Day 638, I am waiting.

Day 638-1

The sun over there

is going to throw me

outside of my rim

that is keeping me hidden

for the day

I am waiting

and hope for

the light

that I still feel inside

as a glow of my dreams

and a hope on the horizon

that is keeping me…

 

Human all too human: 36. Objection.

Reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s Human all too human

Read the introduction here You can read the aphorism I discuss here in English and German below the main article.

My take on it.

  1. People don’t like intellectuals to look to close.

DSCF8614Is there a downside to psychological observations? Are we aware of the downside so we can divert future intellectuals away from it? It is better for the general well being to believe in the goodness of men and have shame for the nakedness of the soul, these qualities are only useful when psychological sharp-sightedness is needed, this believe in the goodness of men might as well been for the best. When one imitates Plutarch’s1 heroes with enthusiasm and don’t want to see their motives you will benefit society with that, but not the truth, the psychological mistake and weakness when you do this is beneficial for humanity. Truth is better served with the words used by La Rochefoucauld in his forward to “Sentences et maximes morales.”3: “That which the world calls virtue is usually nothing, but a phantom formed by our passions to which we give an honest name so as to do what we wish with impunity.” He, and others like Paul Rée4 resemble good marksmen who again and again hit the bull’s-eye of human nature. What they do is amazing but the small minded people that are not driven by science but by love for mankind will condemn them.


Text from the translation by Helen Zimmern and my take on it

Or should there be a counter-reckoning to that theory that places psychological observation amongst the means of charming, curing, and relieving existence ? Is there a downside to psychological observations? Should one have sufficiently convinced one’s self of the unpleasant consequences of this art to divert from it designedly the attention of him who is educating himself in it? Are we aware of the downside so we can divert future interlectuals? As a matter of fact, a certain blind belief in the goodness of human nature, an innate aversion to the analysis of human actions, a kind of shamefacedness with respect to the nakedness of the soul may really be more desirable for the general well- being of a man than that quality, useful in isolated cases, of psychological sharp-sightedness ; It is better for the general health to believe in the goodness of men and have shame for the nakedness of the soul, these qualities are only useful when psychological sharp-sightedness is needed.   and perhaps the belief in goodness, in virtuous men and deeds, in an abundance of impersonal good-will in the world, has made men better inasmuch as it has made them less distrustful. This believe in the goodness of men might as well been for the best. When one imitates Plutarch’s heroes with enthusiasm, and turns with disgust from a suspicious examination of the motives for their actions, it is not truth which benefits thereby, but the welfare of human society ; When one imitates Plutarch’s1 heroes with enthusiasm and don’t want to see their motives you will benefit society with that and not the truth.  the psychological mistake and, generally speaking, the insensibility on this matter helps humanity forwards, The psychological mistake and weakness in this case is beneficial for humanity.  while the recognition of truth gains more through the stimulating power of hypothesis than La Rochefoucauld2 has said in his preface to the first edition of his “Sentences et maximes morales.”. . . Truth is better served with the words of La Rochefoucauld in his forward to “Sentences et maximes morales.”3:  “Ce que le monde nomme vertu n’est d’ordinaire qu’un fantôme formé par nos passions, à qui on donne un nom honnête pour faire impunément ce qu’on veut.” That which the world calls virtue is usually nothing, but a phantom formed by our passions to which we give an honest name so as to do what we wish with impunity.” La Rochefoucauld and those other French masters of soul-examination (who have lately been joined by a German, the author of Psychological Observations [4]) resemble good marksmen who again and again hit the bull’s-eye but it is the bull’s-eye of human nature. He, and others like Paul Rée4 resemble good marksmen who again and again hit the bull’s-eye of human nature.; Their art arouses astonishment ; but in the end a spectator who is not led by the spirit of science, but by humane intentions, will probably execrate an art which appears to implant in the soul the sense of the disparagement and suspicion of mankind. What they do is amazing but the people that are not driven by science but by love for mankind will condemn it.

1 Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch’s Lives, is a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, probably written at the beginning of the second century AD. (read more)

2 François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac; 15 September 1613 – 17 March 1680) was a noted French author of maxims and memoirs. It is said that his world-view was clear-eyed and urbane, and that he neither condemned human conduct nor sentimentally celebrated it. (read more)

3 There are many version of this book so this specific forward is hard to find but here you can read the book as it is presented now.

4 Paul Ludwig Carl Heinrich Rée (21 November 1849 – 28 October 1901) was a German author and philosopher, and friend of Friedrich Nietzsche. (read more)


Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I translated by Helen Zimmern 1909

  1. OBJECTION.—Or should there be a counter-reckoning to that theory that places psychological observation amongst the means of charming, curing, and relieving existence ? Should one have sufficiently convinced one’s self of the unpleasant consequences of this art to divert from it designedly the attention of him who is educating himself in it? As a matter of fact, a certain blind belief in the goodness of human nature, an innate aversion to the analysis of human actions, a kind of shamefacedness with respect to the nakedness of the soul may really be more desirable for the general well- being of a man than that quality, useful in isolated cases, of psychological sharp-sightedness ; and perhaps the belief in goodness, in virtuous men and deeds, in an abundance of impersonal good-will in the world, has made men better inasmuch as it has made them less distrustful. When one imitates Plutarch’s heroes with enthusiasm, and turns with disgust from a suspicious examination of the motives for their actions, it is not truth which benefits thereby, but the welfare of human society ; the psychological mistake and, generally speaking, the insensibility on this matter helps humanity forwards, while the recognition of truth gains more through the stimulating power of hypothesis than La Rochefoucauld has said in his preface to the first edition of his “Sentences et maximes morales.”. . . “Ce que le monde nomme vertu n’est d’ordinaire qu’un fantôme formé par nos passions, à qui on donne un nom honnête pour faire impunément ce qu’on veut.” La Rochefoucauld and those other French masters of soul-examination (who have lately been joined by a German, the author of Psychological Observations [4]) resemble good marksmen who again and again hit the bull’s-eye ; but it is the bull’s-eye of human nature. Their art arouses astonishment ; but in the end a spectator who is not led by the spirit of science, but by humane intentions, will probably execrate an art which appears to implant in the soul the sense of the disparagement and suspicion of mankind.

Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80

Zweites Hauptstück, zur Geschichte der moralischen Empfindungen.

 

  1. Einwand.- Oder sollte es gegen jenen Satz, dass die psychologische Beobachtung zu den Reiz-, Heil- und Erleichterungsmitteln des Daseins gehöre, eine Gegenrechnung geben? Sollte man sich genug von den unangenehmen Folgen dieser Kunst überzeugt haben, um jetzt mit Absichtlichkeit den Blick der sich Bildenden von ihr abzulenken? In der That, ein gewisser blinder Glaube an die Güte der menschlichen Natur, ein eingepflanzter Widerwille vor der Zerlegung menschlicher Handlungen, eine Art Schamhaftigkeit in Hinsicht auf die Nacktheit der Seele mögen wirklich für das gesammte Glück eines Menschen wünschenswerthere Dinge sein, als jene, in einzelnen Fällen hilfreiche Eigenschaft der psychologischen Scharfsichtigkeit; und vielleicht hat der Glaube an das Gute, an tugendhafte Menschen und Handlungen, an eine Fülle des unpersönlichen Wohlwollens in der Welt die Menschen besser gemacht, insofern er dieselben weniger misstrauisch machte. Wenn man die Helden Plutarch’s mit Begeisterung nachahmt, und einen Abscheu davor empfindet, den Motiven ihres Handelns anzweifelnd nachzuspüren, so hat zwar nicht die Wahrheit, aber die Wohlfahrt der menschlichen Gesellschaft ihren Nutzen dabei: der psychologische Irrthum und überhaupt die Dumpfheit auf diesem Gebiete hilft der Menschlichkeit vorwärts, während die Erkenntniss der Wahrheit vielleicht durch die anregende Kraft einer Hypothese mehr gewinnt, wie sie La Rochefoucauld der ersten Ausgabe seiner “Sentences et maximes morales” vorangestellt hat: “Ce que le monde nomme vertu n’est d’ordinaire qu’un fantôame formé par nos passions, ŕ qui on donne un nom honnęte pour faire impunément ce qu’on veut.” La Rochefoucauld und jene anderen französischen Meister der Seelenprüfung (denen sich neuerdings auch ein Deutscher, der Verfasser der “Psychologischen Beobachtungen” zugesellt hat) gleichen scharf zielenden Schützen, welche immer und immer wieder in’s Schwarze treffen, – aber in’s Schwarze der menschlichen Natur. Ihr Geschick erregt Staunen, aber endlich verwünscht ein Zuschauer, der nicht vom Geiste der Wissenschaft, sondern der Menschenfreundlichkeit geleitet wird, eine Kunst, welche den Sinn der Verkleinerung und Verdächtigung in die Seelen der Menschen zu pflanzen scheint.

Sources:

I will read a Dutch translation that is based on the work of researchers Colli and Montinari. I also use a translation from R.J.Hollingdale and the Gary Handwerk translation from the Colli-Montinari edition. Both are more modern than the copyright free translation I use here. This is a translation from 1909 by Helen Zimmern, who knew Nietzsche personally, but there was no critical study of Nietzsche’s work done back then and this translation suffers from that. The same goes for the translation from Alexander Harvey. My German is not good enough to pretend that I can translate it better than the professionals do but I will use the original as a referee.

  1. Menselijk al te menselijk een boek voor vrije geesten, translated by Thomas Graftdijk, 2000. Buy it here
  2. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by R.J.Hollingdale, 1986
  3. Human, all too human a book for free spirits I V3, translated by Gary handwerk 1997
  4. Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I, translated by Helen Zimmern 1909. Read it  here
  5. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by Alexander Harvey, 1908. Read it here
  6. Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80. Read it here

 

 

Day 637, Slowly dissolving.

Day 637-1

I like taking pictures of old, weathered buildings. A long time ago someone was lying in bed thinking about the nice barn they had made that day, how he saved all the money needed to buy the materials and the many hours it took to build it. Now it is standing there, abandoned, and maybe thought of for a minute a year by the owners, if there are any. It is kind of sad, an object with out an owner or purpose is all alone, if it could be. It is just standing there, with all the marks of a rich life, slowly dissolving back into the earth while it ones was used and build with a purpose. If I look at this still image I realize that, that lock will never be used again and will sit there till the end, some of the paint will be washed away by heavy rain and loose its last grip in a storm, and the wood is slowly eaten molecule by molecule by time till it is all gone.

Human all too human: 35. Advantages of psychological observations.

Reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s Human all too human

Read the introduction here,You can read the aphorism I discuss here in English and German below the main article.

My take on it.

Chapter two, The history of the moral sentiments.

