Day 696, Art makes the thinker’s heart heavy.

Day 696-1

The winter is not gone yet, the snow comes and goes but the ground is still frozen. Maybe 2 more moths ore a bit longer.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Human all too human

153
Art makes the thinker’s heart heavy. – How strong the metaphysical need is, and how hard nature makes it to bid it a final farewell, can be seen from the fact that even when the free spirit has divested himself of everything metaphysical the highest effects of art can easily set the metaphysical strings, which have long been silent or indeed snapped apart, vibrating in sympathy; so it can happen, for example, that a passage in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony will make him feel he is hovering above the earth in a dome of stars with the dream of immortality in his heart: all the stars seem to glitter around him and the earth seems to sink farther and farther away. – If he becomes aware of being in this condition he feels a profound stab in the heart and sighs for the man who will lead him back to his lost love, whether she be called religion or metaphysics. It is in such moments that his intellectual probity is put to the test.

Day 679, The slow arrow of beauty.

Day 679-1

Friedrich Nietzsche

Human all too human

149
The slow arrow of beauty. – The noblest kind of beauty is not that which suddenly transports us, which makes a violent and intoxicating assault upon us (such beauty can easily excite disgust), but that which slowly infiltrates us, which we bear away with us almost without noticing and encounter again in dreams, but which finally, after having for long lain modestly in our heart, takes total possession of us, filling our eyes with
tears and our heart with longing. – What is it we long for at the sight of beauty? To be beautiful our self: we imagine we would be very happy if we were beautiful. – But that is an error.

Day 661, On the Genealogy of Morals.

Day 661-1

Friedrich Nietzsche

On the Genealogy of Morals

Preface

1

We are unknown to ourselves, we men of knowledge—and with good reason. We have never sought ourselves—how could it happen that we should ever find ourselves? It has rightly been said: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”1 our treasure is where the beehives of our knowledge are. We are constantly making for them, being by nature winged creatures and honey-gatherers of the spirit; there is one thing alone we really care about from the heart—“bringing something home.” Whatever else there is in life, so-called “experiences”—which of us has sufficient earnestness for them? Or sufficient time? Present experience has, I am afraid, always found us “absent-minded”: we cannot give our hearts to it—not even our ears! Rather, as one divinely preoccupied and immersed inhimself into whose ear the bell has just boomed with all its strength the twelve beats of noon suddenly starts up and asks himself: “what really was that which just struck?” so we sometimes rub our ears afterward and ask, utterly surprised and disconcerted, ”what really was that which we have just experienced?” and moreover: “who are we really?” and, afterward as aforesaid, count the twelve trembling bell-strokes of our experience, our life, our being—and alas! miscount them.—So we are necessarily strangers to ourselves, we do not comprehend ourselves, we have to misunderstand ourselves, for us the law “Each is furthest from himself” applies to all eternity—we are not “men of knowledge” with respect to ourselves.

Read more about this book.

Human all too human: 47. Hypochondria.

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/synopsis.

  1. Sick for Christ.

DSCF8666

There are people who become hypochondriacal through their sympathy and concern for another person; the kind of sympathy which results therefrom is nothing but a disease. Thus, there is also a Christian hypochondria, which afflicts those solitary, religiously-minded people who keep constantly before their eyes the sufferings and death of Christ.


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

There are people who become hypochondriacal through their sympathy and concern for another person ; the kind of sympathy which results therefrom is nothing but a disease. Thus there is also a Christian hypochondria, which afflicts those solitary, religiously-minded people who keep constantly before their eyes the sufferings and death of Christ.


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

  1. HYPOCHONDRIA.—There are people who become hypochondriacal through their sympathy and concern for another person ; the kind of sympathy which results therefrom is nothing but a disease. Thus there is also a Christian hypochondria, which afflicts those solitary, religiously-minded people who keep constantly before their eyes the sufferings and death of Christ.

Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80

  1. Hypochondrie.- Es giebt Menschen, welche aus Mitgefühl und Sorge für eine andere Person hypochondrisch werden; die dabei entstehende Art des Mitleidens ist nichts Anderes, als eine Krankheit. So giebt es auch eine christliche Hypochondrie, welche jene einsamen, religiös bewegten Leute befällt, die sich das Leiden und Sterben Christi fortwährend vor Augen stellen.

