NIETZSCHE'S WORD: "GOD IS DEAD"


continually already passed over. By passing it over, we continually accomplish (without attending to it) that killing of the being of beings.

In order to attend to it and to hear how to attend to it, it must already suffice for us to think for once about what the madman says of the death of God and how he says it. Perhaps we will now no longer overlook in a rush what is said at the beginning of the passage we discussed - that the madman "cried out ceaselessly: I'm looking for God! I'm looking for God!"

In what way is this man mad? He is de-ranged [Ver-rückt]. He is moved out [ausgerückt] of the level of erstwhile man on which the ideals, now grown unreal, of the supersensory world are passed off as real while the opposite ideals are being realized. This de-ranged man is moved out [hinausgerückt] beyond erstwhile man. In moving out, nonetheless, he has only fully moved into [eingerückt] the predetermined essence of erstwhile man, to be the animal rationale. The man de-ranged in this way has, then, nothing in common with the sort of men standing about in public, "who do not believe in God." For these are not unbelievers because for them God, as God, has become unworthy of belief, but because they themselves have abandoned the possibility of faith since they are no longer able to seek God. They can seek no longer because they can no longer think. Those standing about in public have abolished thinking and replaced it with gossip that smells nihilism everywhere it fears its opinions are threatened. The self-delusion, which is perpetually gaining the upper hand against genuine nihilism, is trying in this way to talk away its dread at thinking. This dread, however, is dread at dread.

It is clear from the first sentences and even clearer for those who can hear from the last sentences of the passage that the madman, in contrast, is seeking God by crying out after God. Perhaps a thinking man has here really cried out de profundis? And the ear of our thinking? Does it not still hear the cry? It will not hear the cry so long as it does not begin to think. Thinking does not begin until we have come to know that the reason that has been extolled for centuries is the most stubborn adversary of thinking.


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