  1. Write maxims and life is easier.

DSC_1727Thinking about our human behavior can make life easier, if you do this it will make you more aware, even in difficult situations it will give you guidelines and make you feel better. This was once common knowledge but is now forgotten? It is clearly visible in Europe, not so much in literature and philosophical writings, because they are the works of exceptional individuals, but in the judgments on public events and personalities by the people, especially the lack of psychological analysis is noticeable in every rank of society where there is a lot of talk about men but not much about man. Why do we not talk or read more about this rich and harmless subject? Almost no one reads La Rochefoucault or similar books with maxims1, and even rarer are the ones that not blame these writers. But even these exceptional people that read it have a hard time finding all the pleasure in these maxims because they have never tried to make them themselves. Without this path of studying and polishing it will look easier than it is, and he will find therefore les pleasure in reading these maxims. So, they look like people who praise because they cannot love, and are very ready to admire, but still more ready to run away. 

1 A short, pithy statement expressing a general truth or rule of conduct.


Text from the translation by Helen Zimmern and my take on it

SECOND DIVISION – The History of the moral sentiments.

That reflection on the human, all-too-human—or, according to the learned expression, psychological observation—is one of the means by which one may lighten the burden of life, Thinking about our human behavior can make live easier,  that exercise in this art produces presence of mind in difficult circumstances, if exercised it will make you more aware, in the midst of tiresome surroundings, even that from the most thorny and unpleasant periods of one’s own life one may gather maxims and thereby feel a little better: even in difficult situations it will give you rules and make you feel better. all this was believed, was known in former centuries. Why was it forgotten by our century, This was ones common knowledge but is now forgotten? when in Germany at least, even in all Europe, the poverty of psychological observation betrays itself by many signs? Not exactly in novels, tales, and philosophical treatises,—they are the work of exceptional individuals, It is clearly visible in Europe, not so much in literature and philosophical writings because they are the works of exceptional individuals, —rather in the judgments on public events and personalities ; but in the judgments on public events and personalities, but above all there is a lack of the art of psychological analysis and summing-up in every rank of society, especially the lack of psychological analysis is noticeable in every rank of society in which a great deal is talked about men, but nothing about man. where there is a lot of talk about men but not much about man. Why do we allow the richest and most harmless subject of conversation to escape us ? Why are not the great masters of psychological maxims more read ? Why do we not talk or read about this rich and harmless subject? For, without any exaggeration, the educated man in Europe who has read La Rochefoucauld and his kindred in mind and art, is rarely found, and still more rare is he who knows them and does not blame them. Almost no one reads La Rochefoucault or similar books, and even rarer are the ones that not blame these writers. It is probable, however, that even this exceptional reader will find much less pleasure in them than the form of this artist should afford him ; for even the clearest head is not capable of rightly estimating the art of shaping and polishing maxims unless he has really been brought up to it and has competed in it. But even these exceptional readers have a hard time finding all the pleasure in there maxims because they have never tried to make them themselves. Without this practical teaching one deems this shaping and polishing to be easier than it is ; one has not a sufficient perception of fitness and charm. For this reason the present readers of maxims find in them a comparatively small pleasure, hardly a mouthful of pleasantness, Without this path it looks easier than it is and he will find therefore les pleasure in reading these maxims. so that they resemble the people who generally look at cameos, who praise because they cannot love, and are very ready to admire, but still more ready to run away. So they look like people who praise because they cannot love, and are very ready to admire, but still more ready to run away.


Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I translated by Helen Zimmern 1909

SECOND DIVISION – The History Of The Moral Sentiments.

  1. ADVANTAGES OF PSYCHOLOGICAL OBSERVATION.—That reflection on the human, all-too-human—or,according to the learned expression, psychological observation—is one of the means by which one may lighten the burden of life, that exercise in this art produces presence of mind in difficult circumstances, in the midst of tiresome surroundings, even that from the most thorny and unpleasant periods of one’s own life one may gather maxims and thereby feel a little better: all this was believed, was known in former centuries. Why was it forgotten by our century, when in Germany at least, even in all Europe, the poverty of psychological observation betrays itself by many signs? Not exactly in novels, tales, and philosophical treatises,—they are the work of exceptional individuals,—rather in the judgments on public events and personalities ; but above all there is a lack of the art of psychological analysis and summing-up in every rank of society, in which a great deal is talked about men, but nothing about man. Why do we allow the richest and most harmless subject of conversation to escape us ? Why are not the great masters of psychological maxims more read ? For, without any exaggeration, the educated man in Europe who has read La Rochefoucauld and his kindred in mind and art, is rarely found, and still more rare is he who knows them and does not blame them. It is probable, however, that even this exceptional reader will find much less pleasure in them than the form of this artist should afford him ; for even the clearest head is not capable of rightly estimating the art of shaping and polishing maxims unless he has really been brought up to it and has competed in it. Without this practical teaching one deems this shaping and polishing to be easier than it is ; one has not a sufficient perception of fitness and charm. For this reason the present readers of maxims find in them a comparatively small pleasure, hardly a mouthful of pleasantness, so that they resemble the people who generally look at cameos, who praise because they cannot love, and are very ready to admire, but still more ready to run away.

Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80

Zweites Hauptstück, zur Geschichte der moralischen Empfindungen.