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

 

 

Human all too human: 46. Sympathy stronger than suffering.

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/synopsis.

  1. Your shame, my suffering.

DSCF8619-Edit

Sympathy can be stronger than suffering. You can feel more shame, for instance, when someone else does something shameful than you would feel yourself if you did the same. For one thing, we believe more in him then he does and even when his egoism suffers more than ours because of his mistake the un-egoistic* in us is more deeply wounded by his guilt than is the un-egoistic in him.

* this word is not to be taken too seriously, but only as a modification of the expression


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

There are cases when sympathy is stronger than actual suffering. For instance, we are more pained when one of our friends is guilty of something shameful than when we do it ourselves. Sympathy can be stronger than suffering. You can feel more shame, for example, when someone else does something shameful than you would feel yourself doing the same. For one thing, we have more faith in the purity of his character than he has himself; then our love for him, probably on account of this very faith, is stronger than his love for himself. For one thing, we believe more in him then he does And even if his egoism suffers more thereby than our egoism, inasmuch as it has to bear more of the bad consequences of his fault, and even when his egoism suffers more than ours because of his mistake the un-egoistic in us—this word is not to be taken too seriously, but only as a modification of the expression—is more deeply wounded by his guilt than is the un-egoistic in him. the un-egoistic in us—this word is not to be taken too seriously, but only as a modification of the expression—is more deeply wounded by his guilt than is the un-egoistic in him.


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

  1. SYMPATHY STRONGER THAN SUFFERING.—There are cases when sympathy is stronger than actual suffering. For instance, we are more pained when one of our friends is guilty of something shameful than when we do it ourselves. For one thing, we have more faith in the purity of his character than he has himself; then our love for him, probably on account of this very faith, is stronger than his love for himself. And even if his egoism suffers more thereby than our egoism, inasmuch as it has to bear more of the bad consequences of his fault, the un-egoistic in us—this word is not to be taken too seriously, but only as a modification of the expression—is more deeply wounded by his guilt than is the un-egoistic in him.

Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80

  1. Mitleiden stärker als Leiden. – Es giebt Fälle, wo das Mitleiden stärker ist, als das eigentliche Leiden. Wir empfinden es zum Beispiel schmerzlicher, wenn einer unserer Freunde sich etwas Schmähliches zu Schulden kommen lässt, als wenn wir selbst es thun. Einmal nämlich glauben wir mehr an die Reinheit seines Charakters, als er; sodann ist unsere Liebe zu ihm, wahrscheinlich eben dieses Glaubens wegen, stärker, als seine Liebe zu sich selbst. Wenn auch wirklich sein Egoismus mehr dabei leidet, als unser Egoismus, insofern er die übelen Folgen seines Vergehens stärker zu tragen hat, so wird das Unegoistische in uns – dieses Wort ist nie streng zu verstehen, sondern nur eine Erleichterung des Ausdrucks – doch stärker durch seine Schuld betroffen, als das Unegoistische in ihm.

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

 

 

Human all too human: 44. The Twofold early history of good and evil.

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/synopsis.

  1. The good are a class, the bad are a mass.

DSCF8665The history of good and evil is twofold: First in the soul of the ruling class, who can repay good with good and evil with evil is good, whoever cannot do this is bad. As a good person you belong to the “good” community because of the shared value of requital. The bad person belongs to the “bad” community that is filled with powerless people without shared values. The good are a class, the bad are a mass. Good and bad have for a long time meant the same thing as noble and base or master and slave. But remember that an enemy is not necessary bad, it is not the one who injures us, but the one who is despicable, who is called bad. Good is inherited in the good community, no bad man can come from it and if a good person does bad the excuse will be the will of a god for instance. – Secondly, in the community of the bad people all man are looked upon as hostile and cruel no matter what his rank is, evil is the word they use for all living creatures. The signs of goodness, helpfulness and pity, are looked upon with fear, interpreted as meanness, the prelude to a terrible result. With such a disposition in the individual a community could hardly exist, or at most it could exist only in its crudest form, so that in all places where this conception of good and evil reigns, the downfall of the single individuals, of their tribes and races, is at hand. Our present civilization has grown up on the bottom of the ruling tribes and castes. 


