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segunda-feira, janeiro 04, 2016

THE MAGICAL SLUMBER

"Regarding everything, which we call by the proud metaphors “world history” and “truth” and “fame,” a heartless spirit might have nothing to say except:
“Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing. It was the most arrogant and mendacious minute of world history, but nevertheless only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star cooled and solidified, and the clever beasts had to die. The time had come too, for although they boasted of how much they understood, in the end they discovered to their great annoyance that they had understood everything falsely. They died, and in dying they cursed truth. Such was the nature of these desperate beasts who had invented knowing.”
This would be man’s fate if he were nothing but a knowing animal. The truth would drive him to despair and destruction: the truth that he is eternally condemned to untruth. But all that is appropriate for man is belief in attainable truth, in the illusion, which draws near to man and inspires him with confidence. Does he not actually live by means of a continual process of deception? Does nature not conceal most things from him, even the nearest things- his own body, for example, of which he has only a deceptive “consciousness”? He is locked within this consciousness and nature threw away the key. Oh, the fatal curiosity of the philosopher, who longs, just once, to peer out and down through a crack in the chamber of consciousness. Perhaps he will then suspect the extent to which man, in the indifference of his ignorance, is sustained by what is greedy, insatiable, disgusting, pitiless, and murderous- as if he were hanging in dreams on the back of a tiger.
“Let him hang!” cries art. “Wake him up!” shouts the philosopher in the pathos of truth. Yet even while he believes himself to be shaking the sleeper, the philosopher himself is sinking into a still deeper magical slumber. Perhaps he then dreams of the “ideas” or of immortality. Art is more powerful than knowledge, because it desires life, whereas knowledge attains as its final goal only- annihilation".

Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Pathos of Truth (1872) [link]

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