Daybreak

552

Ideal selfishness.  Is there a more holy condition than that of pregnancy? To do all we do in the unspoken belief that it has somehow to benefit that which is coming to be within us!  has to enhance its mysterious worth, the thought of which fills us with delight! In this condition we avoid many things without having to force ourself very hard! We suppress our anger, we offer the hand of conciliation: our child shall grow out of all that is gentlest and best. We are horrified if we are sharp or abrupt: suppose it should pour a drop of evil into the dear unknown's cup of life! Everything is veiled, ominous, we know nothing of what is taking place, we wait and try to be ready. At the same time, a pure and purifying feeling of profound irresponsibility reigns in us almost like that of the auditor before the curtain has gone up it is growing, it is coming to light: we have no right to determine either its value or the hour of its coming. All the influence we can exert lies in keeping it safe. 'What is growing here is something greater than we are' is our most secret hope: we prepare everything for it so that it may come happily into the world: not only everything that may prove useful to it but also the joyfulness and laurel-wreaths of our soul.  It is in this state of consecration that one should live! It is a state one can live in! And if what is expected is an idea, a deed  towards every bringing forth we have essentially no other relationship than that of pregnancy and ought to blow to the winds all presumptuous talk of 'willing' and 'creating'. This is ideal selfishness: continually to watch over and care for and to keep our soul still, so that our fruitfulness shall come to a happy fulfilment! Thus, as intermediaries, we watch over and care for to the benefit of all; and the mood in which we live, this mood of pride and gentleness, is a balm which spreads far around us and on to restless souls too.  But the pregnant are strange! So let us be strange too, and let us not hold it against others if they too have to be so! And even if the outcome is dangerous and evil: let us not be less reverential towards that which is coming to be than worldly justice is, which does not permit a judge or an executioner to lay hands on one who is pregnant!

Friedrich NietzscheDaybreak: Book V - Aphorism #55272110 years, 7 months ago 

553

By circuitous paths.  Whither does this whole philosophy, with all its circuitous paths, want to go? Does it do more than translate as it were into reason a strong and constant drive, a drive for gentle sunlight, bright and buoyant air, southerly vegetation, the breath of the sea, fleeting meals of flesh, fruit and eggs, hot water to drink, daylong silent wanderings, little talking, infrequent and cautious reading, dwelling alone, clean, simple and almost soldierly habits, in short for all those things which taste best and are most endurable precisely to me? A philosophy which is at bottom the instinct for a personal diet? An instinct which seeks my own air, my own heights, my own kind of health and weather, by the circuitous path of my head? There are many other, and certainly many much loftier sublimities of philosophy, and not only those which are gloomier and make more claims for themselves than mine  perhaps they too are one and all nothing other than the intellectual circuitous paths of similar personal drives?  In the meantime I have come to look with new eyes on the secret and solitary fluttering of a butterfly high on the rocky seacoast where many fine plants are growing: it flies about unconcerned that it has but one day more to live and that the night will be too cold for its winged fragility. For it too a philosophy could no doubt be found: though it would no doubt not be mine.

Friedrich NietzscheDaybreak: Book V - Aphorism #55367210 years, 7 months ago 

554

Going on ahead.  When one lauds progress, one is lauding only the movement and those who refused to let us stand still  and in certain circumstances much is to be thereby achieved, especially if one is living among Egyptians. In volatile Europe, however, where movement 'goes without saying' as they say  ah, if only we knew what to say about it!  I prefer going on ahead and those who do so: those, that is to say, who again and again leave themselves behind and give no thought to whether anyone else is following behind them. 'Wherever I stop I find myself alone: so why should I stop! The desert still stretches away?  that is the feeling of one who in this way goes on ahead.

Friedrich NietzscheDaybreak: Book V - Aphorism #55467510 years, 7 months ago 

555

The least are sufficient.  We ought to avoid experiences when we know that the least of them will make a sufficiently strong impression on us  and these we cannot avoid.  The thinker must possess within him a rough canon of those things which he still wants to experience at all.

Friedrich NietzscheDaybreak: Book V - Aphorism #55564810 years, 7 months ago 

556

The good four. Honest towards ourselves and whoever else is a friend to us; brave towards the enemy; magnanimous towards the defeated; polite  always: this is what the four cardinal virtues want us to be.

Friedrich NietzscheDaybreak: Book V - Aphorism #55673810 years, 7 months ago