Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 30

moralists are silent. Perhaps
severity and craft are more favourable conditions for the development of
strong, independent spirits and philosophers than the gentle, refined,
yielding good-nature, and habit of taking things easily, which are
prized, and rightly prized in a learned man. Presupposing always,
to begin with, that the term "philosopher" be not confined to the
philosopher who writes books, or even introduces HIS philosophy into
books!--Stendhal furnishes a last feature of the portrait of the
free-spirited philosopher, which for the sake of German taste I will
not omit to underline--for it is OPPOSED to German taste. "Pour etre
bon philosophe," says this last great psychologist, "il faut etre sec,
clair, sans illusion. Un banquier, qui a fait fortune, a une partie du
caractere requis pour faire des decouvertes en philosophie, c'est-a-dire
pour voir clair dans ce qui est."

40. Everything that is profound loves the mask: the profoundest things
have a hatred even of figure and likeness. Should not the CONTRARY only
be the right disguise for the shame of a God to go about in? A question
worth asking!--it would be strange if some mystic has not already
ventured on the same kind of thing. There are proceedings of such a
delicate nature that it is well to overwhelm them with coarseness
and make them unrecognizable; there are actions of love and of an
extravagant magnanimity after which nothing can be wiser than to take
a stick and thrash the witness soundly: one thereby obscures his
recollection. Many a one is able to obscure and abuse his own memory, in
order at least to have vengeance on this sole party in the secret:
shame is inventive. They are not the worst things of which one is
most ashamed: there is not only deceit behind a mask--there is so much
goodness in craft. I could imagine that a man with something costly and
fragile to conceal, would roll through life clumsily and rotundly like
an old, green, heavily-hooped wine-cask: the refinement of his shame
requiring it to be so. A man who has depths in his shame meets his
destiny and his delicate decisions upon paths which few ever reach,
and with regard to the existence of which his nearest and most intimate
friends may be ignorant; his mortal danger conceals itself from their
eyes, and equally so his regained security. Such a hidden nature,
which instinctively employs speech for silence and concealment, and is
inexhaustible in evasion of communication, DESIRES and insists that a
mask of himself shall occupy his place in the hearts and heads of his
friends; and supposing he does not desire it,

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Text Comparison with Beyond Good and Evil

Page 5
But whoever considers the fundamental impulses of man with a view to determining how far they may have here acted as INSPIRING GENII (or as demons and cobolds), will find that they have all practiced philosophy at one time or another, and that each one of them would have been only too glad to look upon itself as the ultimate end of existence and the legitimate LORD over all the other impulses.
Page 11
"Where there is nothing more to see or to grasp, there is also nothing more for men to do"--that is certainly an imperative different from the Platonic one, but it may notwithstanding be the right imperative for a hardy, laborious race of machinists and bridge-builders of the future, who have nothing but ROUGH work to perform.
Page 22
Lessing is an exception, owing to his histrionic nature, which understood much, and was versed in many things; he who was not the translator of Bayle to no purpose, who took refuge willingly in the shadow of Diderot and Voltaire, and still more willingly among the Roman.
Page 28
O Voltaire! O humanity! O idiocy! There is something ticklish in "the truth," and in the SEARCH for the truth; and if man goes about it too humanely--"il ne cherche le vrai que pour faire le bien"--I wager he finds nothing! 36.
Page 32
Page 34
In vain: again and again he experiences, profoundly and bitterly, how difficult it is to find assistants and dogs for all the things that directly excite his curiosity.
Page 37
an error of interpretation? A lack of philology? 48.
Page 46
If one could observe the strangely painful, equally coarse and refined comedy of European Christianity with the derisive and impartial eye of an Epicurean god, I should think one would never cease marvelling and laughing; does it not actually seem that some single will has ruled over Europe for eighteen centuries in order to make a SUBLIME ABORTION of man? He, however, who, with opposite requirements (no longer Epicurean) and with some divine hammer in his hand, could approach this almost voluntary degeneration and stunting of mankind, as exemplified in the European Christian (Pascal, for instance), would he not have to cry aloud with rage, pity, and horror: "Oh, you bunglers, presumptuous pitiful bunglers, what have you done! Was that a work for your hands? How you have hacked and botched my finest stone! What have you presumed to do!"--I should say that Christianity has hitherto been the most portentous of presumptions.
Page 47
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Page 62
This need tries to satisfy itself and to fill its form with a content, according to its strength, impatience, and eagerness, it at once seizes as an omnivorous appetite with little selection, and accepts whatever is shouted into its ear by all sorts of commanders--parents, teachers, laws, class prejudices, or public opinion.
Page 76
MEN WERE LACKING; and he suspected, to his bitterest regret, that his own son was not man enough.
Page 84
Page 93
--Finally, let us consider that even the seeker of knowledge operates as an artist and glorifier of cruelty, in that he compels his spirit to perceive AGAINST its own inclination, and often enough against the wishes of his heart:--he forces it to say Nay, where he would like to affirm, love, and adore; indeed, every instance of taking a thing profoundly and fundamentally, is a violation, an intentional injuring of the fundamental will of the spirit, which instinctively aims at appearance and superficiality,--even in every desire for knowledge there is a drop of cruelty.
Page 94
a suddenly adopted preference of ignorance, of arbitrary shutting out, a closing of windows, an inner denial of this or that, a prohibition to approach, a sort of defensive attitude against much that is knowable, a contentment with obscurity, with the shutting-in horizon, an acceptance and approval of ignorance: as that which is all necessary according to the degree of its appropriating power, its "digestive power," to speak figuratively (and in fact "the spirit" resembles a stomach more than anything else).
Page 106
Weber--but what do WE care nowadays for "Freischutz" and "Oberon"! Or Marschner's "Hans Heiling" and "Vampyre"! Or even Wagner's "Tannhauser"! That is extinct, although not yet forgotten music.
Page 120
The distinctions of moral values have either originated in a ruling caste, pleasantly conscious of being different from the ruled--or among the ruled class, the slaves and dependents of all sorts.
Page 123
--Hence we can understand without further detail why love AS A PASSION--it is our European specialty--must absolutely be of noble origin; as is well known, its invention is due to the Provencal poet-cavaliers, those brilliant, ingenious men of the "gai saber," to whom Europe owes so much, and almost owes itself.
Page 137
" Every philosophy also CONCEALS a philosophy; every opinion is also a LURKING-PLACE, every word is also a MASK.
Page 138
--Despite the philosopher who, as a genuine Englishman, tried to bring laughter into bad repute in all thinking minds--"Laughing is a bad infirmity of human nature, which every thinking mind will strive to overcome" (Hobbes),--I would even allow myself to rank philosophers according to the quality of their laughing--up to those who are capable of GOLDEN laughter.