8 In the night. -As soon as night falls, our feeling about the nearest of things is changed. There is the wind, which travels as if upon forbidden paths, whispering as if seeking something, annoyed because it does not find it. There is the lamplight, with a gloomy, reddish gleam, gazing wearily, striving unwillingly against the night, an impatient slave of wakeful human beings. There are the breaths of someone sleeping, their shuddering rhythm to which an ever-returning care seems to sound the melody-we do not hear it, but if the breast of the sleeper rises up, we feel our heart constricted and if the breath sinks down and almost dies into a deathly stillness, we say to ourselves, “rest a while, you poor, tormented spirit!” -we wish for an eternal peace for all living things, because they live so oppressed; night is persuasive about death. -If humans do without the sun and lead the battle against the night with moonlight and oil, what philosophy would wrap its veil around them! We already perceive how living half of their lives veiled by darkness and deprivation of sunlight casts a pall upon the whole of humans’ spiritual and psychic nature.
17 Finding a motive for one ‘s poverty. – There is clearly no trick that enables us to turn a poor virtue into a rich and overflowing one, but we can surely reinterpret its poverty nicely into a necessity, so that its sight no longer offends us and we no longer make reproachful faces at fate on its account. That is what the wise gardener does when he places the poor little stream in his garden in the arms of a nymph and thus finds a motive for its poverty: and who wouldn’t need nymphs as he does?
214 The discoverers of trivialities. -Subtle spirits, for whom nothing lies farther afield than a triviality, often discover one of these after following all sorts of roundabout ways and mountain trails and take great pleasure therein, to the amazement of those who are not subtle
238 The striving for charm. – If a strong nature is not inclined to cruelty and is not always occupied with itself, it involuntarily strives after charm – this is its characteristic sign. Weak characters, on the other hand, love harsh judgments-they ally themselves with the heroes of misanthropy, with the religious or philosophical blackeners of existence, or withdraw behind stern customs and demanding ‘life-tasks’: thus they try to create for themselves a character and a kind of strength. And this they likewise do involuntarily.
278 – Wanderer, who are you? I watch you go on your way, without scorn, without love, with impenetrable eyes – damp and downhearted, like a plumb line that returns unsatisfied from every depth back into the light (what was it looking for down there?), with a breast that does not sigh, with lips that hide their disgust,with a hand that only grips slowly:who are you? What have you done? Take a rest here, this spot is hospitable to everyone, – relax! And whoever you may be: what would you like now? What do you find relaxing? Just name it: I’ll give you whatever I have! – “Relaxing? Relaxing? How inquisitive you are! What are you saying! But please, give me – –” What? What? Just say it! – “Another mask! A second mask!” …
32 The brake.- To suffer for the sake of morality and then to be told that this kind of suffering is founded on an error: this arouses indignation. For there is a unique consolation in affirming through one’s suffering a ‘profounder world of truth’ than any other world is, and one would much rather suffer and thereby feel oneself exalted above reality (through consciousness of having thus approached this ‘profounder world of truth’) than be without suffering but also without this feeling that one is exalted. It is thus pride, and the customary manner in which pride is gratified, which stands in the way of a new understanding of morality. What force, therefore, will have to be employed if this brake is to be removed? More pride? A new pride?
219 Not settled. -We are glad to live in a small town; but from time to time, it drives us out into the most solitary and unexposed parts of nature: especially when the town has become too transparent for us once again. Finally, we go to a large city in order to recover, in turn, from nature. A few gulps of the latter -and we sense the dregs of its cup -and the circle begins anew, with the small town at the beginning. -This is how modern people live: who are somewhat too thorough about everything to be as settled as people were in other times.
Twilight of the Idols, or How to Philosophize with a Hammer.
THE FOUR GREAT ERRORS
7 The error of free will. Today we no longer have any pity for the concept of “free will”: we know only too well what it really is–the foulest of all theologians’ artifices aimed at making mankind “responsible” in their sense, that is, dependent upon them. Here I simply supply the psychology of all “making responsible.”
Wherever responsibilities are sought, it is usually the instinct of wanting to judge and punish which is at work. Becoming has been deprived of its innocence when any being-such-and-such is traced back to will, to purposes, to acts of responsibility: the doctrine of the will has been invented essentially for the purpose of punishment, that is, because one wanted to impute guilt. The entire old psychology, the psychology of will, was conditioned by the fact that its originators, the priests at the head of ancient communities, wanted to create for themselves the right to punish–or wanted to create this right for God. Men were considered “free” so that they might be judged and punished–so that they might become guilty: consequently, every act had to be considered as willed, and the origin of every act had to be considered as lying within the consciousness (and thus the most fundamental counterfeit in psychologicis was made the principle of psychology itself).
Today, as we have entered into the reverse movement and we immoralists are trying with all our strength to take the concept of guilt and the concept of punishment out of the world again, and to cleanse psychology, history, nature, and social institutions and sanctions of them, there is in our eyes no more radical opposition than that of the theologians, who continue with the concept of a “moral world-order” to infect the innocence of becoming by means of “punishment” and “guilt.” Christianity is a metaphysics of the hangman.
197 What binds and divides. -Doesn’t what binds human beings together-an understanding of their shared utility and liability-lie in the head, and in the heart what divides them -their blind selecting and fumbling in love and hate, their tendency to turn toward one at the expense of all others and their resultant contempt for general utility?
236 Two sources of goodness. -To treat all human beings with an equivalent benevolence and to be good to them without differentiating among persons can be just as much the emanation of a deep contempt for humans as of a fundamental love for humans.
