Nietzsche — From Beyond Good and Evil

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on April 22, 2011

It seems that the aphorisms have proved too much of a challenge to many visitors, but I don’t care.  Here are some more, this time from one who can easily be considered the most influential writer for the 20th century.  Freud, Sartre, and many others are unthinkable, or would be quite different without him.  He is still controversial today, but that is to his credit.  He was not correctly understood in the English only speaking world, or to anyone who did not read German, until the work of Walter Kaufmann who, quite reluctantly as he shared many of the misconceptions about him, translated him into English in the 1950s.

Here is a selection from Beyond Good and Evil:

63. He who is a thorough teacher takes things seriously–and even
himself–only in relation to his pupils.
64. “Knowledge for its own sake”–that is the last snare laid by
morality: we are thereby completely entangled in morals once more.
65. The charm of knowledge would be small, were it not so much shame has
to be overcome on the way to it.
65A. We are most dishonourable towards our God: he is not PERMITTED to
66. The tendency of a person to allow himself to be degraded, robbed,
deceived, and exploited might be the diffidence of a God among men.
67. Love to one only is a barbarity, for it is exercised at the expense
of all others. Love to God also!
68. “I did that,” says my memory. “I could not have done that,” says my
pride, and remains inexorable. Eventually–the memory yields.
69. One has regarded life carelessly, if one has failed to see the hand
that–kills with leniency.
70. If a man has character, he has also his typical experience, which
always recurs.
71. THE SAGE AS ASTRONOMER.–So long as thou feelest the stars as an
“above thee,” thou lackest the eye of the discerning one.
72. It is not the strength, but the duration of great sentiments that
makes great men.
73. He who attains his ideal, precisely thereby surpasses it.
73A. Many a peacock hides his tail from every eye–and calls it his
74. A man of genius is unbearable, unless he possess at least two things
besides: gratitude and purity.
75. The degree and nature of a man’s sensuality extends to the highest
altitudes of his spirit.
76. Under peaceful conditions the militant man attacks himself.
77. With his principles a man seeks either to dominate, or justify,
or honour, or reproach, or conceal his habits: two men with the same
principles probably seek fundamentally different ends therewith.
78. He who despises himself, nevertheless esteems himself thereby, as a
79. A soul which knows that it is loved, but does not itself love,
betrays its sediment: its dregs come up.
80. A thing that is explained ceases to concern us–What did the God
mean who gave the advice, “Know thyself!” Did it perhaps imply “Cease to
be concerned about thyself! become objective!”–And Socrates?–And the
“scientific man”?
81. It is terrible to die of thirst at sea. Is it necessary that you
should so salt your truth that it will no longer–quench thirst?
82. “Sympathy for all”–would be harshness and tyranny for THEE, my good
83. INSTINCT–When the house is on fire one forgets even the
dinner–Yes, but one recovers it from among the ashes.
84. Woman learns how to hate in proportion as she–forgets how to charm.
85. The same emotions are in man and woman, but in different TEMPO, on
that account man and woman never cease to misunderstand each other.
86. In the background of all their personal vanity, women themselves
have still their impersonal scorn–for “woman”.
87. FETTERED HEART, FREE SPIRIT–When one firmly fetters one’s heart
and keeps it prisoner, one can allow one’s spirit many liberties: I said
this once before But people do not believe it when I say so, unless they
know it already.
88. One begins to distrust very clever persons when they become
89. Dreadful experiences raise the question whether he who experiences
them is not something dreadful also.
90. Heavy, melancholy men turn lighter, and come temporarily to their
surface, precisely by that which makes others heavy–by hatred and love.
91. So cold, so icy, that one burns one’s finger at the touch of him!
Every hand that lays hold of him shrinks back!–And for that very reason
many think him red-hot.
92. Who has not, at one time or another–sacrificed himself for the sake
of his good name?
93. In affability there is no hatred of men, but precisely on that
account a great deal too much contempt of men.
94. The maturity of man–that means, to have reacquired the seriousness
that one had as a child at play.
95. To be ashamed of one’s immorality is a step on the ladder at the end
of which one is ashamed also of one’s morality.
96. One should part from life as Ulysses parted from Nausicaa–blessing
it rather than in love with it.
97. What? A great man? I always see merely the play-actor of his own
98. When one trains one’s conscience, it kisses one while it bites.
99. THE DISAPPOINTED ONE SPEAKS–“I listened for the echo and I heard
only praise.”
