Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)
German philosopher, poet and critic

"Man is more ape than many of the apes."

"The last Christian died on the cross."

"Faith: not wanting to know what is true."

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

"Wit is the epitaph of an emotion."

"Discontent is the seed of ethics."

"Talking about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself."

"To make the individual uncomfortable, that is my task."

"Morality is the herd-instinct in the individual."

"In heaven all the interesting people are missing."

"Only sick music makes money today."

"If you go to see the woman, do not forget the whip."

"Art is the proper task of life."

"Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?"

"He who has a why can endure any how."

"Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent."

"One should never know too precisely whom one has married."

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of man."

"I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time."

"Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?"

"Woman was God's second mistake."

"The better the state is established, the fainter is humanity."

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything."

"He who despises himself esteems himself as a self-despiser."

"There is not enough religion in the world to destroy the world's religions."

"How good bad music and bad reasons sound when we march against an enemy."

"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."

"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."

"I teach you the superman. Man is something to be surpassed."

"The more abstract the truth you wish to teach, the more you must allure the senses to it."

"The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad."

"In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point."

"Character is determined more by the lack of certain experiences than by those one has had."

"If a woman seeks education it is probably because her sexual apparatus is malfunctioning."

"A person's maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play."

"Life always gets harder toward the summit -- the cold increases, the responsibility increases."

"Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine."

"Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!"

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

"Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter."

"Man is the cruelest animal. At tragedies, bullfights, and crucifixions he has so far felt best on earth; and when he invented hell for himself, behold, that was his very heaven."

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

"The thought of suicide is a great source of comfort; with it a calm passage is to be made across many a bad night."

"The world itself is the will to power - and nothing else! And you yourself are the will to power - and nothing else!"

"Courageous, untroubled, mocking and violent - that is what Wisdom wants us to be. Wisdom is a woman, and loves only a warrior."

"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire."

"The thousand mysteries around us would not trouble but interest us, if only we had cheerful, healthy hearts."

"For others do I wait...for higher ones, stronger ones, more triumphant ones, merrier ones, for such as are built squarely in body and soul: laughing lions must come."

"Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."

"The overman...Who has organized the chaos of his passions, given style to his character, and become creative. Aware of life's terrors, he affirms life without resentment."

"The masses seem to me worthy of notice in only three respects: first as blurred copies of great men, produced on bad paper with worn plates, further as a resistance to the great, and finally as the tools of the great; beyond that, may the devil and statistics take them."

"The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. WE HAVE KILLED HIM - you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, foreward, in all direction? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light candles in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him."

"What if a demon crept after you one day or night in your loneliest solitude and said to you: 'This life, as you live it now and have lived it, you will have to live again and again, times without number; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and all the unspeakably small and great in your life must return to you, and everything in the same series and sequence... The eternal hour-glass of existence will be turned again and again--and you with it, you dust of dust!'--Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who thus spoke? Or have you experienced a tremendous moment in which you answered him: 'You are a god and never did I hear anything more divine!' If this thought gained power over you it would, as you are now, transform and perhaps crush you; the question in all and everything: 'do you want this again and again, times without number?' would lie as the heaviest burden upon your actions."

"I live in my own place have never copied nobody even half, and at any master who lacks the grace to laugh at himself -- I laugh." (Inscribed over the door to Friedrich Nietzsche's house)

"Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal." - Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

Copyright: Kevin Harris 1995 (may be freely distributed with this acknowledgement)