Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, a long time with his reputation soiled by a supposed connection to Nazism, was in reality one of the most important Western thinkers of the second millennium. Hitler appropriated Nietzsche posthumously, but Nietzsche himself would have shuddered at Hitler's nationalism, collectivism and glorification of The Reich. He hated the State and all its manifestations. Indeed, he hated all institutions; also including Christianity and “the Church”.
“I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.”
“Is man one of God's blunders? Or is God one of man's blunders?”
One of Nietzsche's greatnesses is reflected in his perception of man, in his ability to see trough false idealism and see the human nature as it really is.
“The world itself is the will to power - and nothing else! And you yourself are the will to power - and nothing else!”
“All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”
“Amor Fati – “Love Your Fate”, which is in fact your life.”
“Great intellects are skeptical.”
This I previously quoted when writing about antiterrorist measures. I think the so-called “War on Terror” is a good example of that Nietzsche was right.
“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby becomes a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”
He felt contempt for collectivism in all forms.
“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
Creativity as a process:
“Out of damp and gloomy days, out of solitude, out of loveless words directed at us, conclusions grow up in us like fungus: one morning they are there, we know not how, and they gaze upon us, morose and grey. Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in him.”
Obviously, Nietzsche had high thoughts about the benefits of walking.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.“
Nietzsche about love. Madness or reason?
“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”
“This is what is hardest: to close the open hand because one loves.”
“'I have done that', says my memory. 'I cannot have done that' -- says my pride, and remains adamant. At last - memory yields.”
Small things can have huge consequences, a coincidental factor can change one's life.
“A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.”
Lies have consequences:
“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”
Two examples of the importance of contrast.
“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”
“He who cannot lie does not know what the truth is.”
Nietzsche was not only one of the greatest philosophers, he was also one of the greatest authors. His mastery of German is second to none and his brilliant literary ability makes it a pleasure to quote him. Whatever he says, it is hard to find a better way to say it.
“That which needs to be proved cannot be worth much.”
“He who has a why can endure any how”
“One ought to hold on to one's heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.”
As the title says, this article is just a compilation of some Nietzsche quotes, with comments, to trigger an interest in this important thinker; it is not a presentation of Nietzsche's philosophy, which is far more extensive than this little compilation indicates. I have not even mentioned important concepts such as “Übermensch”, “Slave revolt in morals” or “Apollonian and Dionysian“.
For interested readers, I suggest you read Nietzsche's own works. Some of the most important are:
Die Geburt der Tragödie [The Birth of Tragedy], 1872.
Also sprach Zarathustra [Thus Spoke Zarathustra], 1883-1885.
Jenseits von Gut und Böse [Beyond Good and Evil], 1886.
Zur Genealogie der Moral [On the Genealogy of Morality], 1887.
Ecce Homo, 1888.
Nietzsche is hard to translate well. There is such a precision in his German, that translations can be misleading. No doubt, the best ones to English are those by Walter Kaufmann.
Antiterrorism: Fight a Monster and Become a Worse Monster
The Importance of Contrast
Benefits of Walking - Beyond Those of Walking as a Physical Exercise
Deceptive Symptoms - A True Story
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