186. BUSINESS MEN. —Your business is your greatest prejudice, it binds you to your locality, your society and your tastes. Diligent in business but lazy in thought, satisfied with your paltriness and with the cloak of duty concealing this contentment: thus you live, and thus you like your children to be.
182. ROUGH AND READY CONSISTENCY.—People say of a man with great respect, ” He is a character “—that is, when he exhibits a rough and ready consistency, when it is evident even to the dullest eye. But, whenever a more subtle and profound intellect sets itself up and shows consistency in a higher manner, the spectators deny the existence of any character. That is why cunning statesmen usually act their comedy under the cloak of a kind of rough and ready consistency.
141. MORE BEAUTIFUL BUT LESS VALUABLE.— Picturesque morality: such is the morality of those passions characterised by sudden outbursts, abrupt transitions;
pathetic, impressive, dreadful, and solemn attitudes and gestures. It is the semi-savage stage of morality : never let us be tempted to set it on a higher plane merely on account of its aesthetic charms.
121. CAUSE AND EFFECT.— On this mirror— and our intellect is a mirror—something is going on that indicates regularity: a certain thing is each time followed by another certain thing. When we perceive this and wish to give it a name, we call it cause and effect,—fools that we are! as if in this we had understood or could understand anything! For, of course, we have seen nothing but the images of causes and effects, and it is just this figurativeness which renders it impossible for us to see a more substantial relation than that of sequence!
97. ONE BECOMES MORAL—but not because one is moral! Submission to morals may be due to slavishness or vanity, egoism or resignation, dismal fanaticism or thoughtlessness. It may, again, be an act of despair, such as submission to the authority of a ruler; but there is nothing moral about it per se.
35. FEELINGS AND THEIR DECENT FROM JUDGMENTS.—” Trust in your feelings! “But feelings comprise nothing final, original; feelings are based upon the judgments and valuations which are transmitted to us in the shape of feelings (inclinations, dislikes). The inspiration which springs from a feeling is the grandchild of a judgment—often an erroneous judgment!—and certainly not one’s own judgment ! Trusting in our feelings simply means obeying our grandfather and grandmother more than the gods within ourselves: our reason and experience.
32. THE BRAKE.—To suffer morally, and then to learn afterwards that this kind of suffering was founded upon an error, shocks us. For there is a unique consolation in acknowledging, by our suffering, a “deeper world of truth” than any other world, and we would much rather suffer and feel ourselves above reality by doing so (through the feeling that, in this way, we approach nearer to that “deeper world of truth”), than live without suffering and hence without this feeling of the sublime. Thus it is pride, and the habitual fashion of satisfying it, which opposes this new interpretation of morality. What power, then, must we bring into operation to get rid of this brake? Greater pride? A new pride ?
6. THE JUGGLER AND HIS COUNTERPART.—That which is wonderful in science is contrary to that which is wonderful in the art of the juggler. For the latter would wish to make us believe that we see a very simple causality, where, in reality, an exceedingly complex causality is in operation.
Science, on the other hand, forces us to give up our belief in the simple causality exactly where everything looks so easily comprehensible and we are merely the victims of appearances. The simplest things are very “complicated”—we can never be sufficiently astonished at them !
I live in Trondheim, a normal city in the middle of Norway. If you look at the map you will see that it is only 600km from the polar circle, around the same height as Fairbanks in the middle of Alaska. We have more of a sea climate here so it is not as cold as in Fairbanks, today it was -13. The thing that is strange here, something I am used to, but also not. It is the lack of sunlight. The first ten years in Norway I lived above the polar circle , and there you have some light between 10:00 and 13:00, but we didn’t see the sun for almost two moths. Here in Trondheim we have more daylight, but because I am at work during the day I can only see the sun in the weekends. I think there is a reason why people that live in the North are more mellow, specially compared with the more vibrant people that live closer to the equator. This is just a long way of telling you that today, at the end of the week, I am pretty tired and monotone.
Today I am not gonna write about one of my old poems. When I have little inspiration I will pick one of the books from Friedrich Nietzsche and pick a random aphorism and let my brain chew on that for a while. You can see that I have a separate tab on my blog about Nietzsche. He is not the only philosopher I like to read, but he is the one that spoke to me the most. People sometimes ask me what I like about him, and I have to admit that I have a hard time explaining it, specially when the person that ask me knows only little about philosophy. The problem is that there are no philosophers that stand alone and isolated in history. Every thinker, scientist or inventor stands on the shoulders of his or her predecessors. Nietzsche is one of the first philosophers who also was a psychologist, he is really good in dissecting the mind and pointing at the reasons why we do the things we do. But giving this as a reason is only half the story because attached to Nietzsche are all these predecessors and the people that came after him. Nietzsche is the spill in my world of philosophy, and the spill is important but so is the rest around it.
There are a lot of things we know better now, then before. I rather go to the doctor now then 2000 years ago, the same goes for traveling or just living in a house. All these things have improved over the years. What Nietzsche, off course, talks about, are the so called thinkers and moralizers. If you just pickup a book about the history of philosophy, you will soon realize that the Greek, 2500 years ago, already where walking in the direction we are still going. Around that time there where also other places around the world where people started to think about, and explain the world. Because I am born in the so called west, I recognize more in what the ancient Greek where writing back then then I do with what the thinkers from India or China wrote for instance. You can read text from Greek philosophers that are so modern, that a lot of people today would have problems agreeing with it, because it is to progressive.
We live in modern times but the barbarians are still among us, some are even rulers.