Just because it's old doesn't mean you have to read it. March Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think. Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair. The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven. That can make life a garden. I want the understanding which bringeth peace. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against.
Try to be happy, because you may not see tomorrow. There is someone this morning, who didn't wake up, who will never see this day. Try to feel lucky that this is not you. Washington Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding. He whose inclination prompts him to cultivate your friendship of his own accord, will love you more than one whom you have been at pains to attach to you.
When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest form of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying to others and to yourself. For it is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he has a conceit that he already knows.
You may quote me. Lewis There is no sincerer love than the love of food. Great speech is impassioned, small speech cantankerous.
The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. No matter how friendly and even-tempered the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt. Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don't know when it's through if you are a crook or a martyr. Skinner The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Chesterton Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.
We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Take it and copy it. Hanlon May The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.
For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her. Travers The integral vision embodies an attempt to take the best of both worlds, ancient and modern.
But that demands a critical stance willing to reject unflinchingly the worst of both as well. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. Mencken Love me for love's sake, that evermore thou may'st love on, through love's eternity. I cleave to no system.
I am a true seeker. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. Well, new to me. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Gurdjieff The difference between a hooker and a ho ain't nothin' but a fee. That little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative. Clement Stone We all have ability. The difference is how we use it. Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe. Toynbee Seek always to do some good, somewhere.
Every man has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth. You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it's a little thing, do something for those who need help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so. Ingersoll Love loves to love love. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.
Chesterton I'm not a prettier everywoman. I am an everywoman that they clean up awfully well for TV. Even philosophers wish for them. Those who write against it want to have the glory of having written well; and those who read it desire the glory of having read it. I who write this have perhaps this desire, and perhaps those who will read it Now we have some hope of making progress. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.
They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is, remarkably, their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again? Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read.
I could'a had class. I could'a been a contender. When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Or else as if the world were wholly fair, but that these eyes of men are dense and dim, and have not power to see it as it is: perchance, because we see not to the close I know it sounds nonsense, but, I mean, you can't just say there is no such thing. The Might is there, in the bad half of people, and you can't neglect it.
You can't cut it out but you might be able to direct it, if you see what I mean, so that it was useful instead of bad. White in The Once and Future King You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you! Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women — not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.
Kennedy Moderate strength is shown in violence, supreme strength is shown in levity. Chesterton Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone. For this brave old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own. He is satisfied with that, for he sees that he was not mistaken and that he only failed to see all sides.
To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom. Spurgeon It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern. It is part and parcel of our knowledge and obscures our insight only when it holds that the understanding given by it is the only kind there is.
I don't know when — but just saying it could even make it happen. It is also commonly translated as " Called or uncalled, God is present. All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts For too long we have gotten by in a society that says the only thing right is to get by and the only thing wrong is to get caught. Character is doing what's right when nobody is looking Watts A man should be upright, not kept upright.
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent.
Mencken No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.
Beautiful people do not just happen. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair. September There is no sudden entrance into Heaven. Slow is the ascent by the path of Love. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be.
I know it's crazy. Salinger in The Catcher in the Rye The silence often of pure innocence persuades when speaking fails. I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved. I am not sure that you are of the same mind. But the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave. This is the world of light and speech, and I shall take leave to tell you that you are very dear. The beggar, on the other hand, falls to his knees at the drop of a hat and scrapes the floor to anyone he deems to be higher; but at the same time, he demands that someone lower than him scrape the floor for him.
There is all the difference in the world. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape.
His house is dangerous and finite, but he is at home in the world. He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love. Wells At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols. A hard cold wisdom is required, too, for goodness to accomplish good.
Goodness without wisdom invariably accomplishes evil. It seems to be derived from this statement attributed to a specific author: Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. It may be important to great thinkers to examine the world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect.
A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects. To that end each of us must work for his own improvement, and at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.
I just have something inside me that tells me that there is a problem, and I have got to do something about it. I think that is what I would call the God in me. All of us have a God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet.
Or do not. There is no try. They're quite aware of what they're going through If that is granted, all else follows. You've just got to keep the faith. The game is not over until the last out. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
I'm against the misuse of God. Huxley We're just being ourselves and having fun playing baseball. The biggest thing is when people look at our team, they can see that we're having a lot of fun. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination. November The progress of the intellect is to the clearer vision of causes, which neglects surface differences.
To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician. Bush The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made. It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God.
So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind. Silence is deep as Eternity; speech is shallow as Time. Anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously.
And anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should say what is good or keep quiet. There must merely be the silent observation of a fact. Krishnamurti Every now and then a clear harmonic cry gave new suggestions of a tune that would someday be the only tune in the world and would raise men's souls to joy.
The first is imperative and the second is disastrous. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude. My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to cooperate with the good, that it may prevail. For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure and are awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
Each single angel is terrifying. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference after another. How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness! One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Chesterton From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring, Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king. The Tree that was withered shall be renewed, and he shall plant it in the high places, and the City shall be blessed. Sing all ye people! In the winter season, for seven days of calm, Alcyone broods over her nest on the surface of the waters while the sea-waves are quiet.
When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed. Dance, then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he, And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be, And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he. Don't you know that?
Don't you know that goddam secret yet? And don't you know — listen to me, now — don't you know who that Fat Lady really is? Ah, buddy. It's Christ Himself. Christ Himself, buddy. Salinger Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight — always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?
Barrie Wikiqoute Quote of the day for the th anniversary of the first public performance of Peter Pan. Physics isn't the most important thing. Love is. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. I must not fail to do the something that I can do.
The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. Kennedy The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.
It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago. If we win here we will win everywhere. The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it. The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern. The law of liberty tends to abolish the reign of race over race, of faith over faith, of class over class. The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged.
It is history that teaches us to hope. Lee The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. Bush An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another. You are brothers. Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the world. The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others, the happier he is. The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is. The Tao nourishes by not forcing. By not dominating, the Master leads. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. More specifically, everybody — including me — has some important pieces of the truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace.
Wells Our ideals, laws and customs should be based on the proposition that each generation, in turn, becomes the custodian rather than the absolute owner of our resources and each generation has the obligation to pass this inheritance on to the future. In that purer light, people will come to see themselves in each other, which is to say they will make themselves known to one another by their similarities rather than by their differences.
Man's knowledge of things will begin to be matched by man's knowledge of self. The significance of a smaller world will be measured not in terms of military advantage, but in terms of advantage for the human community. It will be the triumph of the heartbeat over the drumbeat. There is only an up or down — up to a man's age-old dream; the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order — or down to the ant heap totalitarianism, and regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. For she enfolds and imparts herself even unto the smallest beings. Without her presence nothing would have being, because she is the essence of the existence of the first unto the last being. I am aware that a philosopher's ideas are not subject to the judgement of ordinary persons, because it is his endeavor to seek the truth in all things, to the extent permitted to human reason by God. Yet I hold that completely erroneous views should be shunned.
