With somebody else it is just ordinary music. It takes you nowhere; at the most, it is a kind of entertainment. You have nothing to do so you listen to the music. At least it keeps you occupied in the same way that smoking keeps somebody occupied or gossiping keeps somebody else occupied. But when a man like Wagner plays music he gives a new dimension to your being, he opens up new doors. You start moving into dimensions you have not even dreamed of
Nietzsche was learning music from the master, and fell in love with the master’s wife, not thinking at all that he had a very poor personality, in no way to be compared with Vajna…or Vagner. I don’t know how the Germans say it, so I am using both: one is bound to be right.
Of course Wagner’s wife was not interested; she had not even thought about Nietzsche. He was ugly looking, not even physically attractive like Wagner – what to say about the spiritual quality of Wagner and his artistic mastery of music? In the whole history of man there are not many names which can be compared to Wagner’s, not more than you can count on your fingers. He emerges as one of the greatest musicians.
The woman had fallen in love not only with the man but with the music which surrounded that man and the magic that was somewhere absolutely present almost tangible. There was no question of comparing Nietzsche. When Nietzsche approached her, she simply laughed and she said, “You must be a fool! Even if God were standing before me my choice would be Wagner, because I cannot believe even God can be so charismatic.
“When Wagner plays I cannot even believe that I am his wife and so fortunate to be so close to him. He is so far away and yet so compassionate that he allows me the intimacy. I know that I am not worthy; it is his compassion. Far more beautiful women are mad about him. Anybody who has any sensitivity to music and to the charismatic personality of a person is bound to fall in love with him.
“How could you think,” she told Nietzsche, “that I could even think about you? Simply forget all about it. You are nowhere in my eyes. And this is disgraceful: you are a student of my husband and he trusts you, that’s why you are allowed in the house. You are just like a son to him, and I am just like a mother to you – age does not matter.”
This was such a shock and such an exposure of Nietzsche’s own inferiority that never again in his life did he approach another woman; he lost his nerve. But after that day he started thinking of a new race of man: the superman. He wrote against Wagner, he became an enemy. Wagner could not understand why, because he had no idea of what had transpired between his wife and his disciple; why Nietzsche had left and gone into the mountains.
Nietzsche took the wound really seriously. It created two things in him: an immense hatred for women…and not only for women but all the qualities that are womanly. For example, he started hating compassion, love, sympathy, kindness – these are all womanly qualities. He started hating Jesus, he started hating Gautam the Buddha for the simple reason that these people were teaching womanly qualities. Nonviolence is womanly, violence is manly; to be a real man you have to be violent. His mind became completely perverted from the shock.