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

The conception of good and evil has a twofold early history, namely, once in the soul of the ruling tribes and castes. Whoever has the power of returning good for good, evil for evil, and really practises requital, and who is, therefore, grateful and revengeful, is called good ; The history of good and evil is twofold: First in the soul of the ruling class, who can requital or repay good with good and evil with evil is good, whoever is powerless, and unable to requite, is reckoned as bad. whoever cannot do this is bad. As a good man one is reckoned among the “good,” a community which has common feelings because the single individuals are bound to one another by the sense of requital. As a good person you belong to the “good” community because of the shared value of requital. As a bad man one belongs to the “bad,” to a party of subordinate, powerless people who have no common feeling. The bad person belongs to the “bad” community filled with powerless people without shared values. The good are a caste, the bad are a mass like dust. The good are a class, the bad are a mass. Good and bad have for a long time meant the same thing as noble and base, master and slave. Good and bad have for a long time meant the same thing as noble and base, master and slave. On the other hand, the enemy is not looked upon as evil, he can requite. In Homer the Trojan and the Greek are both good. It is not the one who injures us, but the one who is despicable, who is called bad. But remember that an enemy is not necessary bad, It is not the one who injures us, but the one who is despicable, who is called bad. Good is inherited in the community of the good ; it is impossible that a bad man could spring from such good soil. If, nevertheless, one of the good ones does something which is unworthy of the good, refuge is sought in excuses; the guilt is thrown upon a god, for instance ; it is said that he has struck the good man with blindness and madness.— Good is inherited in the good community, no bad man can come from it and if a good person does bad the excuse will be the will of a god. Then in the soul of the oppressed and powerless. Here every other man is looked upon as hostile, inconsiderate, rapacious, cruel, cunning, be he noble or base ; evil is the distinguishing word for man, even for every conceivable living creature, e.g. for a god ; human, divine, is the same thing as devilish, evil. In the community of the bad people all man are looked upon as hostile and cruel disregarding his rank, evil is the distinguishing word for all living creatures. The signs of goodness, helpfulness, pity, are looked upon with fear as spite, the prelude to a terrible result, stupefaction and out-witting,—in short, as refined malice. The signs of goodness, helpfulness and pity, are looked upon with fear as meanness, the prelude to a terrible result. With such a disposition in the individual a community could hardly exist, or at most it could exist only in its crudest form, so that in all places where this conception of good and evil obtains, the downfall of the single individuals, of their tribes and races, is at hand.—Our present civilisation has grown up on the soil of the ruling tribes and castes. With such a disposition in the individual a community could hardly exist, or at most it could exist only in its crudest form, so that in all places where this conception of good and evil obtains, the downfall of the single individuals, of their tribes and races, is at hand.—Our present civilisation has grown up on the soil of the ruling tribes and castes.


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

  1. THE TWOFOLD EARLY HISTORY OF GOOD AND EVIL.—The conception of good and evil has a twofold early history, namely, once in the soul of the ruling tribes and castes. Whoever has the power of returning good for good, evil for evil, and really practises requital, and who is, therefore, grateful and revengeful, is called good ; whoever is powerless, and unable to requite, is reckoned as bad. As a good man one is reckoned among the “good,” a community which has common feelings because the single individuals are bound to one another by the sense of requital. As a bad man one belongs to the “bad,” to a party of subordinate, powerless people who have no common feeling. The good are a caste, the bad are a mass like dust. Good and bad have for a long time meant the same thing as noble and base, master and slave. On the other hand, the enemy is not looked upon as evil, he can requite. In Homer the Trojan and the Greek are both good. It is not the one who injures us, but the one who is despicable, who is called bad. Good is inherited in the community of the good ; it is impossible that a bad man could spring from such good soil. If, nevertheless, one of the good ones does something which is unworthy of the good, refuge is sought in excuses; the guilt is thrown upon a god, for instance ; it is said that he has struck the good man with blindness and madness.—Then in the soul of the oppressed and powerless. Here every other man is looked upon as hostile, inconsiderate, rapacious, cruel, cunning, be he noble or base ; evil is the distinguishing word for man, even for every conceivable living creature, e.g. for a god ; human, divine, is the same thing as devilish, evil. The signs of goodness, helpfulness, pity, are looked upon with fear as spite, the prelude to a terrible result, stupefaction and out-witting,—in short, as refined malice. With such a disposition in the individual a community could hardly exist, or at most it could exist only in its crudest form, so that in all places where this conception of good and evil obtains, the downfall of the single individuals, of their tribes and races, is at hand.—Our present civilisation has grown up on the soil of the ruling tribes and castes.

Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80

  1. Doppelte Vorgeschichte von Gut und Böse. – Der Begriff gut und böse hat eine doppelte Vorgeschichte: nämlich einmal in der Seele der herrschenden Stämme und Kasten. Wer die Macht zu vergelten hat, Gutes mit Gutem, Böses mit Bösem, und auch wirklich Vergeltung übt, also dankbar und rachsüchtig ist, der wird gut genannt; wer unmächtig ist und nicht vergelten kann, gilt als schlecht. Man gehört als Guter zu den “Guten”, einer Gemeinde, welche Gemeingefühl hat, weil alle Einzelnen durch den Sinn der Vergeltung mit einander verflochten sind. Man gehört als Schlechter zu den “Schlechten”, zu einem Haufen unterworfener, ohnmächtiger Menschen, welche kein Gemeingefühl haben. Die Guten sind eine Kaste, die Schlechten eine Masse wie Staub. Gut und schlecht ist eine Zeit lang so viel wie vornehm und niedrig, Herr und Sclave. Dagegen sieht man den Feind nicht als böse an: er kann vergelten. Der Troer und der Grieche sind bei Homer beide gut. Nicht Der, welcher uns Schädliches zufügt, sondern Der, welcher verächtlich ist, gilt als schlecht. In der Gemeinde der Guten vererbt sich das Gute; es ist unmöglich, dass ein Schlechter aus so gutem Erdreiche hervorwachse. Thut trotzdem Einer der Guten Etwas, das der Guten unwürdig ist, so verfällt man auf Ausflüchte; man schiebt zum Beispiel einem Gott die Schuld zu, indem man sagt: er habe den Guten mit Verblendung und Wahnsinn geschlagen. – Sodann in der Seele der Unterdrückten, Machtlosen. Hier gilt jeder andere Mensch als feindlich, rücksichtslos, ausbeutend, grausam, listig, sei er vornehm oder niedrig; böse ist das Charakterwort für Mensch, ja für jedes lebende Wesen, welches man voraussetzt, zum Beispiel für einen Gott; menschlich, göttlich gilt so viel wie teuflisch, böse. Die Zeichen der Güte, Hülfebereitschaft, Mitleid, werden angstvoll als Tücke, Vorspiel eines schrecklichen Ausgangs, Betäubung und Ueberlistung aufgenommen, kurz als verfeinerte Bosheit. Bei einer solchen Gesinnung des Einzelnen kann kaum ein Gemeinwesen entstehen, höchstens die roheste Form desselben: so dass überall, wo diese Auffassung von gut und böse herrscht, der Untergang der Einzelnen, ihrer Stämme und Rassen nahe ist. – Unsere jetzige Sittlichkeit ist auf dem Boden der herrschenden Stämme und Kasten aufgewachsen.

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

 

 

Human all too human: 43. Cruel people as those who have remained.

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/synopsis.

  1. Don’t blame the cruel people.

DSC_1687

Cruel people are the remains of past times, they are the hidden grooves in the mountain of humanity, they have inherited the rougher parts and are not as refined. They show us how we were ones, but like a block of granite, you cannot blame them for being granite. There are also grooves in our brain, like residual organs that we inherited, but these grooves and twists are no longer the bed through which the stream of our sensation flows.


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

People who are cruel nowadays must be accounted for by us as the grades of earlier civilisations which have survived ; here are exposed those deeper formations in the mountain of humanity which usually remain concealed. Cruel people are the remains of past times, they are the hidden grooves in the mountain of humanity, They are backward people whose brains, through all manner of accidents in the course of inheritance, have not been developed in so delicate and manifold a way. they have inherited only the rougher parts and are not as refined. They show us what we all were and horrify us, but they themselves are as little responsible as is a block of granite for being granite. They show us how we were ones, but like a block of granite, you cannot blame them for being granite. There must, too, be grooves and twists in our brains which answer to that condition of mind, There are also grooves, like with cruel people, in our brain as in the form of certain human organs there are supposed to be traces of a fish-state. like residual organs we inherited from our past But these grooves and twists are no longer the bed through which the stream of our sensation flows. But these grooves and twists are no longer the bed through which the stream of our sensation flows.