  1. Vortheile der psychologischen Beobachtung. – Dass das Nachdenken über Menschliches, Allzumenschliches – oder wie der gelehrtere Ausdruck lautet: die psychologische Beobachtung – zu den Mitteln gehöre, vermöge deren man sich die Last des Lebens erleichtern könne, dass die Uebung in dieser Kunst Geistesgegenwart in schwierigen Lagen und Unterhaltung inmitten einer langweiligen Umgebung verleihe, ja dass man den dornenvollsten und unerfreulichsten Strichen des eigenen Lebens Sentenzen abpflücken und sich dabei ein Wenig wohler fühlen könne: das glaubte man, wusste man – in früheren Jahrhunderten. Warum vergass es dieses Jahrhundert, wo wenigstens in Deutschland, ja in Europa, die Armuth an psychologischer Beobachtung durch viele Zeichen sich zu erkennen giebt? Nicht gerade in Roman, Novelle und philosophischer Betrachtung, – diese sind das Werk von Ausnahmemenschen; schon mehr in der Beurtheilung öffentlicher Ereignisse und Persönlichkeiten: vor Allem aber fehlt die Kunst der psychologischen Zergliederung und Zusammenrechnung in der Gesellschaft aller Stände, in der man wohl viel über Menschen, aber gar nicht über den Menschen spricht. Warum doch lässt man sich den reichsten und harmlosesten Stoff der Unterhaltung entgehen? Warum liest man nicht einmal die grossen Meister der psychologischen Sentenz mehr? – denn, ohne jede Uebertreibung gesprochen: der Gebildete in Europa, der La Rochefoucauld und seine Geistes- und Kunstverwandten gelesen hat, ist selten zu finden; und noch viel seltener Der, welcher sie kennt und sie nicht schmäht. Wahrscheinlich wird aber auch dieser ungewöhnliche Leser viel weniger Freude an ihnen haben, als die Form jener Künstler ihm geben sollte; denn selbst der feinste Kopf ist nicht vermögend, die Kunst der Sentenzen-Schleiferei gebührend zu würdigen, wenn er nicht selber zu ihr erzogen ist, in ihr gewetteifert hat. Man nimmt, ohne solche practische Belehrung, dieses Schaffen und Formen für leichter als es ist, man fühlt das Gelungene und Reizvolle nicht scharf genug heraus. Desshalb haben die jetzigen Leser von Sentenzen ein verhältnissmässig unbedeutendes Vergnügen an ihnen, ja kaum einen Mund voll Annehmlichkeit, so dass es ihnen ebenso geht, wie den gewöhnlichen Betrachtern von Kameen: als welche loben, weil sie nicht lieben können und schnell bereit sind zu bewundern, schneller aber noch, fortzulaufen.

Sources:

I will read a Dutch translation that is based on the work of researchers Colli and Montinari. I also use a translation from R.J.Hollingdale and the Gary Handwerk translation from the Colli-Montinari edition. Both are more modern than the copyright free translation I use here. This is a translation from 1909 by Helen Zimmern, who knew Nietzsche personally, but there was no critical study of Nietzsche’s work done back then and this translation suffers from that. The same goes for the translation from Alexander Harvey. My German is not good enough to pretend that I can translate it better than the professionals do but I will use the original as a referee.

  1. Menselijk al te menselijk een boek voor vrije geesten, translated by Thomas Graftdijk, 2000. Buy it here
  2. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by R.J.Hollingdale, 1986
  3. Human, all too human a book for free spirits I V3, translated by Gary handwerk 1997
  4. Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I, translated by Helen Zimmern 1909. Read it  here
  5. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by Alexander Harvey, 1908. Read it here
  6. Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80. Read it here

 

 

Day 636, Snowflakes.

Day 636-1

Millions of snowflakes are formed every year.

They all look unique.

But when you look good.

They are all the same.

When the first morning light hits.

They all melt away.

There only defense is there shape.

Unique as they think.

But only together.

Alone they are.

All the same.

 

Human all too human: 34. For tranquillity.

Reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s Human all too human

Read the introduction here You can read the aphorism I discuss here in English and German below the main article.

My take on it.

  1. Life is a bitch, but I can imagine a better one.

DSCF8639Is our philosophy now a tragedy? is truth hostile to life and improvement? Can we live in a lie, or is death better? Because, there is no “must do”, our way of seeing the world has destroyed morality. Our knowledge only excepts pleasure and pain, benefit, and injury as grounds for action, but how do they work with the truth? Our preferences or dislikes make wrong assessments and determine with it our pleasure and pain. Human life is one big lie, and no one can escape this without cursing his past and finding his present motives, like honor, worthless and the ideals that drive him seem ridiculous. Is there only despair left with a philosophy of destruction? I think this is determined by the temperament of man. I can imagine a life that is less affected by emotions and it would slowly lose it’s bad habits through the influence of knowledge.  Finally, you could live amongst men and on selves without praise, reproach, or agitation, feasting one’s eyes, as if it were a play, upon much of which one was formerly afraid. No more emphasis and attention on the thought that one is nature or more than nature. You need a more positive stance in life and not the qualities of old dogs and people chained for too long. You need people that live for knowledge and can live with less and ignore common values and practices. This person like to share this pleasure and lifestyle, it’s probably the only thing he can share to his detriment. But if more is asked of him he will point to his brother, the free man of action, with a slight scorn because his freedom is a particular one.   