To me there is nothing in it, beyond the lustre which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity. Thompson We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on. Little darling, It seems like years since it's been clear. Here comes the sun Here comes the sun, And I say It's alright. Our aim must be to diminish the number of the latter and increase the number of the former.
That is why we demand education and knowledge. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally-flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man, has no dedication nor any membership in literature. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining. Seuss Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods.
Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before. When I orbited the Earth in a spaceship, I saw for the first time how beautiful our planet is. Mankind, let us preserve and increase this beauty, and not destroy it! I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down. But the striving frees us from the bonds of the self and makes us comrades of those who are the best and the greatest.
But I might instead try to help deal with the world's larger problems. Standing up to an evil system is exhilarating, and now I have a taste for it. To be sane is, to a great extent, to be sociable. They should also govern it. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you.
When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered.
Artists must never betray their true hearts. Artists must look beneath the surface and show that there is more to this world than what meets the eye. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece. When we come to it We must confess that we are the possible We are the miraculous, the true wonders of this world That is when, and only when We come to it.
I sit in my hotel at night and think of something that's funny and then I go get a pen and write 'em down. Or, if the pen's too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of ain't funny. At the center humankind struggles with collective powers for its freedom, the individual struggles with dehumanization for the possession of his soul.
It is important to remember, as has well been said, 'the essential characteristic of true liberty is that under its shelter many different types of life and character and opinion and belief can develop unmolested and unobstructed'. I do not add "within the limits of the law" because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. These are miracles And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.
It is like a great dynamic sun in the center of a solar system which sends out its rays and inspiration in every direction Music makes us feel that the heavens open and a divine voice calls. Something in our souls responds and understands. The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers.
No one can eliminate prejudices — just recognize them. Murrow If people did not sometimes do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done. When I have clarified and exhausted a subject, then I turn away from it, in order to go into darkness again. Barrie The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape.
So a man who is trying to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind. Krishnamurti Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better. So I believe that dreams — day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing — are likely to lead to the betterment of the world.
The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. Frank Baum You say that you are my judge. I don't know if you are — but take care not to judge wrongly, lest you place yourself in great danger. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.
Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. You don't need anything else. The highest morality may prove also to be the highest wisdom when the half-told story comes to be finished. But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.
Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn. White The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual.
Mark Felt A time is marked not so much by ideas that are argued about as by ideas that are taken for granted. The character of an era hangs upon what needs no defense. Power runs with ideas that only the crazy would draw into doubt. The "taken for granted" is the test of sanity In these times, the hardest task for social or political activists is to find a way to get people to wonder again about what we all believe is true.
The challenge is to sow doubt. There is a preference for candy bars. Mac OS X has been leading a secret double life — for the past five years. They may not pay what you want, and they may not have as many days' work as you want, they may not have the billing that you want, they may not have a lot of things, but — the content of the role itself — I find there are many roles. It tells us that for every human being there is a diversity of existences, that the single existence is itself an illusion in part, that these many existences signify something, tend to something, fulfill something; it promises us meaning, harmony and even justice.
I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that's why I'm grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop and to express all that's inside me! It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality We must strive every day so that this love of living humanity will be transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples, as a moving force.
He created all tribes of men and certainly had a righteous purpose in creating each. To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher. It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach — waiting for a gift from the sea. Religion is a boundary condition.
A statesman enamored of existing evils, as opposed to a Liberal, who wants to replace them with new ones. They are Ignorance, Superstition, and Bigotry — the most sinister and tyrannical rulers on earth. Now that we're inside we can make a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The Foreign Office is terribly pleased, it's just like old times. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.
It is there, though; not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come. For events as well as for men, the stock company is not enough; geniuses are needed among men, and revolutions among events. Great accidents are the law; the order of things cannot get along without them; and, to see the apparitions of comets, one would be tempted to believe that Heaven itself is in need of star actors. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love. If a person had time enough, he could love all of that majority who are decent and just.
Heinlein Anyone entrusted with power will abuse it if not also animated with the love of truth and virtue, no matter whether he be a prince, or one of the people. Right through the ages there were Jews. Through the ages they suffered, but it also made us strong. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse. But I know you fear that you may fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society and I can show you why you will fail.
In the brief time that P2P nets have flourished, the ad-hoc masses of the Internet have managed to put just about everything online. We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for awhile, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
He can be completely realistic in every sense but one, that one sense being that in life as we know it such a man would not be a private detective. The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purpose through him. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you.
Therefore, if you can't get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer. I'd take him out for a meal and apologise for everything I've put him through. Rowling August From without, no wonderful effect is wrought within ourselves, unless some interior, responding wonder meets it.
That the starry vault shall surcharge the heart with all rapturous marvelings, is only because we ourselves are greater miracles, and superber trophies than all the stars in universal space. It's not about who's right or wrong. No denomination's nailed it yet, and they never will because they're all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn't matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith. Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains need to wake up. I have issues with anyone who treats faith as a burden instead of a blessing.
You people don't celebrate your faith; you mourn it. It is only of life on Earth, however, that one can speak with any certainty. It seems to me that all life on Earth, the sum total of life upon the Earth, has purpose. Simak My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains: round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away. Learn as if you were to live forever. Eisenhower Intelligence is like four-wheel drive. It only allows you to get stuck in more remote places.
Ingersoll Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes. Chesterton To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never laughs. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.
Lawrence Be sure that you are right, and then go ahead. If you continue to hate, you are entering into the same philosophy that began the war. You have to look forward at people and new times. I do not mean a country where six men may make five men do exactly as they like. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass.
A touch here, a push there, and you bring back the reign of Saturn. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved. I have a dream today I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it — but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success.
Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. What role does silence have in all this noise? Its role is no more to exclusively uphold the claims of the individual than it is to exclusively uphold the claims of the government: It must hold the constitutional balance true between these claims.
They know it's going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt. Pirsig I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it. McKay Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. More fruitful perspectives often require that we step off the line to a site outside the dichotomy. But September 11 also posed a momentous and deliberate challenge not just to America but to the world at large.
The target of the terrorists was not only New York and Washington but the very values of freedom, tolerance and decency which underpin our way of life. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it has been cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one. Mencken Miss Manners does not mind explaining the finer points of gracious living, but she feels that anyone without the sense to pick up a potato chip and stuff it in their face should probably not be running around loose on the streets.
Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age.
And no good thing ever dies. My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. You can't start a fire — you can't start a fire without a spark. This gun's for hire — even if we're just dancing in the dark. Scott Fitzgerald Between grief and nothing I will take grief. Could you see the guy who was driving? Could you climb higher and higher? Could you climb right over the top? If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good.
We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge.