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

  1. CRUEL PEOPLE AS THOSE WHO HAVE REMAINED BEHIND.—People who are cruel nowadays must be accounted for by us as the grades of earlier civilisations which have survived ; here are exposed those deeper formations in the mountain of humanity which usually remain concealed. They are backward people whose brains, through all manner of accidents in the course of inheritance, have not been developed in so delicate and manifold a way. They show us what we all were and horrify us, but they themselves are as little responsible as is a block of granite for being granite. There must, too, be grooves and twists in our brains which answer to that condition of mind, as in the form of certain human organs there are supposed to be traces of a fish-state. But these grooves and twists are no longer the bed through which the stream of our sensation flows.

Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80

  1. Grausame Menschen als zurückgeblieben. – Die Menschen, welche jetzt grausam sind, müssen uns als Stufen früherer Culturen gelten, welche übrig geblieben sind: das Gebirge der Menschheit zeigt hier einmal die tieferen Formationen, welche sonst versteckt liegen, offen. Es sind zurückgebliebene Menschen, deren Gehirn, durch alle möglichen Zufälle im Verlaufe der Vererbung, nicht so zart und vielseitig fortgebildet worden ist. Sie zeigen uns, was wir Alle waren, und machen uns erschrecken: aber sie selber sind so wenig verantwortlich, wie ein Stück Granit dafür, dass es Granit ist. In unserm Gehirne müssen sich auch Rinnen und Windungen finden, welche jener Gesinnung entsprechen, wie sich in der Form einzelner menschlicher Organe Erinnerungen an Fischzustände finden sollen. Aber diese Rinnen und Windungen sind nicht mehr das Bett, in welchem sich jetzt der Strom unserer Empfindung wälzt.

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

 

 

Human all too human: 42. The order of possessions and morality.

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/synopsis.

  1. Morality is determined by the culture one lives in.

DSCF8627

The accepted order of things according to the level of desire, decides what is moral or immoral. Desiring physical pleasure over health or luxury over liberty is for instance immoral. This hierarchy is not fixed in time, choosing vengeance over justice was moral one times but not anymore. To be immoral means that one is not tuned to the new culture one lives in, but this person is only gradually backwards. The order of desirable things is not changed according to a moral point of view, but when it is fixed it will then determine if an action is moral or immoral. 


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

The once-accepted hierarchy of possessions, according as this or the other is coveted by a lower, higher, or highest egoism, now decides what is moral or immoral. The once accepted order of things according to the level of desire, decides who is moral. To prefer a lesser good (for instance, the gratification of the senses) to a more highly valued good (for instance, health) is accounted immoral, and also to prefer luxury to liberty. Desiring physical pleasure over health or luxury over liberty is for instance immoral. The hierarchy of possessions, however, is not fixed and equal at all times ; This hierarchy is not fixed in time.  if any one prefers vengeance to justice he is moral according to the standard of an earlier civilisation, but immoral according to the present one. Choosing vengeance over justice was moral in other times but not anymore. To be ” immoral,” therefore, denotes that an individual has not felt, or not felt sufficiently strongly, the higher, finer, spiritual motives which have come in with a new culture ; To be immoral means that one is not tuned to new culture one lives in, it marks one who has remained behind, but only according to the difference of degrees. that person is only gradually backward. The order of possessions itself is not raised and lowered according to a moral point of view ; but each time that it is fixed it supplies the decision as to whether an action is moral or immoral. The order of desirable things is not changed according to a moral point of view, but when it is fixed it will then determine if an action is moral or immoral.


