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These utilitarian Englishmen are a modest and thoroughly mediocre species of man, and, as said before: insofar as they are boring, one cannot think sufficiently highly of their utility. One ought even to encourage them: as has been tried, in part, with the following rhymes. Perhaps I am risking something when I allow such a truth to escape me: may others capture it again and give it to drink so much " milk of pious thinking " that it will lie down silent and forgotten, in its old corner.
Almost everything that we call "higher culture" is based on the spiritualization and intensification of cruelty — this is my proposition; that "wild beast" has not been slain at all, it lives, it flourishes, it has only been — made a divinity. That which constitutes the painful voluptuousness of tragedy is cruelty; that which produces a pleasing effect in so-called tragic pity, indeed fundamentally in everything sublime up to the highest and most refined thrills of metaphysics, derives its sweetness solely from the ingredient of cruelty mixed in with it. What the Roman in the arena, the Christian in the raptures before the cross, the Spaniard at the sight of a burning at the stake or a bull fight, the present-day Japanese who rushes his way into the tragic theatre, the suburban working-class Parisian who has a nostalgia for bloody revolutions, the female fan of Wagner who, with her will exposed, "experiences" the performance of " Tristan and Isolde " [see also here ] , — what all these people enjoy, and strive with secret ardor to drink in, is the spicy potion of the great Circe "cruelty.
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Finally, let us consider that even the seeker of knowledge, when he compels his spirit to acknowledge things against his spirit's inclinations and often enough also against his heart's desires — that is, to say No when he would like to affirm, to love, to worship —, he operates as an artist and glorifier of cruelty; indeed, every instance of taking a thing profoundly and fundamentally is already a violation, a wanting to do harm to the "fundamental will of the spirit", which incessantly strives for appearance and superficiality, — in every desire for knowledge there is already a drop of cruelty.
Perhaps what I have said here of a "fundamental will of the spirit" may not be immediately comprehensible: allow me an explanation. The power of the spirit to appropriate what is foreign to it is revealed in a strong inclination to assimilate the new to the old, to simplify the complex, to overlook or repudiate what is totally contradictory: just as it arbitrarily emphasizes, extracts and falsifies to suit itself certain traits and lines in what is foreign to it, in every portion of the "external world.
Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray
This same will is served by an apparently antithetical impulse of the spirit, a sudden decision for ignorance, for arbitrary shutting-out of things, a closing of windows, an inner denial of this or that thing, a refusal to let things draw near, a sort of defensive attitude against much that can be known, a contentment with obscurity, with the closed horizon, an acceptance and approval of ignorance: all this being necessary according to the degree of its power to appropriate, its "digestive power," to speak figuratively — and indeed "the spirit" resembles a stomach more than anything else.
Finally, in this connection, there is here that not altogether innocent readiness of the spirit to deceive other spirits and to dissemble before them, that continual pressure and stress of a creative, formative, transforming force: in this the spirit enjoys the multiplicity and cunning of its masks, it enjoys also its feeling of security that this brings, — it is precisely by its Protean arts that it is best protected and concealed!
He will say, "there is something cruel in the inclination of my spirit": — let the virtuous and amiable try to dissuade him! In fact, it would sound nicer if, instead of our cruelty, people could talk, whisper, praise — us free, very free spirits, for "dissolute honesty": — and perhaps that will actually one day be our posthumous fame? Meanwhile — for there is plenty of time until then — we should be least inclined to deck ourselves out in such florid and fringed moral verbiage: our entire work so far has spoiled us for this taste and its cheerful luxuriousness.
But we hermits and marmots, we have long ago persuaded ourselves in all the secrecy of our hermit's conscience, that this worthy verbal pageantry too belongs among the ancient false adornments, rubbish, and gold-dust of unconscious human vanity, and that even under such flattering color and painting-over must again be discerned the terrible basic text homo natura. In fact, to translate man back again into nature; to master the many vain and fanciful interpretations and subordinate meanings which have hitherto been scratched and daubed over the eternal original text, Natural Man ; to bring it about that man shall henceforth stand before man as he now, hardened by the discipline of science, stands before the other forms of nature, with fearless Oedipus-eyes , and plugged up Ulysses-ears , deaf to the siren songs of old metaphysical bird-catchers who have all too long been piping to him "you are more!
Why did we choose it, this foolish task? Or, to put the question differently: "why knowledge at all? And we, thus pressed, we who have asked ourselves the same question a hundred times over, we have found and can find no better answer …. But deep in us, really "deep down," there is naturally something unteachable, a granite-like intellectual fate, of predetermined decision and answer to predetermined selected questions. In each cardinal problem there speaks an unchangeable "I am this"; about man and woman, for example, a thinker cannot relearn, but only finish learning, — he can only follow to the end what is "firmly established" in himself.
Occasionally we find certain solutions of problems that inspire strong beliefs in us ; perhaps they are henceforth called "convictions. Women want to be independent, and to that end they have begun to enlighten men about the "woman per se" — this is one of the worst developments in the general uglification of Europe.
