The Arousing of Thought
I could then have done this very easily because before beginning the actual writing, it was assumed that there was still lots of time; but this can now no longer be done, and I must, without fail, as is said, “even though I burst,” begin.
But with what indeed begin . . . ?
Hurrah! . . . Eureka!
Almost all the books I have happened to read in my life have begun with a preface.
So in this case I also must begin with something of the kind.
I say “of the kind,” because in general in the process of my life, from the moment I began to distinguish a boy from a girl, I have always done everything, absolutely everything, not as it is done by other, like myself, biped destroyers of Nature’s good. Therefore, in writing now I ought, and perhaps am even on principle already obliged, to begin not as any other writer would.
In any case, instead of the conventional preface I shall begin quite simply with a Warning.
Beginning with a Warning will be very judicious of me, if only because it will not contradict any of my principles, either organic, psychic, or even “willful,” and will at the same time be quite honest—of course, honest in the objective sense, because both I myself and all others who know me well, expect with indubitable certainty that owing to my writings there will entirely disappear in the majority of readers, immediately and not gradually, as must sooner or later, with time, occur to all people, all the “wealth” they have, which was either handed down to them by inheritance or obtained by their own labor, in the form of quieting notions evoking only naive dreams, and also beautiful representations of their lives at present as well as of their prospects in the future.