This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone3 fil. I have yet to hear anyone say something that seemed likely to mitigate the idiocy of this age. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would know the mind of God.
Death closes all; but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with gods. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. True religion must teach that life is filled with joys pleasing to the eye of God, that knowledge without action is empty.
All men must see that the teaching of religion by rules and rote is largely a hoax. The proper teaching is recognized with ease. You can know it without fail because it awakens within you that sensation which tells you this is something you've always known. Our primary allegiance is to the human race and not to one particular color or border. And the story of a love is not important — what is important is that one is capable of love. It is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity.
You wait for the dust to settle, and then you choose. You can live in the wreckage and pretend it's still the mansion you remember. Or you can crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild. Whom do they hate most? Him who breaketh up their tables of values, the breaker, the law-breaker — he, however, is the creator. Companions, the creator seeketh, not corpses — and not herds or believers either. Fellow-creators the creator seeketh — those who grave new values on new tables.
Always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El — they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. I mean, even all the best rebels to me had some sense of hope in them. And drugs are not central to my life. There are deep wells of strength that are never used. Byrd I know that it will hurt, I know that it will break your heart, the way things are, and the way they've been. Don't spread the discontent, don't spread the lies, don't make the same mistakes with your own life. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.
The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. I have shown it for years; think you I shall lose it at the moment when my sufferings are to end? Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue, And the dreams that you dare to dream Really do come true. No sir, you can look through everything I ever did write or say, and you never did hear me tell a joke about any mother-in-law — or any creed, color or religion, either.
Kennedy If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. What have you got? A hundred years or much, much less until the end of your world. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains that victory. Patton Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration.
The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements. That may be beyond us, but so long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.
The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye. Schulz Put every great teacher together in a room, and they'd agree about everything; put their disciples in there and they'd argue about everything.
It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. Lewis Hello. You killed my father. Prepare to die. I think that the worst thing you could say is that he is, basically, an under-achiever.
I do believe that if there is something like a political life-to-be — to remain for us, in this world of technology — then it begins with friendship. To beautify it is to take away its character of complexity — it is to destroy it. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse. It is a burst of Heaven-shaking thunder; It is a linnet's fluting after rain. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory.
The best and the worst In other words, I had a life. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought, that smears are not only to be expected but fought, that honor is to be earned but not bought.
Religious creationists and scientific materialists are equally dogmatic and insensitive. By their arrogance they bring both science and religion into disrepute. Let us see if it is possible to refuse to believe in them. If we can deprive them of their value, the proof that they cannot be applied to the world, is no longer a sufficient reason for depriving that world of its value. Result: The belief in the categories of reason is the cause of nihilism we have measured the worth of the world according to categories which can only be applied to a purely fictitious world.
Conclusion: All values with which we have tried, hitherto, to lend the world some worth, from our point of view, and with which we have therefore deprived it of all worth once these values have been shown to be inapplicable all these values, are, psychologically, the results of certain views of utility, established for the purpose of maintaining and increasing the dominion of certain communities: but falsely projected into the nature of things.
Nihilism represents an intermediary pathological condition the vast generalization, the conclusion that there is no purpose in anything, is pathological : whether it be that the productive forces are not yet strong enough or that decadence still hesitates and has not yet discovered its expedients. The conditions of this hypothesis: That there is no truth; that there is no absolute state of affairs no " thing-in-itself. It finds that the value of things consists precisely in the fact that these values are not real and never have been real, but that they are only a symptom of strength on the part of the valuer, a simplification serving the purposes of existence.
Values and their modification are related to the growth of power of the valuer. The measure of disbelief and of the " freedom of spirit " which is tolerated, viewed as an expression of the growth of power. What is belief? How is a belief born? All belief assumes that something is true. The extremest form of nihilism would mean that all belief all assumption of truth is false: because no real world is at hand. It were therefore: only an appearance seen in perspective, whose origin must be found in us seeing that we are constantly in need of a narrower, a shortened, and simplified world.
This should be realized, that the extent to which we can, in our heart of hearts, acknowledge appearance, and the necessity of falsehood, with out going to rack and ruin, is the measure of strength. In this respect, Nihilism, in that it is the negation of a real world and of being, might be a divine view of the world. If we are disillusioned, we have not become so in regard to life, but owing to the fact that our eyes have been opened to all kinds of "desiderata. To what extent does Schopenhauerian nihilism continue to be the result of the same ideal as that which gave rise to Christian theism?
The amount of certainty concerning the most exalted desiderata, the highest values and the greatest degree of perfection, was so great, that the philosophers started out from it as if it had been an a priori and absolute fact: "God " at the head, as the given quantity truth. An observation for donkeys. The granting of a personal-reality to this accretion of ideals has been unlearned: people have become atheistic.
But has the ideal actually been abandoned? The latest metaphysicians, as a matter of fact, still seek their true "reality" in it the "thing-in-itself" beside which everything else is merely appearance. Their dogma is, that because our world of appearance is so obviously not the expression of that ideal, it therefore cannot be " true " and at bottom does not even lead back to that metaphysical world as cause.
The unconditioned, in so far as it stands for that highest degree of perfection, cannot possibly be the reason of all the conditioned. Schopenhauer, who desired it otherwise, was obliged to imagine this metaphysical basis as the antithesis to the ideal, as " an evil, blind will ": thus it could be " that which appears," that which manifests itself in the world of appearance. But even so, he did not give up that ideal absolute he circum vented it. Kant seems to have needed the hypothesis of " intelligible freedom," in order to relieve the ens perfectum of the responsibility of having contrived this world as it is, in short, in order to explain evil: scandalous logic for a philosopher!
A general sign of modern times: in his own estimation, man has lost an infinite amount of dignity. For a long time he was the centre and tragic hero of life in general; then he endeavored to demonstrate at least his relationship to the most essential and in itself most valuable side of life as all metaphysicians do, who wish to hold fast to the dignity of man, in their belief that moral values are cardinal values.
He who has let God go, clings all the more strongly to the belief in morality. Every purely moral valuation as, for instance, the Buddhistic terminates in nihilism: Europe must expect the same thing! It is supposed that one can get along with a morality bereft of a religious background; but in this direction the road to nihilism is opened. There is nothing in religion which compels us to regard ourselves as valuing creatures.
The question which nihilism puts, namely, "to what purpose? Once the belief in this has been unlearned, the force of an old habit leads to the search after another authority, which would know how to speak unconditionally, and could point to goals and missions. The authority of the conscience now takes the first place the more morality is emancipated from theology, the more imperative does it become as a compensation for the personal authority.
Or the authority of reason. Or the gregarious instinct the herd. Or history with its immanent spirit, which has its goal in itself, and to which one can abandon oneself. One would like to evade the will, as also the willing of a goal and the risk of setting oneself a goal. One would like to get rid of the responsibility Fatalism would be accepted. Finally: Happiness, and with a dash of humbug, the happiness of the greatest number.
