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THE JOYFUL WISDOM, I
and on the whole very foolish economy:—which has, however, hitherto preserved our race, as is demonstrated to us. I no longer know, my dear fellow-man and neighbour, if thou canst at all live to the disadvantage of the race, and therefore, "unreasonably" and "badly"; that which could have injured the race has perhaps died out many millenniums ago, and now belongs to the things which are no longer possible even to God. Indulge thy best or thy worst desires, and above all, go to wreck!—in either case thou art still probably the furtherer and benefactor of mankind in some way or other, and in that respect thou mayest have thy panegyrists—and similarly thy mockers! But thou wilt never find him who would be quite qualified to mock at thee, the individual, at thy best, who could bring home to thy conscience its limitless, buzzing and croaking wretchedness so as to be in accord with truth! To laugh at oneself as one would have to laugh in order to laugh out of the veriest truth,—to do this, the best have not hitherto had enough of the sense of truth, and the most endowed have had far too little genius! There is perhaps still a future even for laughter! When the maxim, "The race is all, the individual is nothing,"—has incorporated itself in humanity, and when access stands open to every one at all times to this ultimate emancipation and irresponsibility.—Perhaps then laughter will have united with wisdom, perhaps then there will be only "joyful wisdom." Meanwhile, however, it is quite otherwise, meanwhile the comedy of existence has not yet "become conscious" of itself,