Text from the translation by Helen Zimmern and my take on it

But does not our philosophy thus become a tragedy ? Does not truth become hostile to life, to improvement? Is our philosophy now a tragedy, is truth hostile to life and improvement? A question seems to weigh upon our tongue and yet hesitate to make itself heard : whether one can consciously remain in untruthfulness? or, supposing one were obliged to do this, would not death be preferable? One question remains: can we live in a lie, or is death better? For there is no longer any ” must “; morality, in so far as it had any ” must ” or ” shalt, has been destroyed by our mode of contemplation, just as religion has been destroyed. Because there is no “must do”, our way of seeing the world has destroyed morality like the church before. Knowledge can only allow pleasure and pain, benefit and injury to subsist as motives; but how will these motives agree with the sense of truth? Knowledge only excepts pleasure and pain, benefit, and injury as grounds for action, but how do they work with the truth? They also contain errors (for, as already said, inclination and aversion, and their very incorrect determinations, practically regulate our pleasure and pain). But these have errors too, as said before, preference or aversion make wrong assessments and determine with it our pleasure and pain.   The whole of human life is deeply immersed in untruthfulness; the individual cannot draw it up out of this well, without thereby taking a deep dislike to his whole past, Human life is one big lie, and no one can escape this without cursing his past,   without finding his present motives —those of honor, for instance—inconsistent, and without opposing scorn and disdain to the passions which conduce to happiness in the future. and  finding his present motives, like honor, worthless and the ideals that drive him seem ridiculous- Is it true that there remains but one sole way of thinking which brings after it despair as a personal experience, as a theoretical result, a philosophy of dissolution, disintegration, and self-destruction? Is there only despair left with a philosophy of destruction? I believe that the decision with regard to the after- effects of the knowledge will be given through the temperament of a man; I think this is determined by the temperament of man. I could imagine another after-effect, just as well as that one described, which is possible in certain natures, by means of which a life would arise much simpler, freer from emotions than is the present one, I can imagine a life that is less affected by emotions so that though at first, indeed, the old motives of passionate desire might still have strength from old hereditary habit, they would gradually become weaker under the influence of purifying knowledge. and it would slowly lose it’s bad habits through the influence of knowledge.  One would live at last amongst men, and with one’s self as with Nature without praise, reproach, or agitation, feasting one’s eyes, as if it were a play, upon much of which one was formerly afraid. Finally, you could live amongst men and on selves without praise, reproach, or agitation, feasting one’s eyes, as if it were a play, upon much of which one was formerly afraid. One would be free from the emphasis, and would no longer feel the goading, of the thought that one is not only nature or more than nature. No more emphasis and attention on the thought that one is nature or more than nature Certainly, as already remarked, a good temperament would be necessary for this, an even, mild, and naturally joyous soul, a disposition which would not always need to be on its guard against spite and sudden outbreaks, and would not convey in its utterances anything of a grumbling or sudden nature, As mentioned before you need a more positive stance in life,—those well-known vexatious qualities of old dogs and men who have been long chained up. and not the qualities of old dogs and people chained for too long. On the contrary, a man from whom the ordinary fetters of life have so far fallen that he continues to live only for the sake of ever better knowledge must be able to renounce without envy and regret: much, indeed almost everything that is precious to other men, he must regard as the all- sufficing and the most desirable condition; the free, fearless soaring over men, customs, laws, and the traditional valuations of things. You need people that live for knowledge and can live with less and ignore common values and practices. The joy of this condition he imparts willingly, and he has perhaps nothing else to impart,—wherein, to be sure, there is more privation and renunciation. This person like to share this pleasure and lifestyle, it’s probably the only thing he can share to his detriment. If, nevertheless, more is demanded from him, he will point with a friendly shake of his head to his brother, the free man of action, and will perhaps not conceal a little derision, for as regards this ” freedom ” it is a very peculiar case. But if more is asked of him he will point to his brother, the free man of action, with a slight scorn because about his freedom is a particular one.   


Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I translated by Helen Zimmern 1909

  1. FOR TRANQUILLITY.—But does not our philosophy thus become a tragedy ? Does not truth become hostile to life, to improvement ? A question seems to weigh upon our tongue and yet hesitate to make itself heard : whether one can consciously remain in untruthfulness ? or, supposing one were obliged to do this, would not death be preferable ? For there is no longer any ” must ” ; morality, in so far as it had any ” must ” or ” shalt, has been destroyed by our mode of contemplation, just as religion has been destroyed. Knowledge can only allow pleasure and pain, benefit and injury to subsist as motives ; but how will these motives agree with the sense of truth ? They also contain errors (for, as already said, inclination and aversion, and their very incorrect determinations, practically regulate our pleasure and pain). The whole of human life is deeply immersed in untruthfulness ; the individual cannot draw it up out of this well, without thereby taking a deep dislike to his whole past, without finding his present motives —those of honour, for instance—inconsistent, and without opposing scorn and disdain to the passions which conduce to happiness in the future. Is it true that there remains but one sole way of thinking which brings after it despair as a personal experience, as a theoretical result, a philosophy of dissolution, disintegration, and self-destruction ? I believe that the decision with regard to the after- effects of the knowledge will be given through the temperament of a man ; I could imagine another after-effect, just as well as that one described, which is possible in certain natures, by means of which a life would arise much simpler, freer from emotions than is the present one, so that though at first, indeed, the old motives of passionate desire might still have strength from old hereditary habit, they would gradually become weaker under the influence of purifying knowledge. One would live at last amongst men, and with one’s self as with Nature without praise, reproach, or agitation, feasting one’s eyes, as if it were a play, upon much of which one was formerly afraid. One would be free from the emphasis, and would no longer feel the goading, of the thought that one is not only nature or more than nature. Certainly, as already remarked, a good temperament would be necessary for this, an even, mild, and naturally joyous soul, a disposition which would not always need to be on its guard against spite and sudden outbreaks, and would not convey in its utterances anything of a grumbling or sudden nature,—those well-known vexatious qualities of old dogs and men who have been long chained up. On the contrary, a man from whom the ordinary fetters of life have so far fallen that he continues to live only for the sake of ever better knowledge must be able to renounce without envy and regret : much, indeed almost everything that is precious to other men, he must regard as the all- sufficing and the most desirable condition ; the free, fearless soaring over men, customs, laws, and the traditional valuations of things. The joy of this condition he imparts willingly, and he has perhaps nothing else to impart,—wherein, to be sure, there is more privation and renunciation. If, nevertheless, more is demanded from him, he will point with a friendly shake of his head to his brother, the free man of action, and will perhaps not conceal a little derision, for as regards this ” freedom ” it is a very peculiar case.

Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80

  1. Zur Beruhigung.- Aber wird so unsere Philosophie nicht zur Tragödie? Wird die Wahrheit nicht dem Leben, dem Besseren feindlich? Eine Frage scheint uns die Zunge zu beschweren und doch nicht laut werden zu wollen: ob man bewusst in der Unwahrheit bleiben könne? oder, wenn man diess müsse, ob da nicht der Tod vorzuziehen sei? Denn ein Sollen giebt es nicht mehr; die Moral, insofern sie ein Sollen war, ist ja durch unsere Betrachtungsart ebenso vernichtet wie die Religion. Die Erkenntniss kann als Motive nur Lust und Unlust, Nutzen und Schaden bestehen lassen: wie aber werden diese Motive sich mit dem Sinne für Wahrheit auseinandersetzen? Auch sie berühren sich ja mit Irrthümern (insofern, wie gesagt, Neigung und Abneigung und ihre sehr ungerechten Messungen unsere Lust und Unlust wesentlich bestimmen). Das ganze menschliche Leben ist tief in die Unwahrheit eingesenkt; der Einzelne kann es nicht aus diesem Brunnen herausziehen, ohne dabei seiner Vergangenheit aus tiefstem Grunde gram zu werden, ohne seine gegenwärtigen Motive, wie die der Ehre, ungereimt zu finden und den Leidenschaften, welche zur Zukunft und zu einem Glück in derselben hindrängen, Hohn und Verachtung entgegenzustellen. Ist es wahr, bliebe einzig noch eine Denkweise übrig, welche als persönliches Ergebniss die Verzweifelung, als theoretisches eine Philosophie der Zerstörung nach sich zöge? – Ich glaube, die Entscheidung über die Nachwirkung der Erkenntniss wird durch das Temperament eines Menschen gegeben: ich könnte mir eben so gut, wie jene geschilderte und bei einzelnen Naturen mögliche Nachwirkung, eine andere denken, vermöge deren ein viel einfacheres, von Affecten reineres Leben entstünde, als das jetzige ist: so dass zuerst zwar die alten Motive des heftigeren Begehrens noch Kraft hätten, aus alter vererbter Gewöhnung her, allmählich aber unter dem Einflusse der reinigenden Erkenntniss schwächer würden. Man lebte zuletzt unter den Menschen und mit sich wie in der Natur, ohne Lob, Vorwürfe, Ereiferung, an Vielem sich wie an einem Schauspiel weidend, vor dem man sich bisher nur zu fürchten hatte. Man wäre die Emphasis los und würde die Anstachelung des Gedankens, dass man nicht nur Natur oder mehr als Natur sei, nicht weiter empfinden. Freilich gehörte hierzu, wie gesagt, ein gutes Temperament, eine gefestete, milde und im Grunde frohsinnige Seele, eine Stimmung, welche nicht vor Tücken und plötzlichen Ausbrüchen auf der Hut zu sein brauchte und in ihren Aeusserungen Nichts von dem knurrenden Tone und der Verbissenheit an sich trüge, – jenen bekannten lästigen Eigenschaften alter Hunde und Menschen, die lange an der Kette gelegen haben. Vielmehr muss ein Mensch, von dem in solchem Maasse die gewöhnlichen Fesseln des Lebens abgefallen sind, dass er nur deshalb weiter lebt, um immer besser zu erkennen, auf Vieles, ja fast auf Alles, was bei den anderen Menschen Werth hat, ohne Neid und Verdruss verzichten können, ihm muss als der wünschenswertheste Zustand jenes freie, furchtlose Schweben über Menschen, Sitten, Gesetzen und den herkömmlichen Schätzungen der Dinge genügen. Die Freude an diesem Zustande theilt er gerne mit und er hat vielleicht nichts Anderes mitzutheilen, – worin freilich eine Entbehrung, eine Entsagung mehr liegt. Will man aber trotzdem mehr von ihm, so wird er mit wohlwollendem Kopfschütteln auf seinen Bruder hinweisen, den freien Menschen der That, und vielleicht ein Wenig Spott nicht verhehlen: denn mit dessen “Freiheit” hat es eine eigene Bewandtniss.

Sources:

I will read a Dutch translation that is based on the work of researchers Colli and Montinari. I also use a translation from R.J.Hollingdale and the Gary Handwerk translation from the Colli-Montinari edition. Both are more modern than the copyright free translation I use here. This is a translation from 1909 by Helen Zimmern, who knew Nietzsche personally, but there was no critical study of Nietzsche’s work done back then and this translation suffers from that. The same goes for the translation from Alexander Harvey. My German is not good enough to pretend that I can translate it better than the professionals do but I will use the original as a referee.

  1. Menselijk al te menselijk een boek voor vrije geesten, translated by Thomas Graftdijk, 2000. Buy it here
  2. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by R.J.Hollingdale, 1986
  3. Human, all too human a book for free spirits I V3, translated by Gary handwerk 1997
  4. Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I, translated by Helen Zimmern 1909. Read it  here
  5. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by Alexander Harvey, 1908. Read it here
  6. Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80. Read it here

 

 

FAX

Fax

Facts (short for Proven), sometimes called the truth or facts that are proven (the latter short for proven facts), is the proven-facts transmission of scanned printed material (both text and images), normally to a brain connected to a head or other sentient device. The original proof is scanned with a fact machine (or a fact-copier), which processes the contents (text or images) as a single fixed graphic image, converting it into a bitlesson, and then transmitting it through the school system in the form of audio-frequency tones. The receiving fact machine interprets the tones and reconstructs the image, printing a paper copy.[1] Early systems used direct conversions of truth darkness to audio tone in a continuous or analog manner. Since the 1980s, most machines modulate the transmitted audio frequencies using a digital representation of the page which is compressed to quickly transmit areas which are all-white or all-black.

