No reproach for a person willing to give honorable service in the passion to become wise.
For he who lives as passion directs will not hear argument that dissuades him, nor understand it if he does; and how can we persuade one in such a state to change his ways?
I swayed between fear, defiance, and nausea, and was wholly the prey of my passion. I could not and did not want to listen to the depths. But on the seventh night, the spirit of the depths spoke to me: Look into your depths, pray to your depths, waken the dead.
In fact, passion that goes beyond the natural measure of love ultimately aims at the mystery of becoming whole, and this is why one feels, when he has fallen passionately in love, that becoming one with the other person is the only worthwhile goal of one’s life.
Were it not for the leaping and twinkling of the soul, man would rot away in his greatest passion, idleness.
Thirdly, the existent individual is impassioned, impassioned with a passionate thought; he is inspired; he is a kind of incarnation of the infinite in the finite. This passion which animates the existent (and this brings us to the fourth characteristic) is what Kierkegaard calls “the passion of freedom.”
A man like me cannot live without a hobby-horse, a consuming passion — in Schiller’s words a tyrant. I have found my tyrant, and in his service I know no limits. My tyrant is psychology. it has always been my distant, beckoning goal and now since I have hit upon the neuroses, it has come so much the nearer.
goal / Passion / psychology / Schiller / tyrant
It is here that Spinoza is in the right — a life dominated by a single passion is a narrow life, incompatible with every kind of wisdom.
Ibsen, Strindberg, and Nietzsche were angry men — not primarily angry about this or that, but just angry. And so they each found an outlook on life that justified anger. The young admired their passion, and found in it an outlet for their own feelings of revolt against parental authority. The assertion of freedom seemed sufficiently noble to justify violence; the violence duly ensued, but freedom was lost in the process.
The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holder’s lack of rational conviction.