Beyond Good and Evil

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Man, a multifaceted, lying, artificial, and impenetrable animal, who spooks other animals less by his power than by his cunning and intelligence, has invented good conscience in order to enjoy his own soul for once as something simple; and all of morality is a long spirited falsification, thanks to which it's at all possible to enjoy a glimpse at the soul. From this point of view, perhaps much more belongs to the idea of "art" than people commonly believe.

Friedrich NietzscheBeyond Good and Evil: Part IX - Aphorism #29111955 years, 12 months ago 

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A philosopher: that is a man who constantly experiences, sees, hears, suspects, hopes, and dreams extraordinary things; who is struck by his very own thoughts as if from outside, as if from above and below, as if they are experiences and lightning strikes tailor-made for him; who himself is perhaps a storm which moves along pregnant with new lightning flashes; a fateful man, around whom things always rumble and mutter and gape and mysteriously close. A philosopher: alas, a being which often runs away from itself, often is afraid of itself - but which is too curious not to "come back to itself" again and again. . .

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A man who says, "That pleases me. I take that for my own and will protect it and defend it against everyone"; a man who can carry out a task, put a decision into effect, remain true to an idea, hold on to a woman, punish and cast down an insolent person; a man who has his anger and his sword and to whom the weak, the suffering, the distressed, and even the animals are happy to go and belong to by nature - in short, a man who is by nature a master - when such a man has pity, well, this pity is worth something! But what is there in the pity of those who suffer! Or even of those who preach pity! Today in almost all of Europe there is a pathological susceptibility and sensitivity to pain, as well as a nasty lack of restraint in complaining, a mollycoddling, which likes to dress itself up with religion and philosophical bits and pieces as something loftier - there is a formal culture of suffering. In my view, the unmanliness of what is christened "pity" in such enthusiastic circles is what always strikes the eye first. - We must excommunicate this latest form of bad taste, powerfully and thoroughly; and finally I wish that people would set against their hearts and throats the good amulet "gai saber,"- gay science", to clarify this matter for the Germans.

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The Olympian vice. - In spite of that philosopher who, as a genuine Englishman, tried to make laughing a defamation of character among all thinking men - "Laughter is a serious infirmity of human nature which every thinking man will strive to overcome" (Hobbes) - I would really allow myself to order the ranks of philosophers according to the rank of their laughter - right up to those who are capable of golden laughter.4 And assuming that the gods also practise philosophy, a fact which many conclusions have already driven me to - I don't doubt that in the process they know how to laugh in a superhuman and new way - and at the expense of all serious things! Gods delight in making fun: even where sacred actions are concerned, it seems they cannot stop laughing.

4. What Nietzsche offers here in German as a quotation from Hobbes is not, according to Walter Kaufmann, found in any of Hobbes' works, although Hobbes does discuss laughter on a number of occasions (see Kaufmann's translation of Beyond Good and Evil, 231).
Friedrich NietzscheBeyond Good and Evil: Part IX - Aphorism #29416395 years, 12 months ago 

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The genius of the heart, as that great hidden presence possesses it, the tempter-god and born pied piper of the conscience, whose voice knows how to climb down into the underworld of every soul, who does not say a word or cast a glance in which there does not lie some concern with and trace of temptation, whose mastery includes the fact that he understands how to seem - and not what he is, but what for those who follow him is one more compulsion to press themselves always closer to him, to follow him ever more inwardly and fundamentally: - that genius of the heart, who makes all noise and self-satisfaction fall silent and teaches it to listen, who smooths out the rough souls and gives them a new desire to taste, - to lie still as a mirror so that the deep heaven reflects itself in them -; the genius of the heart who teaches the foolish and over-hasty hand to hesitate and reach out more delicately; who senses the hidden and forgotten treasure, the drop of goodness and sweet spirituality under the thick cloudy ice and is a divining rod for every grain of gold which has lain buried for a long time in a dungeon crammed with mud and sand; the genius of the heart, at whose touch everyone goes forward richer, not divinely gifted and surprised, not as if delighted and oppressed with strange, fine things, but richer in his own self, newer to himself than previously, broken open, blown upon and sounded out by a thawing wind, more uncertain perhaps, more tender, more fragile, more broken, but full of hopes which as yet have no names, full of new will and flowing, full of new dissatisfactions and opposing currents . . . But what am I doing, my friends? Whom am I speaking to you about? Have I forgotten myself so much that I have not once named him to you? It could be that you have already guessed for yourself who this dubious spirit and god is who wants to be praised in such a way. For just as things go with anyone who from the time he walked on childish legs has always been on the move and through alien territory, so many strange and not un-dangerous spirits have crossed my path, too, above all the one I have just been speaking about, who has come again and again, namely, no less a spirit than the god Dionysus, that enormously ambiguous and tempter god, to whom in earlier times, as you know, I offered up my first work, in all secrecy and reverence - as the last person, so I thought, who had offered a sacrifice to him: for I found no one who understood what I was doing then.5 Meanwhile I learned a great deal, much too much, about the philosophy of this god, and, as mentioned, from mouth to mouth - I, the last disciple and initiate of the god Dionysus: and I might well at last begin to give you, my friends, a little taste of this philosophy, as much as I am permitted? In a hushed voice, as is reasonable: for this concerns a number of things which are secret, new, strange, odd, mysterious. Even the fact that Dionysus is a philosopher and that the gods also carry on philosophy seems to me a novelty which is not harmless and which perhaps might excite mistrust precisely among philosophers - among you, my friends it has less against it, although it could be that it comes too late and not at the right moment: for people have revealed to me that nowadays you are not happy to believe in god and gods. Also perhaps the fact that in my explanation I must proceed with more candour than is always pleasing to the strict habits of your ears? Certainly the god under discussion went further, very much further, in conversations like this and was always several steps ahead of me . . . in fact, if it were permitted, I would, following human practices, attach to him beautifully solemn names of splendour and virtue; I would have to provide a great deal of praise for his courage as an explorer and discoverer, for his daring honesty, truthfulness, and love of wisdom. But such a god has no idea how to begin with all this venerable rubbish and pageantry. "Keep that," he would say, "for yourself and people like you and anyone else who needs it! I have no reason to decorate my nakedness!" - Do people sense that this type of divinity and philosopher perhaps lacks shame? He said it this way once, "In some circumstances, I love human beings" - and in saying that, he was alluding to Ariadne, who was present - "for me a human being is a pleasant, brave, inventive animal which has no equal on earth; it finds the right path even in every labyrinth. I like him: I often reflect how I could bring him further forwards and make him stronger, more evil, and more profound than he is." - "Stronger, more evil, and more profound?" I asked shocked. "Yes," he said once more, "stronger, more evil, and more profound, also more beautiful" - and with that the tempter god smiled with his halcyon smile, as if he had just uttered an enchanting compliment We can see here also that it is not just shame this divinity lacks -; and there are in general good reasons to suppose that in some things the gods collectively could learn from us human beings. We human beings are - more human. . .6

5. The "first work" Nietzsche is referring to is his Birth of Tragedy, published in 1872, in which he proposes the struggle between the Apollonian and Dionysian.
6. . . . Ariadne : in Greek mythology the daughter of Minos, king of Crete. She helped Theseus kill the Minotaur in the Labyrinth and escaped with him. When Theseus abandoned Ariadne, Dionysus fell in love with her.
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