Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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expressing this contrast in a cheerful and at the same
time sympathetic manner--maybe this is the only purpose of the present

The very last thing I should promise to accomplish would be to
"improve" mankind. I do not set up any new idols; may old idols only
learn what it costs to have legs of clay. To overthrow idols (idols
is the name I give to all ideals) is much more like my business. In
proportion as an ideal world has been falsely assumed, reality has been
robbed of its value, its meaning, and its truthfulness.... The "true
world" and the "apparent world"--in plain English, the fictitious world
and reality.... Hitherto the _lie_ of the ideal has been the curse of
reality; by means of it the very source of mankind's instincts has
become mendacious and false; so much so that those values have come to
be worshipped which are the exact _opposite_ of the ones which would
ensure man's prosperity, his future, and his great right to a future.


He who knows how to breathe in the air of my writings is conscious
that it is the air of the heights, that it is bracing. A man must be
built for it, otherwise the chances are that it will chill him. The
ice is near, the loneliness is terrible--but how serenely everything
lies in the sunshine! how freely one can breathe! how much, one feels,
lies beneath one! Philosophy, as I have understood it hitherto, is
a voluntary retirement into regions of ice and mountain-peaks--the
seeking--out of everything strange and questionable in existence,
everything upon which, hitherto, morality has set its ban. Through
long experience, derived from such wanderings in forbidden country, I
acquired an opinion very different from that which may seem generally
desirable, of the causes which hitherto have led to men's moralising
and idealising. The secret history of philosophers, the psychology of
their great names, was revealed to me. How much truth can a certain
mind endure; how much truth can it dare?--these questions became for
me ever more and more the actual test of values. Error (the belief in
the ideal) is not blindness; error is cowardice.... Every conquest,
every step forward in knowledge, is the outcome of courage, of hardness
towards one's self, of cleanliness towards one's self. I do not refute
ideals; all I do is to draw on my gloves in their presence.... _Nitimur
in vetitum;_ with this device my philosophy will one day be victorious;
for that which has hitherto been most stringently forbidden is, without
exception, Truth.


In my lifework, my _Zarathustra_ holds a place apart. With

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Text Comparison with Human, All-Too-Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Part 2

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" He worked against that wonderful insight of which he was sometimes capable by the prejudice that he had in common with the moral man (not the moralist), a prejudice that he expresses quite guilelessly and devoutly as follows: "The ultimate and true explanation of the inner being of the entirety of things must of necessity be closely connected with that about the ethical significance of human actions.
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" That is simply not true.
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peer at him: that he loves that grey calm of the misty twilight that steals along the windows on autumn and early winter evenings and shuts out all soulless sounds as with velvet curtains: that in unhewn stones he recognises the last remaining traces of the primeval age, eager for speech, and honours them from childhood upwards: that, lastly, the sea with its shifting serpent skin and wild-beast beauty is, and remains to him, unfamiliar?--Yes, something of the man is described herewith, but the mirror of Nature does not say that the same man, with (and not even "in spite of") all his idyllic sensibilities, might be disagreeable, stingy, and conceited.
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It spread particularly among the Northern nations, which were not so deeply rooted as those of the South in the old Church's symbolism and love of ritual.
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We are content with less.
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In fact, they moulded, re-moulded, and new-moulded life, whereas the fame of poets of our day lies in unharnessing, unchaining, and shattering.
Page 61
--This is a piece of wisdom which has, indeed, gradually become trite, but nevertheless has remained as strong and true as it ever was.
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--You gave him an opportunity of displaying the greatness of his character, and he did not make use of the opportunity.
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The envious man is susceptible to every sign of individual superiority to the common herd, and wishes to depress every one once more to the level--or raise himself to the superior plane.
Page 122
On the other hand, he considered every man in a broad sense, and almost in every sense, a sinner.
Page 131
What the artist devises beyond convention he offers of his own free will and takes a risk, his success at best resulting in the setting-up of a new convention.
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Thus he thinks that he has found a means of making.
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--So the moderns live; they are in all things rather too thorough to be able to settle like the men of other days.
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" One day, when, as the world thinks, we have long since finished our education, we _discover ourselves_.
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Their wildness and unbearableness soon make all the bad stuff in them deadly.
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Two dark brown beings, of Bergamasque origin, tended the herd, the girl dressed almost like a boy.
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