5. Misunderstanding of dreams

In one sentence:

Our dreams divided the one inside.

Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I, translated by Helen Zimmern 1909

5. MISUNDERSTANDING OF DREAMS. —In the ages of a rude and primitive civilization man believed that in dreams he became acquainted with a second actual world; herein lies the origin of all metaphysics. Without dreams there could have been found no reason for a division of the world. The distinction, too, between soul and body is connected with the most ancient comprehension of dreams, also the supposition of an imaginary soul-body, therefore the origin of all belief in spirits, and probably also the belief in gods. ” The dead continues to live, for he appears to the living in a dream ” : thus men reasoned of old for thousands and thousands of years.

Menschliches allzumenschlich 1878/80

5. Missverständniss des Traumes. – Im Traume glaubte der Mensch in den Zeitaltern roher uranfänglicher Cultur eine zweite reale Welt kennen zu lernen; hier ist der Ursprung aller Metaphysik. Ohne den Traum hätte man keinen Anlass zu einer Scheidung der Welt gefunden. Auch die Zerlegung in Seele und Leib hängt mit der ältesten Auffassung des Traumes zusammen, ebenso die Annahme eines Seelenscheinleibes, also die Herkunft alles Geisterglaubens, und wahrscheinlich auch des Götterglaubens. “Der Todte lebt fort; denn er erscheint dem Lebenden im Traume”: so schloss man ehedem, durch viele Jahrtausende hindurch.


I will read a Dutch translation that is based on the work of researchers Colli and Montinari. I also use a translation from R.J.Hollingdale and the Gary Handwerk translation from the Colli-Montinari edition. Both are more modern than the copyright free translation I use here. This is a translation from 1909 by Helen Zimmern, who knew Nietzsche personally, but there was no critical study of Nietzsche’s work done back then and this translation suffers from that. The same goes for the translation from Alexander Harvey. My German is not good enough to pretend that I can translate it better than the professionals do but I will use the original as a referee.

  1. Menselijk al te menselijk een boek voor vrije geesten, translated by Thomas Graftdijk, 2000. Buy it here
  2. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by R.J.Hollingdale, 1986
  3. Human, all too human a book for free spirits I V3, translated by Gary handwerk 1997
  4. Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I, translated by Helen Zimmern 1909. Read it  here
  5. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by Alexander Harvey, 1908. Read it here
  6. Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80. Read it here


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: