One shouldn’t say: The All – for how can one in a single word sum up that which has no extent.
The free will is an absurd assumption, something which operates independently and on its own in an abstract room of thoughts.
The great shape-creating fantasy is an unreleased spirit, unless it is freed through painting.
The last and highest refinement of vanity is the end of all vanity, like a woman who most safely plays with a man she doesn’t need.
Open-mindedness is security in dealing with things.
There is something unsavoury about harming one’s own life.
The good ought to know how to neutralize his damaging effort through hardness.
It is among the most normal things in this, the world of vague concepts, to fight that which one doesn’t contain.
A high intelligence gives to the face something rich and mature, it is as if the fatness of the spirit rises to the face, the obesity of Minerva.
The evil are most often strong organisms, who feel restricted in their displays of temper. That the evil suffer the most isn’t true, their suffering isn’t deep, it is for them a somewhat comfortable habit.
Now the bell of patriotism hangs around the necks of everyday people as if it was their own.
Gösta Berling can manage by herself faced with a very spoiled teacher, who of his own insides is given the most exquisite spice; a centaur is then created.
The people of the great prosperity are realists and fatalists.
The task of the people-improver is not to preach moral, but to change the insides of people by changing the outer conditions for the moral health of humanity.
Moral begins where it ought to end, that is, by giving the one who longs for perfection a hint.
So far, everything has happened to individuals, the religions have, strictly speaking, only come to individuals. Now we can begin to sense the times where the mass must be influenced.
Small people are quite sensual in their way, in a jolly way that a great temper can’t stand.
One thing we have above all others – ourselves.
The most genuine ones are the ones that are the most cooperative, and the least cooperative.
All long roots of truth are suspicious, you only find truth in short, broken pieces.
Our weakness when we defend or attack always lies in the fear of failure which forces us to hasten, when it is sufficient to carelessly sprinkle a few destroyed suspicions.
One never gives up one’s inner faith – that would be one’s doom.
One doesn’t have enough character to forbid the highest expressions of the human spirit – detours are scholars, reporters etc. who make everything harmless.
We notice first the roughest part of truth, truth in itself, the most important thing – the speaker – we notice much later.
That life surrounds is and that we don’t have time for it heightens its temptations in a refined way, just like Heaven for religious people heightens the temptations of Earth.
The emptiness of life, which for people at the present time seem cloister-like, has caused a craving for amusement, the flesh that thinks itself overlooked demands its right. It would amuse a Mephistopheles to lead the headless, hunting mass off the thin ice – just once hand it the cup of complete pleasure.
If genius people wearing puritan blinders get to see the truth, they become incredibly inventive whilst trying to explain it away.
A non-religious person by nature always sympathizes a bit with Mephistopheles concerning the angelic chorus.
Religion can, through misunderstanding, become a source of culture when the religious people deaden themselves to worldly art and science, and avoid the genius influences they need.
It is so strange, the art of the aphorisms: the play with contrasts is lousy as a word pun, the truth often limited, and yet it is the attire of truth which is weaved, the truth raised above all else.
To say that one loves people is hysteria, to say one doesn’t love them is weakness – to have power to make them what they ought to be is the only right thing.
The one who isn’t yet mild himself longs more for the victory of mildness, like after something whose victory he is uncertain of and which has many enemies in himself.
The small ones are naïve and literal in their virtues, perhaps because virtue is so new to them.
A thinker of greater genius than has so far existed, would have need for fewer words than philosophers have so far used. In the future one will do a heavier and quantitatively lesser work.
Mild insomnia increases genius.
The lavishness of the proletariat is a weak life force. The proletariat is an atom of growth which the Earth asks: why do you plunder me still? The Earth loves plants who suck with deep roots.
Nobody is the master of their own star, they’re forced to follow it.
The adversary is something you get in a marriage you’ve always deserved.
If you want people to achieve something great it is less dangerous to overestimate some than to underestimate them.
The sleepwalker heads for the lottery to cash in the grand prize.
When one’s own intellect has risen high, every intellect seems distinguished whether it belongs to a human or an insect, one’s eyes are opened to the demonical of the being of intelligence entirely.
The most detestable is shown to you when something high is defiled. On such an event it once showed itself to me in dreams: I saw evil women drown little children in wooden tubs, I saw executions everywhere on the beach and ships, human hands and tree branches defiled with blood and brain material, everything so raw and detestable like you never see it in reality, but only in the enlarging mirror which an insulted, wondrous sensibility owns.
The conscious virtue, the virtue spoken of, doesn’t start till the development of the intellect. Before this everything is animalistic coincidence.
The truly declassed and outcast among people are those who have committed a mean action.
A true art critic would be a person who was able to understand the inner laws of the different art forms and art characters.
The highest we can see lies beyond evil and good, ugly and beautiful, there the highest the human spirit has created becomes small, narrow and way too human, there the things speak, future art is comical.
Nietzsche’s strength shouldn’t be sought in the strength of his voice but in the greatness streaming from his greatest experience – the eternal return.
Should every great person not, besides everything else, also have his own great fear as a certain focal point in life?
The critic is usually a person who talks for so long about a book that nobody any longer knows what it’s worth. If the criticism is to achieve its goal, the critic should decidedly, without leaving any room for doubt, say honestly what a book is. Books need trademarks, same as all other goods.
The one who has power over hearts should treat them as something holy.
The feeling of guilt is always a sure sign of a weak character, the factual guilt remains a question mark.
Most people perish because they search for something shiny and neglect the necessary. We all resemble magpies and pickerels, we grasp for what’s shiny – each in our own way.
Where the spirit is suppressed the flesh groans.
It is necessary learning to pack one’s intellectual baggage to see how elegant, well ordered and light one’s baggage is.
The greatest merit of the woman is that she has so far not provided for herself much intellectually.
Danger and uncertainty are the right elements of carefreeness, whereas civilized life is heavy to carry.
There comes a time when one tells oneself: my thoughts no longer belong to me alone, and then one devotes one’s entire life to others.
There are people to whom everything comes, and others who have the privilege of approaching everything themselves.
The three greatest gifts of life: poverty, loneliness, suffering, only the sage values according to their actual great value.
Poems about the cosmos could be but a whisper.
Does something more marvelous exist than the cheeky, divine fairytale-like force of Napoleon?
A real man needs no name, he comes, sees and wins.
What we need right now is the naughtiest person who ever answered the name of Napoleon.
The one who isn’t a man of actions says that the masses smell bad, but Napoleon has no nose and the waves carry him.
Every time a narrow feeling envelops you, you must transform it into a vast one.
Where beauty is missing, all graces take each other by the hands and flee. Then justice takes the place of love, and duty the place of royal inclinations.
It is not necessary to pray, you just look up at the stars and get the feeling of falling to the ground in wordless worship.
The great innate outer elegance, which is as rare as great physical beauty, is accompanied by an inner gentility, a delicacy in every action and movement! These people feel themselves as rulers and are also recognized as such by others.
A humanity as pure as flowers is the ideal of the future.
One doesn’t ask whether God exists or not, one simply puts one’s small intelligence aside.
The prejudice against God is the one that is the most difficult to overcome.
The houses we live in are ancient huts in comparison with the idea of a human dwelling which we carry within ourselves.
— translated by K-M Skalkenæs, December 2012