The Gay Science


Not Pre-ordained to Knowledge. There is a pure blind humility not at all rare, and when a person is afflicted with it, he is once for all disqualified for being a disciple of knowledge. It is this in fact: the moment a man of this kind perceives anything striking, he turns as it were on his heel and says to himself: "You have deceived yourself! Where have your wits been! This cannot be the truth!" - and then, instead of looking at it and listening to it with more attention, he runs out of the way of the striking object as if intimidated, and seeks to get it out of his head as quickly as possible. For his fundamental rule runs thus: "I want to see nothing that contradicts the usual opinion concerning things! Am I created for the purpose of discovering new truths? There are already too many of the old ones."

Friedrich NietzscheThe Gay Science: Book I - Aphorism #2578610 years, 7 months ago 


What is Living? Living - that is to continually eliminate from ourselves what is about to die; Living - that is to be cruel and inexorable towards all that becomes weak and old in ourselves and not only in ourselves. Living - that means, therefore to be without piety toward the dying, the wretched and the old? To be continually a murderer? - And yet old Moses said : "Thou shalt not kill!"

Friedrich NietzscheThe Gay Science: Book I - Aphorism #2678510 years, 7 months ago 


The Self-Renouncer. What does the self-renouncer do? He strives after a higher world, he wants to fly longer and further and higher than all men of affirmation - he throws away many things that would impede his flight, and several things among them that are not valueless, that are not unpleasant to him: he sacrifices them to his desire for elevation. Now this sacrificing, this casting away, is the very thing which becomes visible in him: on that account one calls him a self-renouncer, and as such he stands before us, enveloped in his cowl, and as the soul of a hair-shirt. With this effect, however, which he makes upon us he is well content: he wants to keep concealed from us his desire, his pride, his intention of flying above us. Yes! He is wiser than we thought, and so courteous towards us this affirmer! For that is what he is, like us, even in his self-renunciation.

Friedrich NietzscheThe Gay Science: Book I - Aphorism #2778110 years, 7 months ago 


Injuring with one's best Qualities. Our strong points sometimes drive us so far forward that we cannot any longer endure our weaknesses, and we perish by them: we also perhaps see this result beforehand, but nevertheless do not want it to be otherwise. We then become hard towards that which would gladly be spared in us, and our pitiless-ness is also our greatness. Such an experience, which must in the end cost us our life, is a symbol of the collective effect of great men upon others and upon their epoch: - it is just with their best abilities, with that which only they can do, that they destroy much that is weak, uncertain, evolving, and willing, and are thereby injurious. Indeed, the case may happen in which, taken on the whole, they only do injury, because their best is accepted and drunk up as it were solely by those who lose their understanding and their egoism by it, as by too strong a beverage; they become so intoxicated that they go breaking their limbs on all the wrong roads where their drunkenness drives them.

Friedrich NietzscheThe Gay Science: Book I - Aphorism #2868210 years, 7 months ago 


Adventitious Liars. When people began to combat the unity of Aristotle in France, and consequently also to defend it, there was once more to be seen that which has been seen so often, but seen so unwillingly: people imposed false reasons on themselves on account of which those laws ought to exist, merely for the sake of not acknowledging to themselves that they had accustomed themselves to the authority of those laws, and did not want any longer to have things otherwise. And people do so in every prevailing morality and religion, and have always done so: the reasons and intentions behind the habit, are only added surreptitiously when people begin to combat the habit, and ask for reasons and intentions. It is here that the great dishonesty of the conservatives of all times hides: - they are adventitious liars.

Friedrich NietzscheThe Gay Science: Book I - Aphorism #2966710 years, 7 months ago