The Objective Man – Beyond Good and Evil

“The objective man, who no longer curses and scolds like the pessimist, the IDEAL man of learning in whom the scientific instinct blossoms forth fully after a thousand complete and partial failures, is in truth a mirror accustomed to prostration before everything that wants to be known, with such desires only as knowing or “reflecting” implies–he waits until something comes, and then expands himself sensitively, so that even the light footsteps and gliding-past of spiritual beings may not be lost on his surface and film. Whatever “personality” he still possesses seems to him accidental, arbitrary, or still oftener, disturbing, so much has he come to regard himself as the passage and reflection of outside forms and events.

Perhaps he is troubled about the health, or the pettiness and confined atmosphere of a friend, or the lack of companions and society–indeed, he sets himself to reflect on his suffering, but in vain! His thoughts already rove away to the MORE GENERAL case, and tomorrow he knows as little as he knew yesterday how to help himself.

He is only genuine so far as he can be objective; only in his serene totality is he still “nature” and “natural.” His mirroring and eternally self-polishing soul no longer knows how to affirm, no longer how to deny. “I do not miss almost anything”– he says, with Leibniz: let us not overlook nor undervalue the ALMOST! He places himself generally too far off to have any reason for espousing the cause of either good or evil.

He is an instrument, something of a slave, though certainly the sublimest sort of slave, but nothing in himself–ALMOST NOTHING! The objective man is a costly, easily injured measuring instrument and mirroring apparatus, which is to be taken care of and respected; but he is no goal, not outgoing nor upgoing, no complementary man in whom the REST of existence justifies itself, no termination– and still less a commencement, an engendering, or primary cause, nothing hardy, powerful, self-centred, that wants to be master; but rather only a soft, inflated, delicate, movable potter’s- form, that must wait for some kind of content and frame to “shape” itself thereto–for the most part a man without frame and content, a “selfless” man.” – F. Nietzsche, Beyond good and evil

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