HISTORY OF AN ERROR.
(GESCHICHTE EINES IRRTHUMS).
1). The true world (wahre Welt) attainable for the sage, the pious, the virtuous man – he lives in it, he is it. (Oldest form of the idea, relatively clever, simple and persuasive. Paraphrase of the sentence “I, Plato, am the truth”.)
2).The true world, unattainable for now, but promised for the sage, the pious, the virtuous man (“for the sinner who repents”). (Progress of the idea: it is subtle, insidious, incomprehensible – it is woman, it becomes Christian…)
3). The true world unattainable, unprovable, unpromisable, but the very thought of a consolation, an obligation, an imperative. (Basically the old sun, but seen through mist and skepticism throughout, the idea has become sublime, pale, Nordic, Konigsbergian.)
4).The true world – unattainable? In any case, none. And as well as unmatched, unknown. Consequently, not consoling, redeeming, or obligating: what could something unknown obligate us?… (Gray morning. The first yawn of reason. The cockcrow of positivism.)
5).The “true world” – an idea that is good for nothing, not even obligating – an unnecessary, one idea, which has become superfluous, consequently a refuted idea: we make it off! (Bright day, breakfast, return of good sense and cheerfulness; Plato’s blushes; pandemonium of all free spirits.)
We have abolished the true world: what world has remained? The apparent (scheinbare) one perhaps?… But no! With the true world we have also abolished the apparent!
6). (Noon; moment of the shortest shadow; end of the longest error; high point of humanity; INCIPIT ZARATHUSTRA.)