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"I took it in my hand as something totally unfamiliar and turned the pages. I do not know which demon was whispering to me: ‘Take this book home.’ In any case, it happened, which was contrary to my custom of otherwise never rushing into buying a book. Back at the house I threw myself into the corner of a sofa with my new treasure, and began to let that dynamic, dismal genius work on me. Each line cried out with renunciation, negation, resignation. I was looking into a mirror that reflected the world, life and my own mind with hideous magnificence."

— Nietzsche, on reading Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation

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The most fulfilling human projects appeared inseparable from a degree of torment, the sources of our greatest joys lying awkwardly close to those of our greatest pains…

Why? Because no one is able to produce a great work of art without experience, nor achieve a worldly position immediately, nor be a great lover at the first attempt; and in the interval between initial failure and subsequent success, in the gap between who we wish one day to be and who we are at present, must come pain, anxiety, envy and humiliation. We suffer because we cannot spontaneously master the ingredients of fulfillment.

Nietzsche was striving to correct the belief that fulfillment must come easily or not at all, a belief ruinous in its effects, for it leads us to withdraw prematurely from challenges that might have been overcome if only we had been prepared for the savagery legitimately demanded by almost everything valuable.

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— Alain de Botton - The Consolations of Philosophy

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"Examine the lives of the best and most fruitful people and peoples and ask yourselves whether a tree that is supposed to grow to a proud height can dispense with bad weather and storms; whether misfortune and external resistance, some kinds of hatred, jealousy, stubbornness, mistrust, hardness, avarice, and violence do not belong among the favorable conditions without which any great growth even of virtue is scarcely possible."

Friedrich Nietzsche

Happy Birthday Nietzsche!

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"The task of painting the picture of life, often as it has been attempted by poets and philosophers, is nevertheless irrational. Even in the hands of the greatest artist-thinkers, pictures and miniatures of one life only — their own — have come into being, and indeed no other result is possible."

— Friedrich Nietzsche in Human, All Too Human, Part Two, Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions

(Source: thedailynietzsche)

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'O Zarathustra, you stone of wisdom, you projectile, you star-destroyer! You have thrown yourself thus high, but every stone that is thrown — must fall!'

Thereupon the dwarf fell silent; and long he continued so. But his silence oppressed me; and to be thus in company is truly more lonely than to be alone…

But there is something in me that I call courage: it has always destroyed every discouragement in me. This courage bade me stop and say: ‘Dwarf! You! Or I!’

For courage is the best destroyer — courage that attacks: for in every attack there is a triumphant shout…

Courage also destroys giddiness at abysses: and where does man not stand at an abyss?

Courage destroys even death, for it says: ‘Was that life? Well then! Once more!’

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— Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

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To redeem the past and to transform every ‘It was’ into an ‘I wanted it thus!’ — that alone do I call redemption!

Will — that is what the liberator and bringer of joy is called…but now learn this as well: The will itself is a prisoner.

Willing liberates: but what is it that fastens in fetters even the liberator?
‘It was’: that is what the will’s teeth-gnashing and most lonely affliction is called. Powerless against that which has been done, the will is an angry spectator of all things past. The will cannot will backwards; that it cannot break time and time’s desire — that is the will’s most lonely affliction.

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— Friedrich Nietzsche - Thus Spoke Zarathustra

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"One repays a teacher badly if one remains only a pupil…Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me will I return to you."

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

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"The task is to live your life in such a way that you have to want to live again — you will in any case! If striving gives you the highest feeling, then strive; if rest gives you the highest feeling, then rest; if fitting in, following, obedience give you the highest feeling, then obey. Only make sure you become aware of what gives you the highest feeling and then stop at nothing! Eternity is at stake!"

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Notes from 1881

Tags: nietzsche
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"Men so far have treated women like birds who had strayed to them from some height: as something more refined and vulnerable, wilder, stranger, sweeter, and more soulful - but as something one has to lock up lest it fly away."

— Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil

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"Dreams - We have no dreams at all or interesting ones. We should learn to be awake the same way - not at all or in an interesting manner."

— Friedrich Nietzsche - The Gay Science

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"What is it, fundamentally, that allows us to recognize who has turned out well?
That a well-turned-out person pleases our senses, that he is carved from wood that is hard, delicate, and at the same time smells good.
He has a taste only for what is good for him; his pleasure, his delight cease where the measure of what is good for him is transgressed.
He guesses what remedies avail against what is harmful; he exploits bad accidents to his advantage; what does not kill him makes him stronger.
Instinctively, he collects from everything he sees, hears, lives through, his sum: he is a principle of selection, he discards much.
He is always in his own company, whether he associates with books, human beings, or landscapes: he honors by choosing, by admitting, by trusting.
He reacts slowly to all kinds of stimuli, with that slowness which long caution and deliberate pride have bred in him: he examines the stimulus that approaches him, he is far from meeting it halfway.
He believes neither in “misfortune” nor in “guilt” : he comes to terms with himself, with others; he knows how to forget - he is strong enough; hence everything must turn out for his best."

— Friedrich Nietzsche- Ecce Homo

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"Those thinkers in whom all stars move in cyclic orbits are not the most profound: whoever looks into himself as into vast space and carries galaxies in himself also knows how irregular all galaxies are; they lead into the chaos and labyrinth of existence."

— Friedrich Nietzsche - The Gay Science

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"Life consists of rare, isolated moments of the greatest significance and of innumerably many intervals, during which at best the silhouettes of those moments hover about us. Love, springtime, every beautiful melody, mountains, the moon, the sea — all these speak completely to the heart but once, if in fact they ever do get a chance to speak completely. For many men do not have those moments at all, and are themselves intervals and intermissions in the symphony of real life."

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human

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"Only a very few people can be independent: it is a prerogative of the strong. And when independence is attempted by someone who has the right to it, but does not need it, we have proof that this man is probably not only strong, but bold to the point of recklessness. He ventures into a labyrinth, he multiplies life’s inevitable dangers a thousandfold, and not the least among these is the absence of any person to see how and where he is going astray, becoming isolated, being rent apart piece by piece in the cave of some Minotaur of the conscience. Assuming that such a person perishes, he perishes so far away from the understanding of human beings that they do not feel it or feel it for him – and he cannot go back again! Not even to the pity of humans!"

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

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"Fear is the mother of morals."

— Nietzsche, from Beyond Good and Evil

Tags: nietzsche