Selected Aphorisms of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
From Beyond Good & Evil, 1886
66 The inclination to lower himself, to let himself be stolen from, lied to and exploited, could be the modesty of a God who walks among men.
67 Love for any one thing is barbaric, for it is exercised at the expense of everything else. This includes the love for God.
68 'I did this,' says my memory. 'I cannot have done this,' says my pride, remaining inexorable. Eventually, my memory yields.
69 One has not watched life very observantly if one has never seen the hand that---kills tenderly.
70 If one has character, one has also one's typical experience that recurs again and again.
71 The wise man as astronomer: as long as you feel the stars to be 'above' you, you do not gaze as one who has insight.
74 A man of genius is unbearable if he does not have at least two other things: gratitude and cleanliness.
76 When there is peace, the warlike man attacks himself.
77 One uses one's principles to tyrannize or justify or honor or affront or conceal one's habits. Two men with similar principles may easily want totally different things with them.
78 Who despises himself still esteems the despiser within.
79 A soul who knows it is loved but does not love back reveals its sediment: it is turned bottom side up.
82 'Compassion for all' would amount to rigor and tyranny for you, my dear neighbor!
85 The same passions in man and woman nonetheless differ in tempo; hence man and woman do not cease misunderstanding one another.
87 Heart in Bondage, Spirit Free! When one places one's heart in firm bonds and keeps it locked up, one can afford to give one's spirit many liberties. I already said this once, but people do not believe me---unless they know it already.
92 Who has not, at some time or other, sacrificed himself in order to save his reputation?
93 There is no misanthropy in affability, but all the more contempt.
102 When love is returned, it should really disenchant the lover with the beloved creature. "What? She is so modest in her demands as to love even you? Or so dumb? Or, or..."
104 Not their love, but the impotence of their love keeps today's Christians from burning us at the stake.
109 Frequently the criminal is not the equal of his crime. He belittles it and slanders it.
112 Whoever feels predestined for contemplation instead of faith finds all the faithful too noisy and obtrusive. He defends himself against them.
125 When we must change our mind about someone, we charge the inconvenience he causes us heavily to his account.
130 What someone is begins to be revealed when his talent abates: when he stops showing what he can do.
132 One is best punished for one's virtues.
137 When dealing with intellectuals and artists, one readily makes the opposite mistakes: beneath a remarkable intellectual, there is often a mediocre man, but beneath a mediocre artist there is often a remarkable man.
141 A man's stomach is the reason he does not easily take himself for a God.
146 Whoever battles with monsters had better see that it does not turn him into a monster. If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back at you.
148 To seduce their neighbor into thinking well of them, and then to believe implicitly in this opinion of their neighbor: who has greater skill in this than a woman?
153 What is done out of love always happens beyond good and evil.
154 Objections, non-sequiturs, cheerful distrust, joyous mockery---all are signs of health. Everything absolute belongs in the realms of pathology.
156 Insanity is the exception in individuals. In groups, parties, peoples and times, it is the rule.
157 The thought of suicide is a strong consolation; one can get through many a bad night with it.
160 One no longer loves one's insight enough when one communicates it.
168 Christianity gave Eros the poison to drink. He did not die of it but he degenerated into vice.
173 One does not hate as long as one has a low esteem of someone, but only when one esteems him as an equal or a superior.
175 Ultimately, one loves one's desire, not the desired object.
179 The consequences of our actions grab us by the back of the neck, blithely disregarding the fact that we have, meanwhile, "reformed".
180 There is a kind of innocence in a lie which is the sign of good faith in a cause.
181 It is inhuman to bless where one is being cursed.
182 The familiarity of one's superior makes one bitter because it cannot be reciprocated.
184 There is an impetuosity of goodness that looks like malice.