Human, All-Too-Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Part 1 Complete Works, Volume Six

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 78

and the understanding of their deed vanish. Therefore, at bottom even
those actions of self-denial are not moral, inasmuch as they are not
done strictly with regard to others; rather the other only provides
the highly-strung temperament with an opportunity of relieving itself
through that denial.


In many respects the ascetic seeks to make life easy for himself,
usually by complete subordination to a strange will or a comprehensive
law and ritual; something like the way a Brahmin leaves nothing
whatever to his own decision but refers every moment to holy precepts.
This submission is a powerful means of attaining self-mastery: man
is occupied and is therefore not bored, and yet has no incitement to
self-will or passion; after a completed deed there is no feeling of
responsibility and with it no tortures of remorse. We have renounced
our own will once and for ever, and this is easier than only renouncing
it occasionally; as it is also easier to give up a desire entirely than
to keep it within bounds. When we remember the present relation of
man to the State, we find that, even here, unconditional obedience is
more convenient than conditional. The saint, therefore, makes his life
easier by absolute renunciation of his personality, and we are mistaken
if in that phenomenon we admire the loftiest heroism of morality.
In any case it is more difficult to carry one's personality through
without vacillation and unclearness than to liberate one's self from it
in the above-mentioned manner; moreover, it requires far more spirit
and consideration.


After having found in many of the less easily explicable actions
manifestations of that pleasure in _emotion per se,_ I should like
to recognise also in self-contempt, which is one of the signs of
holiness, and likewise in the deeds of self-torture (through hunger and
scourging, mutilation of limbs, feigning of madness) a means by which
those natures fight against the general weariness of their life-will
(their nerves); they employ the most painful irritants and cruelties
in order to emerge for a time, at all events, from that dulness and
boredom into which they so frequently sink through their great mental
indolence and that submission to a strange will already described.


The commonest means which the ascetic and saint employs to render
life still endurable and amusing consists in occasional warfare with
alternate victory and defeat. For this he requires an opponent, and
finds it in the so-called "inward enemy." He principally makes use
of his inclination to vanity, love of honour and rule, and of his
sensual desires, that he may be permitted to regard his life as a
perpetual battle and

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Joyful Wisdom

Page 2
Page 5
A psychologist knows few questions so attractive as those concerning the relations of health to philosophy, and in the case when he himself falls sick, he carries with him all his scientific curiosity into his sickness.
Page 9
At present we regard it as a matter of propriety not to be anxious either to see everything naked, or to be present at everything, or to understand and "know" everything.
Page 22
But in vain! Thy looks betray thee And proclaim thy holiness.
Page 31
_ Good teeth and a digestion good I wish you—these you need, be sure! And, certes, if my book you've stood, .
Page 33
Page 50
The love of the sexes, however, betrays itself most plainly as the striving after possession: the lover wants the unconditioned, sole possession of the person longed for by him; he wants just as absolute power over her soul as over her body; he wants to be loved solely, and to dwell and rule in the other soul as what is highest and most to be desired.
Page 52
Page 56
to arrange for this day the business and fêtes of our most gracious lord, who at present is still pleased to repose.
Page 76
pride and an ornament out of your emptiness, ye call yourselves realists and give to understand that the world is actually constituted as it appears to you; before you alone reality stands unveiled, and ye yourselves would perhaps be the best part of it,—oh, ye dear images of Sais! But are not ye also in your unveiled condition still extremely passionate and dusky beings compared with the fish, and still all too like an enamoured artist?[8]—and what is "reality" to an enamoured artist! Ye still carry about with you the valuations of things which had their origin in the passions and infatuations of earlier centuries! There is still a secret and ineffaceable drunkenness embodied in your sobriety! Your love of "reality," for example—oh, that is an old, primitive "love"! In every feeling, in every sense-impression, there is a portion of this old love: and similarly also some kind of fantasy, prejudice, irrationality, ignorance, fear, and whatever else has become mingled and woven into it.
Page 91
To make a prophecy—that means originally (according to what seems to me the probable derivation of the Greek word) to determine something; people thought they could determine the future by winning Apollo over to their side: he who, according to the most ancient idea, is far more than a foreseeing deity.
Page 96
_—Let it be observed that the great masters of prose have almost always been poets as well, whether openly, or only in secret and for the "closet"; and in truth one only writes good prose _in view of poetry_! For prose is an uninterrupted, polite warfare with poetry; all its charm consists in the fact that poetry is constantly avoided, and contradicted; every abstraction wants to have a gibe at poetry, and wishes to be uttered with a mocking voice; all dryness and coolness is meant to bring the amiable goddess into an amiable despair; there are often approximations and reconciliations for the moment, and then a sudden recoil and a burst of laughter; the curtain is often drawn up and dazzling light let in just while the goddess is enjoying her twilights and dull colours; the word is often taken out of her mouth and chanted to a melody while she holds her fine hands before her delicate little ears—and so there are a thousand enjoyments of the warfare, the defeats included, of which the unpoetic, the so-called prose-men know nothing at all:—they consequently write and speak only bad prose! _Warfare is the father of all good things_, it is also the father of good prose!—There have been four very singular and truly poetical men in this century who have arrived at mastership in prose, for which otherwise this century is not suited, owing to lack of poetry, as we have indicated.
Page 111
—Let us be on our guard against thinking that the world eternally creates the new.
Page 134
Page 136
Page 146
One must learn to be awake in the same fashion:—either not at all, or in an interesting manner.
Page 170
_—In the main all those moral systems are distasteful to me which say: "Do not do this! Renounce! Overcome thyself!" On the other hand I am favourable to those moral systems which stimulate me to do something,.
Page 193
_The Heaviest Burden.
Page 194
"— _Turenne.
Page 210
It is still less the antithesis of "thing in itself" and phenomenon, for we do not "know" enough to be entitled even _to make such a distinction_.