It is said: 1 A definite goal is quite unnecessary. Precisely now, when will in its fullest strength were necessary, it is in the weakest and most pusillanimous condition. Absolute mistrust concerning the organizing power of the will. The perfect nihilist. The nihilist s eye idealizes in an ugly sense, and is inconstant to what it remembers: it allows its recollections to go astray and to fade, it does not protect them from that cadaverous coloration with which weakness dyes all that is distant and past.
And what it does not do for itself it fails to do for the whole of mankind as well that is to say, it allows it to drop. It may be two things: A. Nihilism as a sign of enhanced spiritual strength: active nihilism. Nihilism as a sign of the collapse and decline of spiritual strength: passive nihilism. Nihilism, a normal condition. It may be a sign of strength; spiritual vigor may have increased to such an extent that the goals toward which man has marched hitherto the "convictions," articles of faith are no longer suited to it for a faith generally expresses the exigencies of the conditions of existence, a submission to the authority of an order of things which conduces to the prosperity, the growth and power of a living creature.
It reaches its maximum of relative strength, as a powerful destructive force, in the form of active nihilism. Its opposite would be weary nihilism, which no longer attacks: its most renowned form being Buddhism: as passive nihilism, a sign of weakness: spiritual strength may be fatigued, exhausted, so that the goals and values which have prevailed hitherto are no longer suited to it and are no longer believed in so that the synthesis of values and goals upon which every strong culture stands decomposes, and the different values contend with one another: Disintegration, then everything which is relieving, which heals, becalms, or stupefies, steps into the foreground under the cover of various disguises, either religious, moral, political or aesthetic, etc.
Nihilism is not only a meditating over the " in vain! This, if you will, is illogical; but the nihilist does not believe in the necessity of being logical. It is the condition of strong minds and wills; and to these it is impossible to be satisfied with the negation of judgment: the negation by deeds proceeds from their nature. Annihilation by the reasoning faculty seconds annihilation by the hand. Concerning the genesis of the nihilist.
The courage of all one really knows comes but late in life. It is only quite recently that I have acknowledged to myself that heretofore I have been a nihilist from top to toe. The energy and thoroughness with which I marched forward as a nihilist deceived me concerning this fundamental principle. The Pessimism of strong natures. The "wherefore" after a terrible struggle, even after victory.
That something may exist which is a hundred times more important than the question, whether we feel well or unwell, is the fundamental instinct of all strong natures and consequently too, whether the others feel well or unwell. In short, that we have a purpose, for which we would not even hesitate to sacrifice men, run all risks, and bend our backs to the worst: this is the great passion. The causes of nihilism: 1 The higher species is lacking, i.
In this way all life is vulgarized, for inasmuch as the mass of mankind rules, it tyrannizes over the exceptions, so that these lose their belief in themselves and become nihilists. The result is that higher types are resisted. The downfall and insecurity of all higher types. The struggle against genius "popular poetry," etc.
Sympathy with the lowly and the suffering as a standard for the elevation of the soul. The philosopher is lacking, the interpreter of deeds, and not alone he who poetizes them. Imperfect nihilism its forms: we are now surrounded by them. All attempts made to escape nihilism, which do not consist in revaluing the values that have prevailed hitherto, only make the matter worse; they complicate the problem.
The varieties of self-stupefaction. The attempt to rise superior to it all by means of emotional intoxication: emotional intoxication in the form of music, in the form of cruelty in the tragic joy over the ruin of the noblest, and in the form of blind, gushing enthusiasm over individual men or distinct periods in the form of hatred, etc. The time is coming when we shall have to pay for having been Christians for two thousand years: we are losing the equilibrium which enables us to live for a long while we shall not know in what direction we are travelling.
We are hurling our selves headlong into the opposite valuations, with that degree of energy which could only have been engendered in man by an overvaluation of himself. Now, everything is false from the root, words and nothing but words, confused, feeble, or over strained. There have been more thoughtful and more destructively thoughtful times than ours: times like those in which Buddha appeared, for instance, in which the people themselves, after centuries of sectarian quarrels, had sunk so deeply into the abyss of philosophical dogmas, as, from time to time, European people have done in regard to the fine points of religious dogma.
Criticism of the pessimism which has prevailed hitherto. The want of the eudaemonological standpoint, as a last abbreviation of the question: what is the purpose of it all? The reduction of gloom. Our pessimism: the world has not the value which we believed it to have, our faith itself has so increased our instinct for research that we are compelled to say this today. In the first place, it seems of less value: at first it is felt to be of less value, only in this sense are we pessimists, that is to say, with the will to acknowledge this.
Revaluation without reserve, and no longer, as heretofore, to deceive ourselves and chant the old old story. It is precisely in this way that we find the pathos which urges us to seek for new values. What has been deified? The valuing instinct inside the community that which enabled it to survive. What has been calumniated! That which has tended to separate higher men from their inferiors, the instincts which cleave gulfs and build barriers. Causes effecting the rise of pessimism: 1 The most powerful instincts and those which promised most for the future have hitherto been calumniated, so that life has a curse upon it.
No one can any longer reply to the question: "Why? Modern pessimism is an expression of the uselessness only of the modern world, not of the world and existence as such. The "preponderance of pain over pleasure" or the reverse hedonism ; both of these doctrines are already signposts to nihilism. For here, in both cases, no other final purpose is sought than the phenomenon pleasure or pain.
But only a man who no longer dares to posit a will, a purpose, and a final goal can speak in this way according to every healthy type of man, the worth of life is certainly not measured by the standard of these secondary things. And a preponderance of pain would be possible and, in spite of it, a mighty will, a saying of yea to life, and a holding of this preponderance for necessary. The philosophic nihilist is convinced that all phenomena are without sense and are in vain, and that there ought to be no such thing as being without sense and in vain. But whence comes this "there ought not to be?
At bottom the nihilist supposes that the sight of such a desolate, useless being is unsatisfying to the philosopher, and fills him with desolation and despair. This aspect of the case is opposed to our subtle sensibilities as a philosopher. It leads to the absurd conclusion that the character of existence must perforce afford pleasure to the philosopher if it is to have any right to subsist. Now it is easy to understand that happiness and unhappiness, within the phenomena of this world, can only serve the purpose of means: the question yet remaining to be answered is, whether it will ever be possible for us to perceive the "object" and "purpose" of life, whether the problem of purposelessness or the reverse is not quite beyond our ken.
The development of nihilism out of pessimism. The denaturalization of values. Scholasticism of values. The values isolated, idealistic, instead of ruling and leading action, turn against it and condemn it. Opposites introduced in the place of natural gradations and ranks. Hatred of the order of rank. Opposites are compatible with a plebeian age, because they are more easy to grasp. The rejected world is opposed to an artificially constructed "true and valuable" one.
At last we discover out of what material the "true" world was built; all that remains, now, is the rejected world, and to the account of our reasons for rejecting it we place our greatest disillusionment. At this point nihilism is reached; the directing values have been retained nothing more! This gives rise to the problem of strength and weakness: 1 The weak fall to pieces upon it; 2 The strong destroy what does not fall to pieces of its own accord; 3 The strongest overcome the directing values.
The whole condition of affairs produces the tragic age. Just lately an accidental and in every way inappropriate term has been very much misused: everywhere people are speaking of "pessimism". People have not yet seen what is so terribly obvious namely, that pessimism is not a problem but a symptom, that the term ought to be re placed by "nihilism," that the question, "to be or not to be," is itself an illness, a sign of degeneracy, an idiosyncrasy.
The nihilistic movement is only an expression of physiological decadence. To be understood: That every kind of decline and tendency to sickness has incessantly been at work in helping to create general evaluations: that in those valuations which now dominate, decadence has even begun to preponderate, that we have not only to combat the conditions which present misery and degeneration have brought into being; but that all decadence, previous to that of our own times, has been transmitted and has therefore remained an active force amongst us.
A universal departure of this kind, on the part of man, from his fundamental instincts, such universal decadence of the valuing judgment, is the note of interrogation par excellence, the real riddle, which the animal "man" sets to all philosophers. The notion " decadence ": Decay, decline, and waste, are, per se, in no way open to objection; they are the natural consequences of life and vital growth. The phenomenon of decadence is just as necessary to life as advance or progress is: we are not in a position which enables us to suppress it.
On the contrary, reason would have it retain its rights. It is disgraceful on the part of socialist-theorists to argue that circumstances and social combinations could be devised which would put an end to all vice, illness, crime, prostitution, and poverty. But that is tantamount to condemning life And even in its prime it must bring forth ordure and decaying matter. The more energetically and daringly it advances, the richer will it be in failures and in deformities, and the nearer it will be to its fall. Age is not deferred by means of institutions.
Nor is illness. Nor is vice.
In the sphere which Rousseau attacked most violently, the relatively strongest and most successful type of man was still to be found the type which still possessed the great passions intact: Will to Power, Will to Pleasure, the Will and Ability to Com mand. If you look at a Matisse or a Gauguin, or any bright-colored painting, the way they keep it from being garish is to use gray. The causes of nihilism: 1 The higher species is lacking, i. When presented with a mirror wherein the mark is reflected, it turns to that location on its own body to explore it, indicating both self-awareness and an understanding of the meaning of the mirror. I am pursued.
Fundamental aspect of the nature of decadence: what has heretofore been regarded as its causes are its effects. In this way, the whole perspective of the problems of morality is altered. Decadence itself is not a thing that can be withstood: it is absolutely necessary and is proper to all ages and all peoples. That which must be withstood, and by all means in our power, is the spreading of the contagion among the sound parts of the organism.
Is that done? The very reverse is done. It is precisely on this account that one makes a stand on behalf of humanity. How do the highest values created hitherto stand in relation to this fundamental question in biology? Philosophy, religion, morality, art, etc. The remedy: militarism, for instance, from Napoleon onwards, who regarded civilization as his natural enemy.
All those things which heretofore have been regarded as the causes of degeneration are really its effects. But those things also which have been regarded as the remedies of degeneration are only palliatives of certain effects thereof: the "cured" are types of the degenerate. The results of decadence: vice viciousness; illness sickliness; crime criminality; celibacy sterility; hysteria the weakness of the will; alcoholism; pessimism, anarchy; debauchery also of the spirit.
The calumniators, underminers, sceptics, and destroyers. Concerning the notion "decadence. A peep into the enormous futility of these pretentious "reactions"; they are forms of anaesthetizing oneself against certain fatal symptoms resulting from the prevailing condition of things; they do not eradicate the morbid element; they are often heroic attempts to cancel the decadent man, to allow only a minimum of his deleterious influence to survive. The most common types of decadence: i In the belief that they are remedies, cures are chosen which only precipitate exhaustion; this is the case with Christianity to point to the most egregious example of mistaken instinct ; this is also the case with " progress.
Concerning the hygiene of the " weak. Moral: do nothing. The worst of it is, that precisely the strength required in order to stop action, and to cease from reacting, is most seriously diseased under the influence of weakness: that one never reacts more promptly or more blindly than when one should not react at all. The strength of a character is shown by the ability to delay and postpone reaction: a certain adiaphora is just as proper to it, as involuntariness in recoiling, suddenness and lack of restraint in "action," are proper to weakness.
The will is weak: and the recipe for preventing foolish acts would be: to have a strong will and to do nothing contradiction. A sort of self-destruction, the instinct of self-preservation is compromised. The weak man injures himself. That is the decadent type.
As a matter of fact, we meet with a vast amount of thought concerning the means where with impassibility may be induced. To this extent, the instincts are on the right scent; for to do nothing is more useful than to do something. All the practices of private orders, of solitary philosophers, and of fakirs, are suggested by a correct consideration of the fact, that a certain kind of man is most useful to himself when he hinders his own action as much as possible.
Relieving measures: absolute obedience, mechanical activity, total isolation from men and things that might exact immediate decisions and actions. Weakness of will: this is a fable that can lead astray. For there is no will, consequently neither a strong nor a weak one. The multiplicity and disintegration of the instincts, the want of system in their relationship, constitute what is known as a " weak will"; their co-ordination, under the government of one individual among them, results in a "strong will" in the first case vacillation and a lack of equilibrium is noticeable: in the second, precision and definite direction.
That which is inherited is not illness, but predisposition to illness: a lack of the powers of resistance against injurious external influences, etc. I have often wondered whether it would not be possible to class all the highest values of the philosophies, moralities, and religions which have been devised hitherto, with the values of the feeble, the insane and the neurasthenic: in a milder form, they present the same evils. The value of all morbid conditions consists in the fact that they magnify certain normal phenomena which are difficult to discern in normal conditions.
Health and illness are not essentially different, as the ancient doctors believed and as a few practitioners still believe today. They cannot be imagined as two distinct principles or entities which fight for the living organism and make it their battlefield. That is nonsense and mere idle gossip, which no longer holds water.
As a matter of fact, there is only a difference of degree between these two living conditions: exaggeration, want of proportion, want of harmony among the normal phenomena, constitute the morbid state Claude Bernard. Just as "evil" may be regarded as exaggeration, discord, and want of proportion, so can "good" be regarded as a sort of protective diet against the danger of exaggeration, discord, and want of proportion.
