Beyond Good and Evil :: 296 (my written and painted thoughts)

Alas! what are you, after all, my written and painted thoughts! Not long ago you were so variegated, young and malicious, so full of thorns and secret spices, that you made me sneeze and laugh — and now? You have already doffed your novelty, and some of you, I fear, are ready to become truths, so immortal do they look, so pathetically honest, so tedious! And was it ever otherwise? What then do we write and paint, we mandarins with Chinese brush, we immortalizers of things which lend themselves to writing, what are we alone capable of painting? Alas, only that which is just about to fade and begins to lose its odour! Alas, only exhausted and departing storms and belated yellow sentiments! Alas, only birds strayed and fatigued by flight, which now let themselves be captured with the hand — with our hand! We immortalize what cannot live and fly much longer, things only which are exhausted and mellow! And it is only for your afternoon, you, my written and painted thoughts, for which alone I have colours, many colours, perhaps, many variegated softenings, and fifty yellows and browns and greens and reds; — but nobody will divine thereby how ye looked in your morning, you sudden sparks and marvels of my solitude, you, my old, beloved — evil thoughts!

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil 296 (translated by Hellen Zimmern)

Beyond Good and Evil :: Selected Epigrams :: Nietzsche

[Asterisks (*) indicate some of my especial favorites. — Dr. Sineokov]

*.63.  Whoever is a teacher through and through takes all things seriously only in relation to his students — even himself.

.64. “Knowledge for its own sake” — that is the last snare of morality: with that one becomes completely entangled in it once more.

***.65. The attraction of knowledge would be small if one did not have to overcome so much shame on the way.

***.66. The inclination to depreciate himself, to let himself be robbed, lied to, and taken advantage of, could be the modesty [Scham: usually translated as “shame”] of a god among men.

*.68. “I have done that,” says my memory. “I cannot have done that,” says my pride, and remains inexorable. Eventually — memory yields.

.69. One has watched life badly if one has not also seen the hand that considerately — kills.

*.70. If one has character one also has one’s typical experience, which recurs repeatedly.

*.71. The sage as astronomer. — As long as you still experience the stars as something “above you” you lack the eye of knowledge.

.72. Not the intensity but the duration of high feelings  makes high men.

*.73. Whoever reaches his ideal transcends it eo ipso.

*.73a. Many a peacock hides his peacock tail from all eyes — and calls that his pride.

***.75. The degree and kind of a man’s sexuality reach up into the ultimate pinnacle of his spirit.

**.76. Under peaceful conditions a warlike man sets upon himself.

**.77. With one’s principles one wants to bully one’s habits, or justify, honor, scold, or conceal them: two men with the same principles probably aim with them at something basically different.

***.78. Whoever despises himself still respects himself as one who despises.

*.79. A soul that knows it is loved but does not itself love betrays its sediment: what is at the bottom comes up.

.80. A matter that becomes clear ceases to concern us. — What was on the mind of that god who counseled: “Know thyself!” Did he mean: “Cease to concern yourself! Become objective!” — And Socrates? — And “scientific men”? —

*.81. It is terrible to die of thirst in the ocean. Do you have to salt your truth so heavily that it does not even — quench thirst any more?

***.83. Instinct. — When the house burns one forgets even lunch. — Yes, but one eats it later in the ashes.

.84. Woman learns to hate to the extent to which her charms — decrease.

*.85. The same affects in man and woman are yet different in tempo: therefore man and woman do not cease to misunderstand each other.

86. Women themselves always still have in the background of all personal vanity an impersonal contempt — for “woman.” —

****.87. Tethered heart, free spirit. — If one tethers one’s heart severely and imprisons it, one can give one’s spirit many liberties: I have said that once before. But one does not believe me, unless one already knows it —

**.88. One begins to mistrust very clever people when they become embarrassed.

.89. Terrible experiences pose the riddle whether the person who has them is not terrible.

*.90. Heavy, heavy-spirited people become lighter precisely through what makes others heavier, through hatred and love, and for a time they surface.

****.91. So cold, so icy that one burns one’s fingers on him! Every hand is startled when touching him. — And for that very reason some think he glows.

.92. Who has not, for the sake of his good reputation — sacrificed himself once? —

.93. Affability contains no hatred of men, but for that very reason too much contempt for men.

****.94. A man’s maturity — consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play.

**.95. To be ashamed of one’s immorality — that is a step on the staircase at whose end one is also ashamed of one’s morality.

**.96. One should part from life as Odysseus parted from Nausicaa — blessing it rather than in love with it.

****.98. If we train our conscience, it kisses us while it hurts us. Continue reading