IV

Apophthegms and Interludes

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 sin.

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 pride.

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 despiser.

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 neighbour.

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 embarrassed.

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 ideal.

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 counterarguments. 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 wounded.

112

To him who feels himself preordained to contemplation and not to belief, all believers are too noisy and obtrusive; he guards against them.

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 mediocre.

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 anyone, 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 someone 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 véritable amour c’est l’âme 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 animal.”

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 secondary role.

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 bellwether⁠—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 precious.

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 oneself.

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 insupportable!

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 cause.

181

It is inhuman to bless when one is being cursed.

182

The familiarity of superiors embitters one, because it may not be returned.

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 wickedness.

185

“I dislike him.”⁠—Why?⁠—“I am not a match for him.”⁠—Did anyone ever answer so?