100. We all feign to ourselves that we are simpler than we are, we thus
relax ourselves away from our fellows.
101. A discerning one might easily regard himself at present as the
animalization of God.
102. Discovering reciprocal love should really disenchant the lover with
regard to the beloved. “What! She is modest enough to love even you? Or
stupid enough? Or–or—“
103. THE DANGER IN HAPPINESS.–“Everything now turns out best for me, I
now love every fate:–who would like to be my fate?”
104. Not their love of humanity, but the impotence of their love,
prevents the Christians of today–burning us.
105. The pia fraus is still more repugnant to the taste (the “piety”)
of the free spirit (the “pious man of knowledge”) than the impia fraus.
Hence the profound lack of judgment, in comparison with the Church,
characteristic of the type “free spirit”–as ITS non-freedom.
106. By means of music the very passions enjoy themselves.
107. A sign of strong character, when once the resolution has been
taken, to shut the ear even to the best counter-arguments. Occasionally,
therefore, a will to stupidity.
108. There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral
interpretation of phenomena.
109. The criminal is often enough not equal to his deed: he extenuates
and maligns it.
110. The advocates of a criminal are seldom artists enough to turn the
beautiful terribleness of the deed to the advantage of the doer.
111. Our vanity is most difficult to wound just when our pride has been
112. To him who feels himself preordained to contemplation and not to
belief, all believers are too noisy and obtrusive; he guards against
113. “You want to prepossess him in your favour? Then you must be
embarrassed before him.”
114. The immense expectation with regard to sexual love, and the coyness
in this expectation, spoils all the perspectives of women at the outset.
115. Where there is neither love nor hatred in the game, woman’s play is
116. The great epochs of our life are at the points when we gain courage
to rebaptize our badness as the best in us.
117. The will to overcome an emotion, is ultimately only the will of
another, or of several other, emotions.
118. There is an innocence of admiration: it is possessed by him to whom
it has not yet occurred that he himself may be admired some day.
119. Our loathing of dirt may be so great as to prevent our cleaning
ourselves–“justifying” ourselves.
120. Sensuality often forces the growth of love too much, so that its
root remains weak, and is easily torn up.
121. It is a curious thing that God learned Greek when he wished to turn
author–and that he did not learn it better.
122. To rejoice on account of praise is in many cases merely politeness
of heart–and the very opposite of vanity of spirit.
123. Even concubinage has been corrupted–by marriage.
124. He who exults at the stake, does not triumph over pain, but because
of the fact that he does not feel pain where he expected it. A parable.
125. When we have to change an opinion about any one, we charge heavily
to his account the inconvenience he thereby causes us.
126. A nation is a detour of nature to arrive at six or seven great
men.–Yes, and then to get round them.
127. In the eyes of all true women science is hostile to the sense of
shame. They feel as if one wished to peep under their skin with it–or
worse still! under their dress and finery.
128. The more abstract the truth you wish to teach, the more must you
allure the senses to it.
129. The devil has the most extensive perspectives for God; on that
account he keeps so far away from him:–the devil, in effect, as the
oldest friend of knowledge.
130. What a person IS begins to betray itself when his talent
decreases,–when he ceases to show what he CAN do. Talent is also an
adornment; an adornment is also a concealment.
131. The sexes deceive themselves about each other: the reason is that
in reality they honour and love only themselves (or their own ideal, to
express it more agreeably). Thus man wishes woman to be peaceable: but
in fact woman is ESSENTIALLY unpeaceable, like the cat, however well she
may have assumed the peaceable demeanour.
132. One is punished best for one’s virtues.
133. He who cannot find the way to HIS ideal, lives more frivolously and
shamelessly than the man without an ideal.
134. From the senses originate all trustworthiness, all good conscience,
all evidence of truth.
135. Pharisaism is not a deterioration of the good man; a considerable
part of it is rather an essential condition of being good.
136. The one seeks an accoucheur for his thoughts, the other seeks some
one whom he can assist: a good conversation thus originates.
137. In intercourse with scholars and artists one readily makes mistakes
of opposite kinds: in a remarkable scholar one not infrequently finds
a mediocre man; and often, even in a mediocre artist, one finds a very
remarkable man.
138. We do the same when awake as when dreaming: we only invent and
imagine him with whom we have intercourse–and forget it immediately.
139. In revenge and in love woman is more barbarous than man.