Hereditary weakness as a dominant feeling: the cause of the prevailing values. Weakness is in demand why? Weakening considered a duty: The weakening of the desires, of the feelings of pleasure and of pain, of the will to power, of the will to pride, to property and to more property; weakening in the form of humility; weakening in the form of a belief; weakening in the form of repugnance and shame in the presence of all that is natural in the form of a denial of life, in the form of illness and chronic feebleness; weakening in the form of a refusal to take revenge, to offer resistance, to become an enemy, and to show anger.
Blunders in the treatment: there is no attempt at combating weakness by means of any fortifying system; but by a sort of justification consisting of moralizing; i. Two totally different conditions are confused: for instance, the repose of strength, which is essentially abstinence from reaction the prototype of the gods whom nothing moves , and the peace of exhaustion, rigidity to the point of anesthesia. All these philosophic and ascetic modes of procedure aspire to the second state, but actually pretend to attain to the first The most dangerous misunderstanding. There is one concept which apparently allows of no confusion or ambiguity, and that is the concept exhaustion.
Exhaustion may be acquired or inherited in any case it alters the aspect and value of things. Unlike him who involuntarily gives of the superabundance which he both feels and represents, to the things about him, and who sees them fuller, mightier, and more pregnant with promises, who, in fact, can bestow, the exhausted one belittles and disfigures everything he sees he impoverishes its worth: he is detrimental. No mistake seems possible in this matter: and yet history discloses the terrible fact, that the exhausted have always been confounded with those with the most abundant resources, and the latter with the most detrimental.
The pauper in vitality, the feeble one, impoverishes even life: the wealthy man, in vital powers, enriches it. The first is the parasite of the second: the second is a bestower of his abundance. How is confusion possible? When he who was exhausted came forth with the bearing of a very active and energetic man when degeneration implied a certain excess of spiritual and nervous discharge , he was mistaken for the wealthy man. He inspired terror. The cult of the madman is also always the cult of him who is rich in vitality, and who is a powerful man. The fanatic, the one possessed, the religious epileptic, all eccentric creatures have been regarded as the highest types of power: as divine.
This kind of strength which inspires terror seemed to be, above all, divine: this was the starting-point of authority; here wisdom was interpreted, hearkened to, and sought. Out of this there was developed, everywhere almost, a will to "deify," i. To make oneself ill or mad, to provoke the symptoms of serious disorder was called getting stronger, becoming more superhuman, more terrible and more wise. People thought they would thus attain to such wealth of power, that they would be able to dispense it. Wheresoever there have been prayers, some one has been sought who had something to give away.
What led astray, here, was the experience of intoxication. This increases the feeling of power to the highest degree, therefore, to the mind of the ingenuous, it is power. On the highest altar of power the most intoxicated man must stand, the ecstatic. There are two causes of intoxication: superabundant life, and a condition of morbid nutrition of the brain. What a blessing a Jew is among Germans! See the obtuseness, the flaxen head, the blue eye, and the lack of intellect in the face, the language, and the bearing; the lazy habit of stretching the limbs, and the need of repose among Germans a need which is not the result of overwork, but of the disgusting excitation and over-excitation caused by alcohol.
A theory of exhaustion. Vice, the insane also artists , the criminals, the anarchists these are not the oppressed classes, but the outcasts of the community of all classes hitherto. Seeing that all our classes are permeated by these elements, we have grasped the fact that modern society is not a "society" or a "body," but a diseased agglomeration of chandala, a society which no longer has the strength even to excrete. To what extent living together for centuries has very much deepened sickliness: modern virtue, modern intellect, modern science, as forms of disease.
The state of corruption. The interrelation of all forms of corruption should be understood, and the Christian form Pascal as the type , as also the socialistic and communistic a result of the Christian , should not be overlooked from the standpoint of natural science, the highest conception of society according to socialists, is the lowest in the order of rank among societies ; the "beyond" corruption: as though outside the real world of becoming there were a world of being.
Here there must be no compromise, but selection, annihilation, and war the Christian nihilistic standard of value must be withdrawn from all things and attacked beneath every disguise. Either one thing or the other is true: true that is to say, tending to elevate the type man. The priest, the shepherd of souls, should be looked upon as a form of life which must be suppressed.
All education, hitherto, has been help less, adrift, without ballast, and afflicted with the contradiction of values. If nature have no pity on the degenerate, it is not therefore immoral: the growth of physiological and moral evils in the human race, is rather the result of morbid and unnatural morality. The sensitiveness of the majority of men is both morbid and unnatural. Why is it that mankind is corrupt in a moral and physiological respect? The body degenerates if one organ is unsound.
The right of altruism cannot be traced to physiology, neither can the right to help and to the equality of fate: these are all premiums for degenerates and failures. There can be no solidarity in a society containing unfruitful, unproductive, and destructive members, who, by the bye, are bound to have offspring even more degenerate than they are themselves. Decadence exercises a profound and perfectly unconscious influence, even over the ideals of science: all our sociology is a proof of this pro position, and it has yet to be reproached with the fact that it has only the experience of society in the process of decay, and inevitably takes its own decaying instincts as the basis of sociological judgment.
The declining vitality of modern Europe formulates its social ideals in its decaying instincts: and these ideals are all so like those of old and effete races, that they might be mistaken for one another. The gregarious instinct, then, now a sovereign power, is something totally different from the instinct of an aristocratic society: and the value of the sum depends upon the value of the units constituting it. The whole of our sociology knows no other instinct than that of the herd, of a multitude of mere ciphers of which every cipher has "equal rights," and where it is a virtue to be naught.
The valuation with which the various forms of society are judged today is absolutely the same with that which assigns a higher place to peace than to war: but this principle is contrary to the teaching of biology, and is itself a mere outcome of decadent life. Life is a result of war, society is a means to war. Herbert Spencer was a decadent in biology, as also in morality he regarded the triumph of altruism as a desideratum!!!
After thousands of years of error and confusion, it is my good fortune to have rediscovered the road which leads to a yea and to a nay. I teach people to say nay in the face of all that makes for weakness and exhaustion. I teach people to say yea in the face of all that makes for strength, that preserves strength, and justifies the feeling of strength. Up to the present, neither the one nor the other has been taught; but rather virtue, disinterestedness, pity, and even the negation of life.
All these are values proceeding from exhausted people. After having pondered over the physiology of exhaustion for some time, I was led to the question: to what extent the judgments of exhausted people had percolated into the world of values. The result at which I arrived was as startling as it could possibly be even for one like my self who was already at home in many a strange world: I found that all prevailing values that is to say, all those which had gained ascendancy over humanity, or at least over its tamer portions, could be traced back to the judgment of exhausted people.
Under the cover of the holiest names, I found the most destructive tendencies; people had actually given the name "God" to all that renders weak, teaches weakness, and infects with weakness. I found that the "good man" was a form of self-affirmation on the part of decadence. That virtue which Schopenhauer still pro claimed as superior to all, and as the most fundamental of all virtues; even that same pity I recognized as more dangerous than any vice.
