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[633W-{6/7/55}Letter to Franz Liszt: SLRW, p. 344]

[P. 344] {FEUER} “The really perplexing problem among all these other questions is always how, in this terrible world of ours, beyond which there is only nothingness, it might be possible to infer the existence of a God who would make life’s immense sufferings merely something apparent, while the redemption we long for is seen as something entirely real that may be consciously enjoyed. This may not be a problem for philistines – especially for the English variety: the reason they get on so splendidly with their God is because they enter into a contract with Him, according to whose terms they have to fulfil a certain number of contractual points, so that, finally, as a reward for various shortcomings in this world, they may enjoy eternal bliss in the world to come. But what do we have in common with such vulgar ideas?” [633W-{6/7/55}Letter to Franz Liszt: SLRW, p. 344]

 

[634W-{6/7/55}Letter to Franz Liszt: SLRW, p. 344]

[P. 344] {SCHOP} “ … man (like any other animal) is a will to live; his organs are created to meet various needs, and one of these organs is his intellect, i.e., the organ for comprehending whatever is external to it, with the aim of using such objects to satisfy life’s need, according to its strength and ability. A normal man is therefore one in whom this organ – which is directed [P. 345] outwards and whose function is to perceive things, just as the stomach’s function is to digest food – is equipped with sufficient ability to satisfy a need that is external to it, and – for the normal person – this need is exactly the same as that of the most common beast, namely the instinct to eat and to reproduce; for this will to live, which is the actual metaphysical basis of all existence, demands solely to live, i.e. to eat and reproduce itself perpetually, and this tendency is demonstrably one and the same whether it be found in the dull rock, in the more delicate plant, or, finally, in the human animal; the only difference lies in the organs which man, having reached the higher stages of his objectification, must use in order to satisfy more complicated needs which, for that reason, are increasingly contested and harder to meet. Once we have gained this insight (and it is an insight which has been confirmed by the tremendous findings of modern science), we shall suddenly understand what it is that is characteristic about the lives of by far the greater part of mankind of all ages, and we shall no longer be surprised if we always think of them as beasts: for this is the normal human condition.” [634W-{6/7/55}Letter to Franz Liszt: SLRW, p. 344]

 

[635W-{6/7/55}Letter to Franz Liszt: SLRW, p. 345]

[P. 345] {FEUER} {SCHOP} “But just as the vast majority of people remain below this norm, inasmuch as their complex cognitive organ is not even developed to the point where it can adequately meet their normal needs, so we also find (albeit only rarely, of course) abnormal individuals in whom the cognitive organ, i.e. the brain, has evolved beyond the ordinary and adequate level of development found in the rest of humanity, just as nature, after all, often creates monsters in which one organ is much more developed than any other. Such a monstrosity – if it reaches its highest level of development – is genius, which essentially rests upon no more than an abnormally fertile and capacious brain. This cognitive organ, which originally and in normal circumstances looks beyond itself in order to meet the needs of the will to live, gains such lively and fascinating impressions from outside –in the case, that is, of abnormal development – that there are times when it breaks free from its role of serving the will – which had after all created it solely

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