What Nietzsche Taught

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Man is a bridge and not a goal. 241

Be not considerate of thy neighbour! Man is something that must be surpassed. 243

He who cannot command himself shall obey. And many a one can command himself, but still sorely lacketh self-obedience! 243

He who is of the populace wisheth to live gratuitously; we others, however, to whom life hath given itself—we are ever considering what we can best give in return! 243

One should not wish to enjoy where one doth not[Pg 164] contribute to the enjoyment. And one should not wish to enjoy! 243

"Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not slay!"—such precepts were once called holy; before them did one bow the knee and the head, and took off one's shoes.

But I ask you: Where have there ever been better robbers and slayers in the world than such holy precepts?

Is there not even in all life—robbing and slaying? And for such precepts to be called holy, was not truth itself thereby—slain? 246

Let it not be your honour henceforth whence ye come, but whither ye go! Your Will and your feet which seek to surpass you—let these be your new honour! 248

The best shall rule, the best also willeth to rule! And where the teaching is different, there—the best is lacking. 257

Thus would I have man and woman: fit for war, the one, fit for maternity, the other; both, however, fit for dancing with head and legs.

And lost be the day to us in which a measure hath not been danced. And false be every truth which hath not had laughter along with it! 257

The stupidity of the good is unfathomably wise.

The good must crucify him who deviseth his own virtue! That is the truth!

The second one, however, who discovered their country—the country, heart and soil of the good and just,—it was he who asked: "Whom do they hate most?"

The creator, hate they most, him who breaketh the tables and old values, the breaker,—him they call the law-breaker.

For the good—they cannot create; they are always the beginning of the end:—

[Pg 165]

They crucify him who writeth new values on new tables, they sacrifice unto themselves the future—they crucify the whole human future! 260

This new table, O my brethren, put I up over you: Become hard! 262

Everything goeth, everything returneth; eternally rolleth the wheel of existence. Everything dieth, everything blossometh forth again; eternally runneth on the year of existence.

Everything breaketh, everything is integrated anew; eternally buildeth itself the same house of existence. All things separate, all things again greet one another; eternally true to itself remaineth the ring of existence.

Every moment beginneth existence, around every "Here" rolleth the ball "There." The middle is everywhere. 266

For man his baddest is necessary for his best.

That all that is baddest is the best power, and the hardest stone for the highest creator; and that man must become better and badder:—267

The plexus of causes returneth in which I am intertwined,—it will again create me! I myself pertain to the causes of the eternal return.

I come again with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent—not to a new life, or a better life, or a similar life:

I come again eternally to this identical and selfsame life, in its greatest and its smallest, to teach again the eternal return of all things,—

To speak again the word of the great noontide of earth and man, to announce again to man the Superman. 270-271

"Ye higher men,"—so blinketh the populace—"there[Pg 166] are no higher men, we are all equal; man is man, before God—we are all equal!"

Before God!—Now, however, this God hath died. Before the populace, however, we will not be equal. Ye higher men, away from the market-place! 351

Have a good distrust to-day, ye higher men, ye enheartened ones! Ye open-hearted ones! And keep your reasons secret! For this to-day is that of the populace.

What the populace once learned to believe without reasons, who could—refute it to them by means of reasons?

And on the market-place one convinceth with gestures. But reasons make the populace distrustful.

And when truth hath once triumphed there, then ask yourselves with good distrust: "What strong error hath fought for it?" 355

Unlearn, I pray you, this "for," ye creating ones: your very virtue wisheth you to have naught to do with "for" and "on account of" and "because." Against these false little words shall ye stop your ears.

"For one's neighbour," is the virtue only of the petty people: there it is said "like and like" and "hand washeth hand":—they have neither the right nor the power for your self-seeking! 356-357

What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not the word of him who said: "Woe unto them that laugh now!"

Did he himself find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought badly. A child even findeth cause for it. 359-360

[Pg 167]


"The Eternal Recurrence"

He following excerpts from Nietzsche's notes relating to eternal recurrence are set down here merely as supplementary passages to "Thus Spake Zarathustra," in which book this doctrine of the eternally recurring irrationality of all things first made its appearance. Nietzsche's notations on this subject were undoubtedly written in the latter part of 1881, when the idea of Zarathustra first came to him. They were not published, however, until years later, and now form a section of Volume XVI of Nietzsche's complete works in English, along with "The Twilight of the Idols," "The Antichrist" and some explanatory notes on "Thus Spake Zarathustra." This is the only material in Nietzsche's writings which I have not put in chronological order, and my reason for placing these extracts here, and not between "The Dawn of Day" and "The Joyful Wisdom," is due to the fact that after conceiving this doctrine and making notes pertaining to it, Nietzsche put the idea aside and wrote "The Joyful Wisdom" in which this doctrine was not embodied. Not until "Thus Spake Zarathustra" appeared did he make use of this principle of recurrence, and inasmuch as this was the first published statement of it, I have placed that book first and have followed it with these explanatory notes.

Another section of Nietzsche's works also deals with eternal recurrence, namely: the last part of the second volume of "The Will to Power." But here too we find[Pg 168] but fragmentary jottings which contain no material not found in the present quotations. It is true that Nietzsche intended to elaborate these notes, but even had he done so I doubt if this doctrine would have assumed a different aspect from the one it at present possesses, or would have become more closely allied with the main structure of his thought; for, even though it is not fully elucidated in its present form, it at least is complete in its conclusions.

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