man is not by any means of fixed and enduring form (this, in spite of suspicions to the contrary on the part of their wise men, was the ideal of the ancients). he is much more an experiment and a transition. he is nothing else than the narrow and perilous bridge between nature and spirit. his innermost destiny drives him on to the spirit and to God. his innermost longing draws him back to nature, the mother. between the two forces his life hangs tremulous and irresolute. "man," whatever people think of him, is never anything more than a temporary bourgeois compromise.
that man is not yet a finished creation but rather a challenge of spirit; a distant possibility dreaded as much as it is desired.
as for the way of true manhood, the way to the immortals, he has, it is true, an inkling of it and starts upon it now and then for a few hesitating steps and pays for them with much suffering and many pangs of loneliness. but as for striving with assurance, in response to that supreme demand, towards the genuine manhood of the spirit, and going the one narrow way to immortality, he is deeply afraid of it. he knows too well that it leads to still greater sufferings, to proscription, to the last renunciation, perhaps to the scaffold, and even though the enticement of immortality lies at the journey´s end, he is still unwilling to suffer all these sufferings and to die all these deaths. though the goal of manhood is better known to him than to the bourgeois, still he shuts his eyes.