Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays Collected Works, Volume Two

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 62

his path belongs to the nature of the philosopher.
His talents are the most rare, in a certain sense the most unnatural
and at the same time exclusive and hostile even toward kindred talents.
The wall of his self-sufficiency must be of diamond, if it is not to
be demolished and broken, for everything is in motion against him. His
journey to immortality is more cumbersome and impeded than any other
and yet nobody can believe more firmly than the philosopher that he
will attain the goal by that journey--because he does not know where
he is to stand if not on the widely spread wings of all time; for the
disregard of everything present and momentary lies in the essence of
the great philosophic nature. He has truth; the wheel of time may roll
whither it pleases, never can it escape from truth. It is important
to hear that such men have lived. Never for example would one be able
to imagine the pride of Heraclitus as an idle possibility. In itself
every endeavour after knowledge seems by its nature to be eternally
unsatisfied and unsatisfactory. Therefore nobody unless instructed
by history will like to believe in such a royal self-esteem and
conviction of being the only wooer of truth. Such men live in their
own solar-system--one has to look for them there. A Pythagoras, an
Empedocles treated themselves too with a super-human esteem, yea, with
almost religious awe; but the tie of sympathy united with the great
conviction of the metempsychosis and the unity of everything living,
led them back to other men, for their welfare and salvation. Of that
feeling of solitude, however, which permeated the Ephesian recluse
of the Artemis Temple, one can only divine something, when growing
benumbed in the wildest mountain desert. No paramount feeling of
compassionate agitation, no desire to help, heal and save emanates from
him. He is a star without an atmosphere. His eye, directed blazingly
inwards, looks outward, for appearance's sake only, extinct and icy.
All around him, immediately upon the citadel of his pride beat the
waves of folly and perversity: with loathing he turns away from them.
But men with a feeling heart would also shun such a Gorgon monster
as cast out of brass; within an out-of-the-way sanctuary, among the
statues of gods, by the side of cold composedly-sublime architecture
such a being may appear more comprehensible. As man among men
Heraclitus was incredible; and though he was seen paying attention to
the play of noisy children, even then he was reflecting upon what never
man thought of on such an occasion: the play

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Dawn of Day

Page 2
For the Teutons, through their Reformation and their Puritan revolt in England, and the philosophies developed by the democracies that necessarily followed, were the spiritual forbears of the French Revolution and of the Socialistic regime under which we are beginning to suffer nowadays.
Page 15
Who would dare to glance at the desert of the bitterest and most superfluous agonies of spirit, in which probably the most productive men of all ages have pined away? Who could listen to the sighs of those lonely and troubled minds: "O ye heavenly powers, grant me madness! Madness, that I at length may believe in myself! Vouchsafe delirium and convulsions, sudden flashes of light and periods of darkness; frighten me with such shivering and feverishness as no mortal ever experienced before, with clanging noises and haunting spectres; let me growl and whine and creep about like a beast, if only I can come to believe in myself! I am devoured by doubt.
Page 21
for this reason that the old baboon is uglier than the young one, and that the young female baboon most closely resembles man, and is hence the most handsome.
Page 38
It is not when your nostalgia urges you back again, but when your judgment, based on a strict comparison, drives you back, that your homecoming has any significance!--Men of coming generations will deal in this manner with all the valuations of the past; they must be voluntarily _lived_ over again, together with their contraries, in order that such men may finally acquire the right of shifting them.
Page 59
_ the practical morals, would have to be in the two cases! Supposing that the greatest possible rationality were given to mankind, this certainly would not guarantee the longest possible existence for them! Or supposing that their "greatest happiness" was thought to be the answer to the questions put, do we thereby mean the highest degree of happiness which a few individuals might attain, or an incalculable, though finally attainable,.
Page 71
") 117.
Page 80
" This new myth of God, who had hitherto been mistaken for a race of giants or Moira, and who was now Himself the spinner and weaver of webs and purposes even more subtle than those of our own intellect--so subtle, indeed, that they appear to be incomprehensible and even unreasonable--this myth was so bold a transformation and so daring a paradox that the over-refined ancient world could not resist it, however extravagant and contradictory the thing seemed: for, let it be said in confidence, there was a contradiction in it,--if our intellect cannot divine the intellect and aims of God, how did it divine this quality of its intellect and this quality of God's intellect? In more modern times, indeed, the doubt has increased as to whether the slate that falls from the roof is really thrown by "Divine love," and mankind again harks back to the old romance of giants and dwarfs.
Page 86
On the other hand, to look upon the experiences of others and adopt them as if they were our own--which is called for by the philosophy of pity--would ruin us in a very short time: let us only.
Page 94
In future, then, will these very actions be less frequently performed, since they will be less highly esteemed? Inevitably! Or at all events for a fairly long time, as long as the scale of valuations remains under the reacting influence of former mistakes! But we make some return for this by giving back to men their good courage for the carrying out of actions that are now reputed to be selfish, and thus restore their value,--we relieve men's bad consciences! and as up to the present egoistic actions have been by far the most frequent, and will be so to all eternity, we free the whole conception of these actions and of life from its evil appearance! This is a very high and important result.
Page 112
--Alas! we discover that our life is consecrated to knowledge and that we should throw it away, nay, that we should even have to throw it away if this consecration did not protect us from ourselves: we repeat this couplet, and not without deep emotion: Thee, Fate, I follow, though I fain would not, And yet I must, with many a sigh and groan! And then, in looking backwards over the course of our lives, we discover that there is one thing that cannot be restored to us: the wasted period of our youth, when our teachers did not utilise these ardent and eager years to lead us to the knowledge of things, but merely to this so-called "classical education"! Only think of this wasted youth, when we were inoculated clumsily and painfully with an imperfect knowledge of the Greeks and Romans as well as of their languages, contrary to the highest principle of all culture, which holds that we should not give food except to those who hunger for it! Think.
Page 115
really?" 197.
Page 136
He who is truly obsessed by an ardent ambition takes delight in beholding this picture of himself; and when the hero is driven to destruction by his passion, this is the most pungent spice in the hot drink of this delight.
Page 156
--People who have been deeply wounded by the disappointments of life look with suspicion upon all cheerfulness as if it were something childish and puerile, and revealed a lack of common sense that moves them to pity and tenderness, such as one would experience when seeing a dying child caressing his toys on his death-bed.
Page 161
Page 177
Page 190
Page 194
--To hear every day what is said about us, or even to endeavour to discover what people think of us, will in the end kill even the strongest man.
Page 197
--Oh, that we now possessed the eyes of such an actor and such a painter for the province of the human soul! 534.
Page 206
The boundless ambition and delight of being the "unraveller of the world" charmed the dreams of many a thinker: nothing seemed to him worth troubling about in this world but the means of bringing everything to a satisfactory conclusion.
Page 212