Deliberately to thwart the law of selection among species, and their natural means of purging their stock of degenerate members this, up to my time, had been the greatest of all virtues. One should do honor to the fatality which says to the feeble: "perish! The race is corrupted not by its vices, but by its ignorance: it is corrupted because it has not recognized exhaustion as exhaustion: physiological misunderstandings are the cause of all evil. Virtue is our greatest misunderstanding. Problem: how were the exhausted able to make the laws of values?
In other words, how did they who are the last, come to power? How did the instincts of the animal man ever get to stand on their heads? Extreme positions are not relieved by more moderate ones, but by extreme opposite positions. And thus the belief in the utter immorality of nature, and in the absence of all purpose and sense, are psychologically necessary attitudes when the belief in God and in an essentially moral order of things is no longer tenable. Nihilism now appears, not because the sorrows of existence are greater than they were formerly, but because, in a general way, people have grown suspicious of the "meaning" which might be given to evil and even to existence.
One interpretation has been overthrown: but since it was held to be the interpretation, it seems as though there were no meaning in existence at all, as though every thing were in vain. It yet remains to be shown that this " in vain! The mistrust of our former valuations has increased to such an extent that it has led to the question: are not all values merely allurements prolonging the duration of the comedy, without, however, bringing the unraveling any closer? The "long period of time" which has culminated in an "in vain," with out either goal or purpose, is the most paralyzing of thoughts, more particularly when one sees that one is duped without, however, being able to resist being duped.
Let us imagine this thought in its worst form: existence, as it is, without either a purpose or a goal, but inevitably recurring, without an end in nonentity: "eternal recurrence. European form of Buddhism: the energy of knowledge and of strength drives us to such a belief.
It is the most scientific of all hypotheses. We deny final purposes. If existence had a final purpose it would have reached it. It should be understood that what is being aimed at, here, is a contradiction of pantheism: for "everything perfect, divine, eternal," also leads to the belief in eternal recurrence. Question: has this pantheistic and affirmative attitude to all things also been made possible by morality? At bottom only the moral God has been overcome.
Is there any sense in imagining a God "beyond good and evil"? Would pantheism in this sense be possible? Do we withdraw the idea of purpose from the process, and affirm the process notwithstanding? This were so if, within that process, something were attained every moment and always the same thing. Spinoza won an affirmative position of this sort, in the sense that every moment, according to him, has a logical necessity: and he triumphed by means of his fundamentally logical instinct over a like conformation of the world.
But his case is exceptional. If every fundamental trait of character, which lies beneath every act, and which finds expression in every act, were recognized by the individual as his fundamental trait of character, this individual would be driven to regard every moment of his existence in general, triumphantly as good.
It would simply be necessary for that fundamental trait of character to be felt in oneself as something good, valuable, and pleasurable. Now, in the case of those men and classes of men who were treated with violence and oppressed by their fellows, morality saved life from despair and from the leap into nonentity: for impotence in relation to mankind and not in relation to nature is what generates the most desperate bitterness towards existence. Morality treated the powerful, the violent, and the "masters" in general, as enemies against whom the common man must be protected that is to say, emboldened, strengthened.
Morality has therefore always taught the most profound hatred and contempt of the fundamental trait of character of all rulers i. To suppress, to deny, and to decompose this morality, would mean to regard this most thoroughly detested instinct with the reverse of the old feeling and valuation. If the sufferer and the oppressed man were to lose his belief in his right to contemn the will to power, his position would be desperate.
This would be so if the trait above-mentioned were essential to life, in which case it would follow that even that will to morality was only a cloak to this "will to power," as are also even that hatred and contempt. The oppressed man would then perceive that he stands on the same platform with the oppressor, and that he has no individual privilege, nor any higher rank than the latter.
On the contrary! There is nothing on earth which can have any value, if it have not a modicum of power granted, of course, that life itself is the will to power. Morality protected the botched and bungled against nihilism, in that it gave every one of them infinite worth, metaphysical worth, and classed them altogether in one order which did not correspond with that of worldly power and order of rank: it taught submission, humility, etc.
Admitting that the belief in this morality be destroyed, the botched and the bungled would no longer have any comfort, and would perish. This perishing seems like self-annihilation, like an instinctive selection of that which must be destroyed. The symptoms of this self-destruction of the botched and the bungled: self-vivisection, poisoning, intoxication, romanticism, and, above all, the instinctive constraint to acts whereby the powerful are made into mortal enemies training, so to speak, one s own hangmen , the will to destruction as the will of a still deeper instinct of the instinct of self-destruction, of the will to nonentity.
Nihilism is a sign that the botched and bungled have no longer any consolation, that they destroy in order to be destroyed, that, having been deprived of morality, they no longer have any reason to "resign themselves," that they take up their stand on the territory of the opposite principle, and will also exercise power themselves, by compelling the powerful to become their hangmen.
This is the European form of Buddhism, that active negation, after all existence has lost its meaning. It must not be supposed that "poverty" has grown more acute, on the contrary! The fact, alone, that morality is regarded as overcome, presupposes a certain degree of intellectual culture; while this very culture, for its part, bears evidence to a certain relative well-being. A certain intellectual fatigue, brought on by the long struggle concerning philosophical opinions, and carried to hopeless skepticism against philosophy, shows moreover that the level of these nihilists is by no means a low one.
Only think of the conditions in which Buddha appeared! The teaching of the eternal recurrence would have learned principles to go upon just as Buddha s teaching, for instance, had the notion of causality, etc. What do we mean today by the words "botched and bungled"? In the first place, they are used physiologically and not politically. The unhealthiest kind of man all over Europe in all classes is the soil out of which nihilism grows: this species of man will regard eternal recurrence as damnation once he is bitten by the thought, he can no longer recoil before any action.
He would not extirpate passively, but would cause everything to be extirpated which is meaningless and without a goal to this extent; although it is only a spasm, or sort of blind rage in the presence of the fact that everything has existed again and again for an eternity even this period of nihilism and destruction. The value of such a crisis is that it purifies, that it unites similar elements, and makes them mutually destructive, that it assigns common duties to men of opposite persuasions, and brings the weaker and more un certain among them to the light, thus taking the first step towards a new order of rank among forces from the standpoint of health: recognizing commanders as commanders, subordinates as subordinates.
Naturally irrespective of all the present forms of society. What class of men will prove they are strongest in this new order of things? The most moderate: they who do not require any extreme forms of belief, they who not only admit of, but actually like, a certain modicum of chance and nonsense; they who can think of man with a very moderate view of his value, without becoming weak and small on that account; the most rich in health, who are able to withstand a maximum amount of sorrow, and who are therefore not so very much afraid of sorrow, men who are certain of their power, and who represent with conscious pride the state of strength to which man has attained.