140. ADVICE AS A RIDDLE.–“If the band is not to break, bite it
first–secure to make!”
141. The belly is the reason why man does not so readily take himself
for a God.
142. The chastest utterance I ever heard: “Dans le veritable amour c’est
l’ame qui enveloppe le corps.”
143. Our vanity would like what we do best to pass precisely for what is
most difficult to us.–Concerning the origin of many systems of morals.
144. When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is generally
something wrong with her sexual nature. Barrenness itself conduces to a
certain virility of taste; man, indeed, if I may say so, is “the barren
145. Comparing man and woman generally, one may say that woman would
not have the genius for adornment, if she had not the instinct for the
146. He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee.
147. From old Florentine novels–moreover, from life: Buona femmina e
mala femmina vuol bastone.–Sacchetti, Nov. 86.
148. To seduce their neighbour to a favourable opinion, and afterwards
to believe implicitly in this opinion of their neighbour–who can do
this conjuring trick so well as women?
149. That which an age considers evil is usually an unseasonable echo of
what was formerly considered good–the atavism of an old ideal.
150. Around the hero everything becomes a tragedy; around the
demigod everything becomes a satyr-play; and around God everything
becomes–what? perhaps a “world”?
151. It is not enough to possess a talent: one must also have your
permission to possess it;–eh, my friends?
152. “Where there is the tree of knowledge, there is always Paradise”:
so say the most ancient and the most modern serpents.
153. What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.
154. Objection, evasion, joyous distrust, and love of irony are signs of
health; everything absolute belongs to pathology.
155. The sense of the tragic increases and declines with sensuousness.
156. Insanity in individuals is something rare–but in groups, parties,
nations, and epochs it is the rule.
157. The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one
gets successfully through many a bad night.
158. Not only our reason, but also our conscience, truckles to our
strongest impulse–the tyrant in us.
159. One MUST repay good and ill; but why just to the person who did us
good or ill?
160. One no longer loves one’s knowledge sufficiently after one has
communicated it.
161. Poets act shamelessly towards their experiences: they exploit them.
162. “Our fellow-creature is not our neighbour, but our neighbour’s
neighbour”:–so thinks every nation.
163. Love brings to light the noble and hidden qualities of a lover–his
rare and exceptional traits: it is thus liable to be deceptive as to his
normal character.
164. Jesus said to his Jews: “The law was for servants;–love God as I
love him, as his Son! What have we Sons of God to do with morals!”
165. IN SIGHT OF EVERY PARTY.–A shepherd has always need of a
bell-wether–or he has himself to be a wether occasionally.
166. One may indeed lie with the mouth; but with the accompanying
grimace one nevertheless tells the truth.
167. To vigorous men intimacy is a matter of shame–and something
168. Christianity gave Eros poison to drink; he did not die of it,
certainly, but degenerated to Vice.
169. To talk much about oneself may also be a means of concealing
170. In praise there is more obtrusiveness than in blame.
171. Pity has an almost ludicrous effect on a man of knowledge, like
tender hands on a Cyclops.
172. One occasionally embraces some one or other, out of love to mankind
(because one cannot embrace all); but this is what one must never
confess to the individual.
173. One does not hate as long as one disesteems, but only when one
esteems equal or superior.
174. Ye Utilitarians–ye, too, love the UTILE only as a VEHICLE for
your inclinations,–ye, too, really find the noise of its wheels
175. One loves ultimately one’s desires, not the thing desired.
176. The vanity of others is only counter to our taste when it is
counter to our vanity.
177. With regard to what “truthfulness” is, perhaps nobody has ever been
sufficiently truthful.
178. One does not believe in the follies of clever men: what a
forfeiture of the rights of man!
179. The consequences of our actions seize us by the forelock, very
indifferent to the fact that we have meanwhile “reformed.”
180. There is an innocence in lying which is the sign of good faith in a
181. It is inhuman to bless when one is being cursed.
182. The familiarity of superiors embitters one, because it may not be
183. “I am affected, not because you have deceived me, but because I can
no longer believe in you.”
184. There is a haughtiness of kindness which has the appearance of
185. “I dislike him.”–Why?–“I am not a match for him.”–Did any one
ever answer so?

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  1. Remains « The Wandering Mind said, on April 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    […] Nietzsche – From Beyond Good and Evil ( […]


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