At this point, I can no longer avoid setting out, in an initial, provisional statement, my own hypothesis about the origin of “bad conscience.” It is not easy to get people to attend to it, and it requires them to consider it at length, to guard it, and to sleep on it. I consider bad conscience the profound illness which human beings had to come down with, under the pressure of the most fundamental of all the changes which they experienced—that change when they found themselves locked within the confines of society and peace. Just like the things water animals must have gone though when they were forced either to become land animals or to die off, so events must have played themselves out with this half-beast so happily adapted to the wilderness, war, wandering around, adventure—suddenly all its instincts were devalued and “disengaged.”
From this point on, these animals were to go on foot and “carry themselves”; whereas previously they had been supported by the water. A terrible heaviness weighed them down. In performing the simplest things they felt ungainly. In dealing with this new unknown world they no longer had their old leader, the ruling unconscious drives which guided them safely. These unfortunate creatures were reduced to thinking, inferring, calculating, bringing together cause and effect, to their “consciousness,” their most impoverished and error-prone organ! I believe that on earth there has never been such a feeling of misery, such a leaden discomfort - while at the same time those old instincts had not all at once stopped imposing their demands! Only it was difficult and seldom possible to do their bidding. For the most part they had to find new and, as it were, underground satisfactions for them.
All instincts which are not discharged to the outside are turned back inside. This is what I call the internalization of man. From this first grows in man what people later call his “soul.” The entire inner world, originally as thin as if stretched between two layers of skin, expanded and extended itself, acquired depth, width, and height to the extend that the discharge of human instinct out into the world was obstructed. Those frightening fortifications with which the organization of the state protected itself against the old instincts for freedom—punishment belongs above all to these fortifications—made all those instincts of the wild, free, roaming man turn backwards, against man himself. Enmity, cruelty, joy in pursuit, in attack, in change, in destruction - all those turned themselves against the possessors of such instincts. That is the origin of “bad conscience.”
mainly to produce stock sentences in the style of a brainwashed schoolboy. Franziska made a record of some of them: ‘I translated much’. ‘I lived in a good place called Naumburg’. ‘I swam in the Saale’. ‘I was very fine because I lived in a fine house’. ‘I love Bismarck’. ‘I don’t like Friedrich Nietzsche’. It would be a mercy to think that he experienced at least a kind of vegetative contentment, but this seems not to have been the case. He suffered from his life-long curse of insomnia, and visitors downstairs were often disturbed by groans and howls coming fromthe upstairs bedroom. Towards the end of Franziska recorded him uttering ‘More light!’ (Goethe’s dying words) and ‘In short, dead!’ suggesting that that is what he wanted to be.
The sick and perishing—it was they who despised the body and the earth, and invented the heavenly world, and the redeeming blood-drops; but even those sweet and sad poisons they borrowed from the body and the earth!
From their misery they sought escape, and the stars were too remote for them. Then they sighed: “O that there were heavenly paths by which to steal into another existence and into happiness!” Then they contrived for themselves their bypaths and bloody drafts!
Beyond the sphere of their body and this earth they now fancied themselves transported, these ungrateful ones. But to what did they owe the convulsion and rapture of their transport? To their body and this earth!
… But the body is a sickly thing to them, and gladly would they get out of their skin. Therefore hearken they to the preachers of death, and themselves preach back-worlds.
Hearken rather, my brethren, to the voice of the healthy body; it is a more upright and pure voice.
More uprightly and purely speaks the healthy body, perfect and square-built; and it speaks of the meaning of the earth.
We still do not know where the urge for truth comes from; for as yet we have heard only of the obligation imposed by society that it should exist: to be truthful means using the customary metaphors—in moral terms, the obligation to lie according to fixed convention, to lie herd-like in a style obligatory for all…