thought, begins with man's essential nature and goes on from there to Being, nor in reverse from Being and then back to man. Rather, every way of thinking takes its way already within the total relation of Being and man's nature, or else it is not thinking at all. The oldest axioms of Western thought, of which we shall hear more, already state this fact. This is why Nietzsche's way, too, is so marked almost from the start. To show it quickly and unmistakably, rather than by long-winded explications, I quote the first and the last sentence from the "autobiography" which the nineteen-year-old Nietzsche wrote in his student days at Schulpforta. Schulpforta, near Naumburg on. the river Saale, was one of the most famous and influential schools of nineteenth-century Germany. The manuscript of this autobiography was found in 1935, in a chest in the attic of the Nietzsche Archives in Weimar. In 1936 it was published in a facsimile brochure, as a model for the young. That brochure has long since gone out of print and is forgotten. The first sentence in his description of his life up to that time reads:
"I was born as a plant near the churchyard, as a man in a pastor's house."
The last sentence reads :
"Thus man grows out of everything that once embraced him; he has no need to break the shackles—they fall away unforeseen, when a god bids them; and where is the ring that in the end still encircles him? Is it the world? Is it God?"
Even the later Nietzsche, the man who, in the last year of his creativity and after losing balance more than once, wrote the terrible book The Antichrist, was still asking the same question—if only we can and will read it. However—to hear this questioning, to come close to his ways