281 Doors. -Like the man, the child sees doors in everything that it experiences or learns: but for the former they are entrances, for the latter always only passageways.
Revealed: Exxon made ‘breathtakingly’ accurate climate predictions in 1970s and 80s
The oil giant Exxon privately “predicted global warming correctly and skilfully” only to then spend decades publicly rubbishing such science in order to protect its core business, new research has found.
The Guardian, Today.
Can you imagine that meeting at Exxon’s headquarters in the seventies: “Fuck it, let the world burn down; it will only hurt our grandchildren, so why would we care. Make sure that this gets buried. Next point on the agenda, pay raises for us…”
Nietzsche was worried about the future because he saw the first signs of Nihilism in his time. Nihilism was also described in books written by Dostoyevsky at the end of the nineteen hundreds, around the same time that Nietzsche started writing about it. In short, you could say that Nihilism means the belief that there is no meaning to be found in life, and thus, everything is aloud. The scientific revolution had already eroded the belief in a God with its fatherly control by his time. Nietzsche, an atheist, realized that humanity was not ready to live without parental supervision. World war I and especially 2 have proven this suspicion, but a newspaper article like the one above also shows that we are still not capable of thinking for all of us but mainly for ourselves. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly religiosity of some people these days. They are also under the spell of Nihilism, their religion is tailored to fit their personal needs, and there is no fear in these people of a disagreeing God.
It is not easy to find meaning in a meaningless world. In a few million or billion years, the son will swallow the world, and we will all be forgotten by the universe. We have to give meaning to it ourselves, and as a grownup, we should be capable of finding pleasure in the idea that our children and their children and our neighbors and their neighbors will thank us one day, when we are long gone, for the world we left them.
“Nihilism appears at that point, not that the displeasure at existence has become greater than before but because one has come to mistrust any “meaning” in suffering, indeed in existence. One interpretation has collapsed; but because it was considered the interpretation it now seems as if there were no meaning at all in existence, as if everything were in vain.” Fredrich Nietzsche
“There is no other world. Nor even this one. What, then, is there? The inner smile provoked in us by the patent nonexistence of both.” Emile M. Cioran
“The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from Nihilism.” Albert Camus
173 Laughing and smiling. -The more joyous and self-assured his spirit becomes, the more a person forgets how to laugh loudly; by contrast, a spiritual smile continually wells up from within him, a sign of his astonishment at the countless concealed charms of a good existence.
297 Do not wish to see prematurely. -As long as we are experiencing something, we must give ourselves over to the experience and close our eyes, and thus, while still in it, not make ourselves already the observer of it. That would, of course, disturb our good digestion of the experience; instead of a bit of wisdom, we would take away a bit of indigestion.
45 Epicurus. Yes, I am proud to experience Epicurus’ character in a way unlike perhaps anyone else and to enjoy, in everything I hear and read of him, the happiness of the afternoon of antiquity: I see his eye gaze at a wide whitish sea, across shoreline rocks bathed in the sun, as large and small creatures play in its light, secure and calm like the light and his eye itself. Only someone who is continually suffering could invent such happiness – the happiness of an eye before which the sea of existence has grown still and which now cannot get enough of seeing the surface and this colourful, tender, quivering skin of the sea: never before has voluptuousness been so modest.
213. It is difficult to learn what a philosopher is, because it cannot be taught: you have to “know” by experience, – or you should be proud that you do not know it at all. But nowadays everyone talks about things that they cannot experience, and most especially (and most terribly) when it comes to philosophers and philosophical matters. Hardly anyone knows about them or is allowed to know, and all popular opinions about them are false. So, for instance, the genuinely philosophical compatibility between a bold and lively spirituality that runs along at a presto, and a dialectical rigor and necessity that does not take a single false step – this is an experience most thinkers and scholars would find unfamiliar and, if someone were to mention it, unbelievable. They think of every necessity as a need, a painstaking having-to-follow and being-forced; and they consider thinking itself as something slow and sluggish, almost a toil and often enough “worth the sweat of the noble.” Not in their wildest dreams would they think of it as light, divine, and closely related to dance and high spirits! “Thinking” and “treating an issue seriously,” “with gravity” – these belong together, according to most thinkers and scholars: that is the only way they have “experienced” it –…
1. All passions have a phase when they are merely disastrous, when they drag down their victim with the weight of stupidity–and a later, very much later phase when they wed the spirit, when they “spiritualize” themselves. Formerly, in view of the element of stupidity in passion, war was declared on passion itself, its destruction was plotted; all the old moral monsters are agreed on this: il faut tuer les passions. The most famous formula for this is to be found in the New Testament, in that Sermon on the Mount, where, incidentally, things are by no means looked at from a height. There it is said, for example, with particular reference to sexuality: “If thy eye offend thee, pluck it out.” Fortunately, no Christian acts in accordance with this precept. Destroying the passions and cravings, merely as a preventive measure against their stupidity and the unpleasant consequences of this stupidity–today this itself strikes us as merely another acute form of stupidity. We no longer admire dentists who “pluck out” teeth so that they will not hurt any more.
To be fair, it should be admitted, however, that on the ground out of which Christianity grew, the concept of the “spiritualization of passion” could never have been formed. After all, the first church, as is well known, fought against the “intelligent” in favor of the “poor in spirit.” How could one expect from it an intelligent war against passion? The church fights passion with excision in every sense: its practice, its “cure,” is castratism. It never asks: “How can one spiritualize, beautify, deify a craving?” It has at all times laid the stress of discipline on extirpation (of sensuality, of pride, of the lust to rule, of avarice, of vengefulness). But an attack on the roots of passion means an attack on the roots of life: the practice of the church is hostile to life.