Day 635, I stare outside.

Day 635-1This old window is the perfect place. It is cold here; the warmth is in the other room. I will sit, and think, look outside. Fog is hanging over the place where there is life, it is all white through this old glass that bends the lines of what is straight. This white from the snow calms me down, it blends in the horizon of my thoughts, I stare outside. It is quiet now.

Human all too human: 33. Error about life necessary for life.

Reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s Human all too human

Read the introduction here You can read the aphorism I discuss here in English and German below the main article.

My take on it.

  1. The ignorant lives, may the rest write poetry.

CVG_9391Every belief in the value and worthiness of life is based on impure thinking. It is only possible because of a lack of compassion for mankind. The few that think further only do this in a limited way. If you, for example, only look at the gifted people, and see them as the purpose of life and rejoice their activities, then you might believe in the value of life, but you have to ignore the rest and thus think impure. The same goes for when you only look at one human trade, the les egoistical, and forget about the rest.  But either way you are an exception if you think like that. But most people don’t complain about life and value it as it is, they only look at themselves and don’t look beyond themselves like the beforementioned exceptions. The lack of imagination and compassion shields him for the fate of others. The person with compassion will, then again, have a low value of life, and if he could understand it all he would curse life, because it has no goal. He who sees this will not find comfort in life, even in his own. But feeling lost as humanity and as an individual like a blossom in nature is greater than all other feelings, but who can handle that? Probably the poet, they know how to console themselves.


Text from the translation by Helen Zimmern and my take on it

Every belief in the value and worthiness of life is based on vitiated1 Every belief in the value and worthiness of life is based on impure thinking. thought; it is only possible through the fact that sympathy for the general life and suffering of mankind is very weakly developed in the individual. It is only possible because of a lack of compassion for mankind. Even the rarer people who think outside themselves do not contemplate this general life, but only a limited part of it. The few that think further only do this in a limited way. If one understands how to direct one’s attention chiefly to the exceptions,—I mean to the highly gifted and the rich souls,—if one regards the production of these as the aim of the whole world-development and rejoices in its operation, then one may believe in the value of life, because one thereby overlooks the other men—one consequently thinks fallaciously. If you, for example, only look at the gifted people, and see them as the purpose of life and rejoice their activities, then you might believe in the value of life, but you have to ignore the rest and thus think impure.  So too, when one directs one’s attention to all mankind, but only considers one species of impulses in them, the less egoistical ones, and excuses them with regard to the other instincts, one may then again entertain hopes of mankind in general and believe so far in the value of life, consequently in this case also through fallaciousness of thought. The same goes for when you only look at one human trade, the les egoistical, and forget about the rest.  Let one, however, behave in this or that manner: with such behaviour one is an exception amongst men. But either way you are an exception if you think like that. Now, most people bear life without any considerable grumbling, and consequently believe in the value of existence, But most people don’t complain about life and value it as it is, but precisely because each one is solely self-seeking and self-affirming, and does not step out of himself like those exceptions ; everything extra-personal is imperceptible to them, or at most seems only a faint shadow. they only look at themselves and don’t look beond themselves like the beforementioned exceptions. Therefore, on this alone is based the value of life for the ordinary everyday man, that he regards himself as more important than the world. The great lack of imagination from which he suffers is the reason why he cannot enter into the feelings of other beings, and therefore sympathizes as little as possible with their fate and suffering. The lack of imagination and compassion shields him for the fate of others. He, on the other hand, who really could sympathize therewith, would have to despair of the value of life ; The person with compassion will, then again,  have a low value of life, were he to succeed in comprehending and feeling in himself the general consciousness of mankind, he would collapse with a curse on existence ; for mankind as a whole has no goals, and if he could understand it all he would curse life, because it has no goal. consequently man, in considering his whole course, cannot find in it his comfort and support, but his despair. If, in all that he does, he considers the final aimlessness of man, his own activity assumes in his eyes the character of wastefulness. He who sees this will not find comfort in life, even in his own. But to feel one’s self just as much wasted as humanity (and not only as an individual) as we see the single blossom of nature wasted, is a feeling above all other feelings. But feeling lost as humanity and an individual like a blossom in nature is greater than all other feelings,  But who is capable of it? Assuredly only a poet, and poets always know how to console themselves. But who can handle that? Probably the poet, they know how to console themselves.

1 Vitiated according to the dictionary: to impair the quality of; make faulty; spoil. The original German word: unreinem is translated as impure. Handwerk translated it like that, Hollingdale translated it as false.


Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I translated by Helen Zimmern 1909

  1. ERROR ABOUT LIFE NECESSARY FOR LIFE.—Every belief in the value and worthiness of life is based on vitiated thought ; it is only possible through the fact that sympathy for the general life and suffering of mankind is very weakly developed in the individual. Even the rarer people who think outside themselves do not contemplate this general life, but only a limited part of it. If one understands how to direct one’s attention chiefly to the exceptions,—I mean to the highly gifted and the rich souls,—if one regards the production of these as the aim of the whole world-development and rejoices in its operation, then one may believe in the value of life, because one thereby overlooks the other men—one consequently thinks fallaciously. So too, when one directs one’s attention to all mankind, but only considers one species of impulses in them, the less egoistical ones, and excuses them with regard to the other instincts, one may then again entertain hopes of mankind in general and believe so far in the value of life, consequently in this case also through fallaciousness of thought. Let one, however, behave in this or that manner : with such behaviour one is an exception amongst men. Now, most people bear life without any considerable grumbling, and consequently believe in the value of existence, but precisely because each one is solely self-seeking and self-affirming, and does not step out of himself like those exceptions ; everything extra-personal is imperceptible to them, or at most seems only a faint shadow. Therefore on this alone is based the value of life for the ordinary everyday man, that he regards himself as more important than the world. The great lack of imagination from which he suffers is the reason why he cannot enter into the feelings of other beings, and therefore sympathises as little as possible with their fate and suffering. He, on the other hand, who really could sympathise therewith, would have to despair of the value of life ; were he to succeed in comprehending and feeling in himself the general consciousness of mankind, he would collapse with a curse on existence ; for mankind as a whole has no goals, consequently man, in considering his whole course, cannot find in it his comfort and support, but his despair. If, in all that he does, he considers the final aimlessness of man, his own activity assumes in his eyes the character of wastefulness. But to feel one’s self just as much wasted as humanity (and not only as an individual) as we see the single blossom of nature wasted, is a feeling above all other feelings. But who is capable of it? Assuredly only a poet, and poets always know how to console themselves.

Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80

  1. Der Irrthum über das Leben zum Leben nothwendig. – Jeder Glaube an Werth und Würdigkeit des Lebens beruht auf unreinem Denken; er ist allein dadurch möglich, dass das Mitgefühl für das allgemeine Leben und Leiden der Menschheit sehr schwach im Individuum entwickelt ist. Auch die seltneren Menschen, welche überhaupt über sich hinaus denken, fassen nicht dieses allgemeine Leben, sondern abgegränzte Theile desselben in’s Auge. Versteht man es, sein Augenmerk vornehmlich auf Ausnahmen, ich meine auf die hohen Begabungen und die reinen Seelen zu richten, nimmt man deren Entstehung zum Ziel der ganzen Weltentwickelung und erfreut sich an deren Wirken, so mag man an den Werth des Lebens glauben, weil man nämlich die anderen Menschen dabei übersieht: also unrein denkt. Und ebenso, wenn man zwar alle Menschen in’s Auge fasst, aber in ihnen nur eine Gattung von Trieben, die weniger egoistischen, gelten lässt und sie in Betreff der anderen Triebe entschuldigt: dann kann man wiederum von der Menschheit im Ganzen Etwas hoffen und insofern an den Werth des Lebens glauben: also auch in diesem Falle durch Unreinheit des Denkens. Mag man sich aber so oder so verhalten, man ist mit diesem Verhalten eine Ausnahme unter den Menschen. Nun ertragen aber gerade die allermeisten Menschen das Leben, ohne erheblich zu murren, und glauben somit an den Werth des Daseins, aber gerade dadurch, dass sich jeder allein will und behauptet, und nicht aus sich heraustritt wie jene Ausnahmen: alles Ausserpersönliche ist ihnen gar nicht oder höchstens als ein schwacher Schatten bemerkbar. Also darauf allein beruht der Werth des Lebens für den gewöhnlichen, alltäglichen Menschen, dass er sich wichtiger nimmt, als die Welt. Der grosse Mangel an Phantasie, an dem er leidet, macht, dass er sich nicht in andere Wesen hineinfühlen kann und daher so wenig als möglich an ihrem Loos und Leiden theilnimmt. Wer dagegen wirklich daran theilnehmen könnte, müsste am Werthe des Lebens verzweifeln; gelänge es ihm, das Gesammtbewusstsein der Menschheit in sich zu fassen und zu empfinden, er würde mit einem Fluche gegen das Dasein zusammenbrechen, – denn die Menschheit hat im Ganzen keine Ziele, folglich kann der Mensch, in Betrachtung des ganzen Verlaufes, nicht darin seinen Trost und Halt finden, sondern seine Verzweifelung. Sieht er bei Allem, was er thut, auf die letzte Ziellosigkeit der Menschen, so bekommt sein eigenes Wirken in seinen Augen den Charakter der Vergeudung. Sich aber als Menschheit (und nicht nur als Individuum) ebenso vergeudet zu fühlen, wie wir die einzelne Blüthe von der Natur vergeudet sehen, ist ein Gefühl über alle Gefühle. – Wer ist aber desselben fähig? Gewiss nur ein Dichter: und Dichter wissen sich immer zu trösten.

Sources:

I will read a Dutch translation that is based on the work of researchers Colli and Montinari. I also use a translation from R.J.Hollingdale and the Gary Handwerk translation from the Colli-Montinari edition. Both are more modern than the copyright free translation I use here. This is a translation from 1909 by Helen Zimmern, who knew Nietzsche personally, but there was no critical study of Nietzsche’s work done back then and this translation suffers from that. The same goes for the translation from Alexander Harvey. My German is not good enough to pretend that I can translate it better than the professionals do but I will use the original as a referee.

  1. Menselijk al te menselijk een boek voor vrije geesten, translated by Thomas Graftdijk, 2000. Buy it here
  2. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by R.J.Hollingdale, 1986
  3. Human, all too human a book for free spirits I V3, translated by Gary handwerk 1997
  4. Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I, translated by Helen Zimmern 1909. Read it  here
  5. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by Alexander Harvey, 1908. Read it here
  6. Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80. Read it here

 

 

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