The first generation of NLP trainers is getting older. So it becomes important to take note of what Nietzsche writes on age. For we do want to prevent first generation NLP trainers to canonize NLP.

The philosopher and age. – It is not wise to let the evening judge the day: for it means all too often that weariness sits in judgment on strength, success and good will. And great caution is likewise in order with regard to age and its judgment of life, especially as, like evening, age loves to dress itself in a new and enticing morality and knows how to put the day to shame through twilight and solemn o·r passionate silence. The reverence we accord the aged man, especially when he is an aged thinker and sage, easily blinds us to the aging of his mind, and it is always necessary to draw forth the signs of such an aging and weariness out of their hiding-place – draw forth, that is to say, the physiological phenomenon behind the moral predispositions and prejudices – so as not to become the fools of reverence and injurers of knowledge. For it not infrequently happens that the aged man is subject to the illusion of a great moral renewal and rebirth and from the sensibility thus engendered in him passes judgment on the work and the course of his life, as though it was only now that he had been endowed with clear sight: and yet the inspirer behind this feeling of well being and these confident judgments is not wisdom but weariness. Its most dangerous characteristic is probably belief in their own genius, which usually assails great and semi-great men of the spirit only at this frontier of their life: the belief they occupy an exceptional position and enjoy exceptional rights. The thinker visited by this belief henceforth considers himself permitted to take things easier and, as genius, to promulgate decrees rather than demonstrate: yet it is probably the drive to seek relief for weariness of mind which is the most potent source of this belief; it precedes the latter, even though the reverse may seem to be the case. Then: at this time of life one wants, in accordance with the thirst for enjoyment which characterizes the weary and aged, to enjoy the results of one’s thinking instead of testing and sowing them out again, and to that end needs to make them palatable and enjoyable and to get rid of their dryness, coldness and lack of spice; and so it happens that the aged thinker appears to elevate himself above the work of his life, though in reality he ruins it through infusing it with enthusiasms, sweetness, spices, poetic mists and mystic lights. This is what happened in the end to Plato, this is what happened in the end to that great honest Frenchman beside whom, as embracer and conqueror of the strict sciences, the Germans and English of this century can place no rival, Auguste Comte. A third sign of weariness: that ambition which burned in the great thinker’s breast when he was young, and at that time could find satisfaction in nothing, has also grown old; now, like one who can afford to lose no more time, he reaches for coarser and broader means of satisfaction, that is to say for the satisfactions of active, dominant, violent, conquering natures: from now on he wants to found, not structures of thought, but institutions which will bear his name; what does he care now for ethereal victories and honors in the realm of demonstrations and refutations! what do being eternalized in books, a tremble of
exaltation in the soul of a reader, mean to him! The institution, on the other hand, is a temple – that he knows well; and a temple of enduring stone will keep its god alive more surely than will the sacrificial gifts of rare and tender souls. Perhaps he will also encounter at this time for the first time that love which is more appropriate to a god than to a man, and his whole being will grow gentler and sweeter beneath the rays of such a sun, like fruit in autumn. Indeed, he will in fact grow more divine and more beautiful, this great aged man – and nonetheless it is age and weariness which permit him to ripen out in this way, to grow silent, and to repose in the radiant idolatry of a woman. It is all over now with the self-surpassing desire that filled him in earlier years for genuine pupils, that is to say genuine continuators of his thought, that is to say genuine opponents: that desire proceeded from the unweakened power, the conscious pride, of being able at any time himself to become the opponent and mortal enemy of his own teachers – what he desires now is resolute party followers, unhesitating comrades, auxiliaries, a pompous processional train. Now he can no longer endure at all the dreadful isolation in which every spirit lives who flies on out ahead; he henceforth surrounds himself with objects of veneration, communality, emotion and love; he wants at long last to enjoy what all the religious enjoy and celebrate within the community that which he values; indeed, in order to possess this community he will invent a religion. Thus does the aged sage live, and in doing so drifts imperceptibly into so wretchedly close an approximation to the excesses of priests and poets that one hardly dares to remember his wise and rigorous youth, the strict intellectual morality he then practiced, and his truly manly dread of inspirations and fantasies. When in earlier years he com pared himself with other, older thinkers, it was so as seriously to measure his weakness against their strength and to grow colder and freer towards himself: now he does it only so as to intoxicate himself in his own delusions. In earlier years he thought with confidence of the thinkers yet to come, indeed he joyfully saw himself extinguished by their more perfect light: now it torments him that he cannot be the last thinker; he ponders how, with the inheritance he will bestow upon mankind, he can also impose upon them a limitation of independent thinking, he fears and reviles the pride and thirst for freedom felt by individualist spirits – : after him none shall have full power over his own intellect, he wants to stand as the bulwark against which the surges of thought in general shall ever afterwards break – these are his secret, and perhaps not always secret desires! The hard fact behind such desires, however, is that he himself has come to a halt before his teaching and has erected in it his boundary-stone, his ‘thus far and no farther’. By canonizing himself he has also displayed above himself his own death certificate: from now on his spirit may not develop father, time has run out for him, the clock stands still. Whenever a great thinker wants to make of himself a binding institution for future mankind, one may be certain that he is past the peak of his powers and is very weary, very close to the setting of his sun.

Daybreak paragraph 542

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