Faith in intoxication. – Men who enjoy moments of exaltation and ecstasy and who, on account of the contrast other states present and because of the way they have squandered their nervous energy, are ordinarily in a wretched and miserable condition, regard these moments as their real ‘self’ and their wretchedness and misery as the effect of what is ‘outside the self’ and thus they harbor feelings of revengefulness towards their environment, their age, their entire world. Intoxication counts as their real life, as their actual ego: they see in everything else the opponent and obstructor of intoxication, no matter whether its nature be spiritual, moral, religious or artistic. Mankind owes much that is bad to these wild inebriates: for they are insatiable sowers of the weeds of dissatisfaction with oneself and one’s neighbor, of contempt for the age and the world, and especially of world-weariness. Perhaps a whole Hell of criminals could not produce an effect so oppressive, poisonous to air and land, uncanny and protracted as does this noble little community of unruly, fantastic, half-crazy people of genius who cannot control themselves and can experience pleasure in themselves only when they have quite lost themselves: while the criminal very often gives proof of exceptional self-control, self-sacrifice and prudence, and keeps these qualities awake in those who fear him. Through him the sky above life may perhaps become perilous and gloomy, but the air stays sharp and invigorating. – In addition to all this, these enthusiasts seek with all their might to implant the faith in intoxication as being that which is actually living in life: a dreadful faith! Just as savages are quickly ruined and then perish through ‘fire-water’, so mankind as a whole has been slowly and thoroughly ruined through the feelings made drunk by spiritual fire-waters and by those who have kept alive the desire for them: perhaps it will go on to perish by them.
Daybreak paragraph 50