Sunday, November 4, 2012


It cannot be enough for a gr'up just to know facts.   Knowledge of facts isn't even close to knowing anything at all.  It is the feeling, the intuition, the experience of lives that have come before us and must unfold long after we have gone.  The sickness, struggle, victory, the birthing, and dying, the music, art, love, hatred, fear.....

These are equally our heritage and our estate.  One who would know history must not just read--but must examine, analyze and empathize.  This may be the greatest gift Guttenberg has bequeathed us.

In the words of my brother, asking German philosophers to be concise is like asking cows not to pass gas.  But sometimes someone else says it better than you ever could:

We moderns are just beginning to form the chain
of a very powerful, future sentiment,
link by link.
We hardly know what we are doing.
It almost seems to us as if it were not the question of a new sentiment,
but of the decline of all old sentiments:
the historical sense is still some thing so poor and cold,
and many are attacked by it as by a frost, made poorer and colder by it.

To others it appears as the indication of stealthily approaching age,
and our planet is regarded by them as a melancholy invalid who,
in order to forget his present condition,
writes the history of his youth.
In fact, this is one aspect of the new sentiment.

He who knows how to regard the history of man in its entirety as his own history
feels in the immense generalization all the grief
of the invalid who thinks of health,
of the old man who thinks of the dream of his youth,
of the lover who is robbed of his beloved,
of the martyr whose ideal is destroyed,
of the hero on the evening of the indecisive battle
which has brought him wounds
and the loss of a friend.

But to bear this immense sum of grief of all kinds,
to be able to bear it and yet still be the hero
who at the commencement of a second day of battle
greets the dawn and his happiness,
as one who has an horizon of centuries before and behind him,
as the heir of all nobility, of all past intellect,
and the obligatory heir (as the noblest) of all the old nobles
while at the same time the first of a new nobility
the equal of which has never been seen nor even dreamt of:

to take all this upon his soul:
the oldest,
the newest,
the losses,
hopes, conquests, and victories of man kind.

To have all this at last in one soul,
and to comprise it in one feeling:
this would necessarily furnish a happiness which man has not hitherto known,
a God’s happiness,
full of power and love,
full of tears and laughter,
a happiness which, like the sun in the evening,
continually gives of its inexhaustible riches and empties into the sea.
And like the sun, too, feels itself richest
when even the poorest fisherman rows with golden oars!
This divine feeling
might then
be called

                          ---Nietzsche, The Joyful Wisdom 4:337