How could such a man think of eternal recurrence? The Periods of European Nihilism. The period of obscurity: all kinds of groping measures devised to preserve old institutions and not to arrest the progress of new ones. The period of light; men see that old and new are fundamental contraries; that the old values are born of descending life, and that the new ones are born of ascending life that all old ideals are unfriendly to life born of decadence and determining it, however much they may be decked out in the Sunday finery of morality.
We understand the old, but are far from being sufficiently strong for the new. The periods of the three great passions: contempt, pity, destruction. The periods of catastrophes: the rise of a teaching which will sift mankind. My friends, we had a hard time as youths; we even suffered from youth itself as though it were a serious disease. This is owing to the age in which we were born an age of enormous internal decay and disintegration which, with all its weakness and even with the best of its strength, is opposed to the spirit of youth. Disintegration that is to say, uncertainty is peculiar to this age: nothing stands on solid ground or on a sound faith.
People live for the morrow, because the day-after-tomorrow is doubtful. All our road is slippery and dangerous, while the ice which still bears us has grown unconscionably thin: we all feel the mild and gruesome breath of the thaw-wind soon, where we are walking, no one will any longer be able to stand!
If this is not an age of decay and of diminishing vitality, it is at least one of indiscriminate and arbitrary experimentalizing and it is probable that out of an excess of abortive experiments there has grown this general impression, as of decay: and perhaps decay itself. Concerning the history of modern gloominess. The state-nomads officials, etc. The break-up of the family. The "good man" as a symptom of exhaustion. Justice as will to power rearing. Lewdness and neurosis. Black music: whither has real music gone? The anarchist. Contempt of man, loathing. Most profound distinction: whether hunger or satiety is creative?
The first creates the ideals of romanticism. Northern unnaturalness. The need of alcohol: the "need" of the working classes. Philosophical nihilism. Our age, with its indiscriminate endeavors to mitigate distress, to honor it, and to wage war in advance with unpleasant possibilities, is an age of the poor. Our "rich people" they are the poorest! The real purpose of all wealth has been forgotten. Criticism of modern man: "the good man," but corrupted and misled by bad institutions tyrants and priests ; reason elevated to a position of authority; history is regarded as the surmounting of errors; the future is regarded as progress; the Christian state "God of the armies" ; Christian sexual intercourse as marriage ; the realm of "justice" the cult of "mankind" ; "freedom.
All this savors of the eighteenth century. But it had other qualities which were not inherited, namely, a certain insouciance, cheerfulness, elegance, spiritual clearness. The spiritual tempo has altered; the pleasure which was begotten by spiritual refinement and clearness has given room to the pleasure of color, harmony, mass, reality, etc. Sensuality in spiritual things. In short, it is the eighteenth century of Rousseau. Taken all in all, a considerable amount of humanity has been attained by our men of today.
That we feel this is in itself a proof of the fact that we have become so sensitive in regard to small cases of distress, that we somewhat unjustly overlook what has been achieved. Here we must make allowances for the fact that a great deal of decadence is rife, and that, through such eyes, our world must appear bad and wretched. But these eyes have always seen in the same way, in all ages. The fact of credit, of the commerce of the world, and the means of traffic are expressions of an extraordinarily mild trustfulness in men.
To that may also be added 3 The deliverance of science from moral and religious prejudices: a very good sign, though for the most part misunderstood. In my own way, I am attempting a justification of history. The second appearance of Buddhism.
Its precursory signs: the increase of pity. Spiritual exhaustion. The reduction of all problems to the question of pleasure and pain. The glory of war which calls forth a counter-stroke. Just as the sharp demarcation of nations generates a counter-movement in the form of the most hearty "fraternity. The catastrophe of nihilism will put an end to all this Buddhistic culture.
That which is most sorely afflicted today is the instinct and will of tradition: all institutions which owe their origin to this instinct, are opposed to the tastes of the age. At bottom, nothing is thought or done which is not calculated to tear up this spirit of tradition by the roots. Tradition is looked upon as a fatality; it is studied and acknowledged in the form of " heredity " , but people will not have anything to do with it. The extension of one will over long periods of time, the selection of conditions and valuations which make it possible to dispose of centuries in advance this, precisely, is what is most utterly anti-modern.
From which it follows, that disorganizing principles give our age its specific character. Be natural: but even if we are unnatural what then? The means employed in former times in order to arrive at similarly constituted and lasting types, throughout long generations: entailed property and the respect of parents the origin of the faith in gods and heroes as ancestors. Now, the subdivision of property belongs to the opposite tendency. The centralization of an enormous number of different interests in one soul: which, to that end, must be very strong and mutable. Why does everything become mummery.
The modern man is lacking in unfailing instinct instinct being understood here to mean that which is the outcome of a long period of activity in the same occupation on the part of one family of men ; the incapability of producing anything, is simply the result of this lack of instinct: one individual alone cannot make up for the schooling his ancestors should have transmitted to him.
What a morality or book of law creates: that deep instinct which renders automatism and perfection possible in life and in work. But now we have reached the opposite point; yes, we wanted to reach it the most extreme consciousness, through introspection on the part of man and of history: and thus we are practically most distant from perfection in being, doing, and willing: our desires even our will to knowledge shows how prodigiously decadent we are.
We are striving after the very reverse of what strong races and strong natures will have understanding is an end. That science is possible in the way in which it is practiced today, proves that all elementary instincts, the instincts which ward off danger and protect life, are no longer active. We no longer save, we are merely spending the capital of our forefathers, even in the way in which we pursue knowledge. Nihilistic trait. Sentimentality in regard to the past: biographies can no longer be endured! Phenomenalism even here: character regarded as a mask; there are no facts.
The latter, morally, as a sense of great est truthfulness, but pessimistic. Pure "artists" indifference as to the "subject". The psychology of the father-confessor and puritanical psychology two forms of psychological romanticism: but also their counter-stroke, the attempt to maintain a purely artistic attitude towards "men" but even in this respect no one dares to make the opposite valuation.
Against the teaching of the influence of environment and external causes: the power coming from inside is infinitely superior; much that appears like influence acting from without is merely the subjection of environment to this inner power. Precisely the same environment may be used and interpreted in opposite ways: there are no facts. A genius is not explained by such theories concerning origins. Sensitiveness is infinitely more acute beneath moral vestments: the increase of pity , the abund ance of different impressions is greater than ever.
The cosmopolitanism of articles of diet, of literature, newspapers, forms, tastes, and even landscapes. The speed of this affluence is prestissimo; impressions are wiped out, and people instinctively guard against assimilating anything or against taking anything seriously and " digesting " it; the result is a weakening of the powers of digestion. There begin a sort of adaptation to this accumulation of impressions.
Man unlearns the art of doing, and all he does is to react to stimuli coming from his environment. He spends his strength, partly in the process of assimilation, partly in defending himself, and again partly in responding to stimuli.