Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 81

who had continually on their lips the old pompous
words to which they had long forfeited the right by the life they led,
IRONY was perhaps necessary for greatness of soul, the wicked Socratic
assurance of the old physician and plebeian, who cut ruthlessly into his
own flesh, as into the flesh and heart of the "noble," with a look that
said plainly enough "Do not dissemble before me! here--we are equal!"
At present, on the contrary, when throughout Europe the herding-animal
alone attains to honours, and dispenses honours, when "equality of
right" can too readily be transformed into equality in wrong--I mean to
say into general war against everything rare, strange, and privileged,
against the higher man, the higher soul, the higher duty, the higher
responsibility, the creative plenipotence and lordliness--at present
it belongs to the conception of "greatness" to be noble, to wish to be
apart, to be capable of being different, to stand alone, to have to live
by personal initiative, and the philosopher will betray something of his
own ideal when he asserts "He shall be the greatest who can be the most
solitary, the most concealed, the most divergent, the man beyond good
and evil, the master of his virtues, and of super-abundance of will;
precisely this shall be called GREATNESS: as diversified as can be
entire, as ample as can be full." And to ask once more the question: Is
greatness POSSIBLE--nowadays?

213. It is difficult to learn what a philosopher is, because it cannot
be taught: one must "know" it by experience--or one should have the
pride NOT to know it. The fact that at present people all talk of things
of which they CANNOT have any experience, is true more especially
and unfortunately as concerns the philosopher and philosophical
matters:--the very few know them, are permitted to know them, and
all popular ideas about them are false. Thus, for instance, the truly
philosophical combination of a bold, exuberant spirituality which runs
at presto pace, and a dialectic rigour and necessity which makes no
false step, is unknown to most thinkers and scholars from their own
experience, and therefore, should any one speak of it in their
presence, it is incredible to them. They conceive of every necessity as
troublesome, as a painful compulsory obedience and state of constraint;
thinking itself is regarded by them as something slow and hesitating,
almost as a trouble, and often enough as "worthy of the SWEAT of the
noble"--but not at all as something easy and divine, closely related
to dancing and exuberance! "To think" and to take a matter "seriously,"
"arduously"--that is one and

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home in this frail, broken-down, transition period; and as regards the "realities" thereof, we do not believe in their _endurance_.
Page 250
And listen to what I have found In the South! * * * "You are merry lovers and false and gay, In frolics and sport you pass the day; Whilst in the North, I shudder to say, I worshipped a woman, hideous and gray, Her name was Truth, so I heard them say, But I left her there and I flew away To the South!" BEPPA THE PIOUS.