284 The means to a genuine peace. -No government at present concedes that it maintains an army in order to satisfy occasional desires for conquest; instead, it is supposed to serve the purpose of self-defense. The morality that justifies self-defense is called upon as its advocate. But that means: reserving morality for ourselves and immorality for our neighbor, because he must be thought to be aggressive and imperialistic, if our state has to be thinking about the means of self-defense; moreover, our explanation of why we need an army declares him, who denies his aggressiveness just as much as our state does and for his part, too, supposedly maintains an army only for reasons of self-defense, Continue reading “Day 2125, peace.”→
I love reading letters written by people I admire like this example written by Friedrich Nietzsche to his good friend Peter Gast; it humanizes these people from who you normally only read the best they can produce and not about their daily lives. This comes out of a book written in 1921 by Oscar Levy, who translated a lot of Nietzsche’s work when it first got known outside Germany. You can read the book on archive.org, this letters starts on on page 139.
NIETZSCHE TO PETER GAST.
Sils-MaIaria, end of August, 1881.
But this is splendid news, my dear friend! Above all that you should have finished! At the thought of· this first great achievement of your life, I feel indescribably happy and solemn ; I shall not fail to remember August 24, 1881 ! How things are progressing ! But as soon as I think of your work I am overcome by a Continue reading “Day 2115, view from a view from my window.”→
331- Better deaf than deafened – Formerly one wanted to be talked about; that is no longer enough, since the market has grown too large – only a shout will do. As a result, even good voices shout themselves down, and the best goods are offered by hoarse voices; without the vendors’ cry and hoarseness there is no longer any genius. That is, to be sure, a bad epoch for a thinker; he must learn how to find his own quietude even between two noises, and pretend he is deaf until he really is. As long as he has not learned this, he runs the risk of going to pieces from impatience and headaches.
History thus belongs in the second place to him who preserves and reveres – to him who looks back to whence he has come, to where he came into being, with love and loyalty; with this piety he as it were gives thanks for his existence. By tending with care that which has existed from of old, he wants to preserve for those who shall come into existence after him the conditions under which he himself came into existence – and thus he serves life…
…Sometimes this clinging to one’s own environment and companions, one’s own toilsome customs, one’s own bare mountainside, looks like obstinacy and ignorance -yet it is a very salutary ignorance and one most calculated to further the interests of the community: a fact of which anyone must be aware who knows the dreadful consequences of the desire for expeditions and adventures, especially when it seizes whole hordes of nations, and who has seen from close up the condition a nation gets into when it has ceased to be faithful to its own origins and is given over to a restless, cosmopolitan hunting after new and ever newer things. The feeling antithetical to this, the contentment of the tree in its roots, the happiness of knowing that one is not wholly accidental and arbitrary but grown out of a past as its heir, flower and fruit, and that one’s existence is thus excused and, indeed, justified – it is this which is today usually designated as the real sense of history…
…The best we can do is to confront our inherited and hereditary nature with our knowledge, and through a new, stern discipline combat our inborn heritage and inplant in ourselves a new habit, a new instinct, a second nature, so that our first nature withers away. It is an attempt to give oneself, as it were a posteriori, a past in which one would like to originate in opposition to that in which one did originate…
12 – At this juncture I cannot suppress a sigh and one last hope. What do I find absolutely intolerable? Something which I just cannot cope alone with and which suffocates me and makes me feel faint? Bad air! Bad air! That something failed comes near me, that I have to smell the bowels of a failed soul! … Apart from that, what cannot be borne in the way of need, deprivation, bad weather, disease, toil, solitude? Basically we can cope with everything else, born as we are to an underground and battling existence; again and again we keep coming up to the light, again and again we experience our golden hour of victory, – and then there we stand, the way we were born, unbreakable, tense, ready for new, more difficult and distant things, like a bow that is merely stretched tauter by affliction. – But Continue reading “Day 2087, Bad air!”→
223 Where we must travel. -Immediate self-observation is far from sufficient for getting to know ourselves: we need history, for the past flows on, through us, in a hundred waves; indeed, we are ourselves nothing except what we experience at every moment of this onward flow. And even here, if we want to descend into the river of what seems to be our most individual and personal nature, the saying of Heraclitus holds true: we do not step into the same river twice. This is a truth that has gradually become stale, to be sure, but that has nonetheless remained as powerful and nourishing as it ever was: just like the other one that says, in order to understand history, we must seek out the living remains of historical epochs-that we must travel, as the patriarch Herodotus traveled, to other nations-these are, in fact, only the solidified earlier stages of cultures, on which we can place ourselves-to so-called savage and half-savage peoples, especially, where human beings have removed or not yet put on the garments of Europe. Continue reading “Day 2071, where we must travel”→
One of Nietzsche’s core concepts is the thought that you should live in such a way that the life you live can be repeated over and over again without change. You could do this by accepting life as it is and also start making decisions with this idea in mind. In his work, Nietzsche tries to show you life as it is, including all the “tricks” we use to sugarcoat reality, like hope in an afterlife or a purpose here on earth. Most of these hopes and purposes are sold by religions and political systems; they try to give their visions, and they often compete with each other in violent ways; it is bad for the world and all of us individually. The eternal return is a thought experiment that can help you when you want to find out how much you can live without reason and purpose but just for the beauty and miracle of it.
This quote is one of the first times Nietzsche speaks about this concept; you can read more on Wikipedia and in many other places in Nietzsche’s writings.
7 Learning to feel differently about space. – Is it the real things or the imaginary things which have contributed most to human happiness? What is certain is that the extent of the space between the highest happiness and the deepest unhappiness has been produced only with the aid of the imaginary things. This kind of feeling of space is, consequently, being continually reduced under the influence of science: just as science has taught us, and continues to teach us, to feel that the eanh is small and the solar-system itself no more than a point.
What has happened to me, my animals? said Zarathustra. Have I not changed? Has not bliss come to me as a storm? My happiness is foolish and will say foolish things: it is still young, so be patient with it. I am wounded by my happiness: let all who suffer be my physicians. I may go down again to my friends, and to my enemies too. Zarathustra may speak again and give and do what is dearest to those dear to him. My impatient love overflows in rivers, downward, toward sunrise and sunset. From silent mountains and thunderstorms of suffering my soul rushes into the valleys. Too long have I longed and looked into the distance. Too long have I belonged to loneliness; thus I have forgotten how to be silent. Mouth have I become through and through, and the roaring of a stream from towering cliffs: I want to plunge my speech down into the valleys. Let the river of my love plunge where there is no wayl How could a river fail to find its way to the sea? Indeed, a lake is within me, solitary and self-sufficient; but the river of my love carries it along, down to the sea.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra:The child with the mirror
If truth is a woman, does that then mean that truth is just beautiful or difficult, fleetingly or any other prejudice a slightly misogynistic man has about woman. If truth is a woman, does it give birth to new truths and untruths? If truth is a woman, does truth then hit that glass ceiling and never reach her full potential. If truth is a woman, do you expect her to fall for you because you treat her as equal, or do you attempt to lure her with your strength, your good looks, your brain, or your money.
Vorausgesetzt, daß die Wahrheit ein Weib ist — , wie? (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1885)
This is the first sentence of the book Beyond good and evil by Friedrich Nietzsche. I want to use this short text to illustrate how difficult it is to interpret what a philosopher wants to say. Like always, I looked up the different translations to English, and you can see for yourself that even the translators can’t agree what these few words suppose to say when translated to English.