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

  1. THE ORDER OF POSSESSIONS AND MORALITY.—The once-accepted hierarchy of possessions, according as this or the other is coveted by a lower, higher, or highest egoism, now decides what is moral or immoral. To prefer a lesser good (for instance, the gratification of the senses) to a more highly valued good (for instance, health) is accounted immoral, and also to prefer luxury to liberty. The hierarchy of possessions, however, is not fixed and equal at all times ; if any one prefers vengeance to justice he is moral according to the standard of an earlier civilisation, but immoral according to the present one. To be ” immoral,” therefore, denotes that an individual has not felt, or not felt sufficiently strongly, the higher, finer, spiritual motives which have come in with a new culture ; it marks one who has remained behind, but only according to the difference of degrees. The order of possessions itself is not raised and lowered according to a moral point of view ; but each time that it is fixed it supplies the decision as to whether an action is moral or immoral.

Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80

  1. Die Ordnung der Güter und die Moral. – Die einmal angenommene Rangordnung der Güter, je nachdem ein niedriger, höherer, höchster Egoismus das Eine oder das Andere will, entscheidet jetzt über das Moralisch-sein oder Unmoralisch-sein. Ein niedriges Gut (zum Beispiel Sinnengenuss) einem höher geschätzten (zum Beispiel Gesundheit) vorziehen, gilt als unmoralisch, ebenso Wohlleben der Freiheit vorziehen. Die Rangordnung der Güter ist aber keine zu allen Zeiten feste und gleiche; wenn jemand Rache der Gerechtigkeit vorzieht, so ist er nach dem Maassstabe einer früheren Cultur moralisch, nach dem der jetzigen unmoralisch. “Unmoralisch” bezeichnet also, dass Einer die höheren, feineren, geistigeren Motive, welche die jeweilen neue Cultur hinzugebracht hat, noch nicht oder noch nicht stark genug empfindet: es bezeichnet einen Zurückgebliebenen, aber immer nur dem Gradunterschied nach. – Die Rangordnung der Güter selber wird nicht nach moralischen Gesichtspuncten auf- und umgestellt; wohl aber wird nach ihrer jedesmaligen Festsetzung darüber entschieden, ob eine Handlung moralisch oder unmoralisch sei.

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

 

 

Human all too human: 41. The unchangeable character.

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/synopsis.

  1. Small perspective leads to small minds.

DSC_1743

That the character is unchangeable is not true in a strict sense. This popular notion only means that during our short lives, our experiences are not strong enough to change many millennia of ingrained human characteristics. But if you imagine a man of eighty thousand years old, you will have someone that has changed many times. Our short lives mislead us into forming many flawed ideas about the qualities of man. 


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

That the character is unchangeable is not true in a strict sense; That the character is unchangeable is not true in a strict sense this favorite theory means, rather, that during the short lifetime of an individual the new influencing motives cannot penetrate deeply enough to destroy the ingrained marks of many thousands of years. This popular notion only means that during our short lives our experiences are not strong enough to change thousands years of marks left by history. But if one were to imagine a man of eighty thousand years, one would have in him an absolutely changeable character, so that a number of different individuals would gradually develop out of him. The shortness of human life misleads us into forming many erroneous ideas about the qualities of man. But if you imagine a man of eighty thousand years, you will have an absolutely changeable character, so that a number of different individuals would gradually develop out of him. The shortness of human life misleads us into forming many flawed ideas about the qualities of man.


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

  1. THE UNCHANGEABLE CHARACTER.—That the character is unchangeable is not true in a strict sense; this favourite theory means, rather, that during the short lifetime of an individual the new influencing motives cannot penetrate deeply enough to destroy the ingrained marks of many thousands of years. But if one were to imagine a man of eighty thousand years, one would have in him an absolutely changeable character, so that a number of different individuals would gradually develop out of him. The shortness of human life misleads us into forming many erroneous ideas about the qualities of man.

Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80

  1. Der unveränderliche Charakter. – Dass der Charakter unveränderlich sei, ist nicht im strengen Sinne wahr; vielmehr heisst dieser beliebte Satz nur so viel, dass während der kurzen Lebensdauer eines Menschen die einwirkenden Motive gewöhnlich nicht tief genug ritzen können, um die aufgeprägten Schriftzüge vieler Jahrtausende zu zerstören. Dächte man sich aber einen Menschen von achtzigtausend Jahren, so hätte man an ihm sogar einen absolut veränderlichen Charakter: so dass eine Fülle verschiedener Individuen sich nach und nach aus ihm entwickelte. Die Kürze des menschlichen Lebens verleitet zu manchen irrthümlichen Behauptungen über die Eigenschaften des Menschen.

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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