The Gay Science
6 Loss of dignity. – Reflection has lost all its dignity of form: we have made a laughing-stock of the ceremony and solemn gestures of reflection, and couldn’t stand an old-style wise man. We think too fast, while on our way somewhere, while walking or in the midst of all sorts of business, even when thinking of the most serious things; we need little preparation, not even much silence: it is as if we carried around in our heads an unstoppable machine that keeps working even under the most unfavourable circumstances. Formerly, one could tell just by looking at a person that he wanted to think – it was probably a rare occurrence – . that he now wanted to become wiser and was preparing himself for a thought: one would set one’s face as for prayer and stop walking: yes. one stood still for hours on the street once the thought ‘arrived’ – on one or two legs. The dignity of the matter required it!