For look what these clumsy experiments of feminine scientificality and self-exposure must all bring to light! God forbid, if the "eternal-boring in woman" [Nietzsche's allusion to the Eternal-Feminine in Goethe's Faust] — she has plenty of that! Even now female voices are being raised, which, by holy Aristophanes! Is it not in the very worst taste when a woman sets herself up to become scientific in such a way? So far, enlightening has been, fortunately, a men's thing, a men's gift — in this, we kept "among ourselves"; and in the end, we may subject everything that women write about "the woman" with a good distrust, as to whether a woman really wants — and can want enlightenment about herself … Unless a woman is looking for a new adornment for herself by doing this — self-adornment is part of the eternal-feminine, is it not?
But she does not want truth: what does a woman care about truth!
From the very beginning, nothing has been more alien, more repugnant, or more inimical to woman than truth, — her great art is the lie, her supreme concern is appearance and beauty. Finally I pose the question: has a woman ever conceded herself profundity to a woman's mind or justice to a woman's heart?
follow link And is it not true on the whole, that until now "the woman" has been most despised by the woman herself — and not at all by us men? Among men the above-named are the three comic women "per se" — nothing more! Women do not understand what food means : and they wants to be cooks! If women had been thinking creatures they would, having been the cooks for thousands of years, surely have had to discover the most important facts of physiology, and likewise gained possession of the art of healing!
Because of bad female cooks — through the total lack of rationality in the kitchen the evolution of man has been retarded the longest, and most harmed: even today things are hardly any better. There are twists and turns and stimuli of the mind, there are sentences, a small handful of words, in which a whole culture, a whole society suddenly crystallizes. Among these is that casual remark of Madame de Lambert to her son: " My dear, never indulge in any follies but the ones that will give you great pleasure ": — the most motherly and most clever remark, incidentally, that has ever been addressed to a son.
Up to now women have been treated by men like birds which have strayed down to them from some height or other: as something more delicate, more fragile, wilder, stranger, sweeter, more soulful, — but also as something which must be caged up, so it does not fly away. To be mistaken over the fundamental problem of "man and woman," to deny in this matter the most profound antagonism and the necessity for an eternally hostile tension, to dream here perhaps of equal rights, equal education, equal entitlements and obligations: that is a typical sign of shallow-mindedness; and a thinker, who has proved himself shallow on this dangerous point — shallow in instinct!
Whereas a man who has profundity in his spirit as well as in his desires, and has also the profundity of benevolence which is capable of severity and harshness, and easily confused with them both, can ever think of woman only in an oriental way: he must conceive of woman as a possession, as a property confinable in a safe, protected place, as something predestined for service and attaining her fulfillment in it, — in this matter he must take his stand upon the immense rationality of Asia, on the instinctual superiority of Asia: as the Greeks once did, these best heirs and students of Asia, who, as is well known, with the growth of their culture and the expansion of their powers, from Homer to the Age of Pericles , also became progressively more strict towards women, in short, more Oriental.
How necessary, how logical, even how humanely desirable this was: let us reflect on this in private! In no other age has the weaker sex been treated by men with so much respect as in our times — this is part of the democratic inclination and basic taste, just like the disrespect for old age —: is it any wonder that this respect should be immediately misused?
They [women] want more, they learn to make demands, in the end they find this tribute of respect almost offensive, and would prefer a competition for rights, indeed the actual fight itself: briefly put, woman is losing her shame. And let us immediately add that she is also losing her taste. She is unlearning to fear man: but the woman who "unlearns to fear," sacrifices her most womanly instincts. That the woman should assert herself [venture forth] when the fear-inspiring quality in man, let us put it more precisely and say, when the man in man is no longer desired and widely cultivated, is fair enough, also comprehensible enough; what is harder to comprehend is that, precisely in this very process — the woman degenerates.
This is what is happening today: let us not deceive ourselves about it! Wherever the spirit of industry has triumphed over the military and aristocratic spirit, the woman now strives for the economic and legal independence of a clerk: "women as clerks" stands inscribed on the portal of the modern society which is in course of formation. And while she is taking possession of new rights, strives to become "master," and inscribes the "progress" of women on her flags and banners, the very opposite takes place with terrible clarity: the woman is regressing. There is stupidity in this movement, an almost masculine stupidity, of which a well-reared woman — who is always a clever woman — would have to be ashamed from the very heart.
Here and there they even want to turn women into free-spirits and literati: as if a woman without piety would not be something utterly repellent or ludicrous to a profound and godless man —; almost everywhere her nerves are being ruined by the most morbid and dangerous kind of music our latest German music and she is daily being made more hysterical and more incapable of her first and last vocation, to give birth to strong children. Generally, these men want to "cultivate" her even more, and, as they say, to make the "weak sex" strong through culture: as if history did not teach in the most emphatic manner possible that making human beings "cultivated" and making them weaker — that is to say, enfeebling, fragmenting, debilitating the power of their will , have always gone hand in hand, and that the most powerful and most influential women of the world most recently even Napoleon's mother owed their power and ascendancy over men only to their willpower — and not the schoolmasters!
Fear and pity: it is with these feelings that man has always stood before the woman, always with one foot deep in the tragedy, which tears to pieces while it delights. And is this now to come to an end? And are women now to be deprived of their magic spell? Are women slowly to be turned into bores? Oh Europe! We know the horned animal which always attracted you most, which again and again threatens you with danger!
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