that, as they stand, I have not given to these Notes by any means their final form.
ANTHONY M. LUDOVICI.
London, February 1909.