08 February 2014

Deception in humiliation

– Through your irrationality you have inflicted profound suffering on your neighbor and have destroyed an irretrievable happiness – and now you overcome your vanity sufficiently to go to him; you humble yourself ­before him, expose your irrationality to his contempt, and be­lieve that after this difficult, and for you extremely burden­some scene, everything has basically been put to rights – your voluntary loss of honor evens out the other's involuntary loss of happiness: in this feeling you walk away uplifted and re­stored to your virtue. But the other has his profound suffering just the same; for him there is nothing at all comforting in the fact that you are irrational and have admitted it; even the mor­tifying sight you presented to him as you expressed to his face your contempt for yourself he experiences as a fresh injury for which he has you to thank – but he does not contemplate re­venge nor does he grasp how anything between you and him could be evened out. Basically you performed that scene before, and for yourself: you had invited a witness to it, once again for your own sake and not for his – don't deceive yourself!

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn 219