The lie is a condition of life.
Without music, life would be a mistake.
Where I found the living, there I found the will to power; even in the will of servants I found the will to be master.
This is the manner of noble souls: they do not want to have anything for nothing; least of all, life. Whoever is of the mob wants to live for nothing; we others, however, to whom life gave itself, we always think about what we might best give in return… One should not wish to enjoy where one does not give joy.
Spirit is the life that itself cuts into life: with its own torment it increases its own knowledge. Did you already know that?
Books for all the world are always foul-smelling books: the smell of small people clings to them.
A book is made better by good readers and clearer by good opponents.
Early in the morning, at break of day, in all the freshness and dawn of one’s strength, to read a book -I call that vicious!
So far no one had had enough courage and intelligence to reveal me to my dear Germans. My problems are new, my psychological horizon frighteningly comprehensive, my language bold and clear; there may well be no books written in German which are richer in ideas and more independent than mine.
No one can draw more out of things, books included, than he already knows. A man has no ears for that to which experience has given him no access.
Books that teach us to dance: There are writers who, by portraying the impossible as possible, and by speaking of morality and genius as if both were high-spirited freedom, as if man were rising up on tiptoe and simply had to dance out of inner pleasure.
Books for general reading always smell bad; the odor of common people hangs around them.
I can tell by my own reaction to it that this book is harmful.” But let him only wait and perhaps one day he will admit to himself that this same book has done him a great service by bringing out the hidden sickness of his heart and making it visible.— Altered opinions do not alter a man’s character (or do so very little); but they do illuminate individual aspects of the constellation of his personality which with a different constellation of opinions had hitherto remained dark and unrecognizable.
What good is a book that does not even transport us beyond all books?
Books and drafts mean something quite different for different thinkers. One collects in a book the lights he was able to steal and carry home swiftly out of the rays of some insight that suddenly dawned on him, while another thinker offers us nothing but shadows – images in black and grey of what had built up in his soul the day before.
Wherever Germany extends her sway, she ruins culture.
We belong to an age whose culture is in danger of perishing through the means to culture.
The most general deficiency in our sort of culture and education is gradually dawning on me: no one learns, no one strives towards, no one teaches–enduring loneliness.
As far as Germany extends it ruins culture.
As much as possible, and this as quickly as possible: that is what the great mental and emotional illness craves that is variously called “present” or “culture,” but that is actually a symptom of consumption.
A heart full of courage and cheerfulness needs a little danger from time to time, or the world gets unbearable.
I admire the courage and wisdom of Socrates in everything he did, said–and did not say.
He who has always spared himself much will in the end become sickly of so much consideration. Praised be what hardens!
Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings – always darker, emptier and simpler.
In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad.
A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.
A moral system valid for all is basically immoral.
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
A few hours of mountain climbing make a blackguard and a saint two rather similar creatures.
The world itself is the will to power – and nothing else! And you yourself are the will to power – and nothing else!
Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine.
In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.
The word ‘Christianity’ is already a misunderstanding – in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross.
Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.
“God”, “the immortality of the soul”, “salvation”, “the beyond”-even as a child I had no time for such notions, I do not waste any time upon them-maybe I was never childish enough for that?
Do not paint a picture either of God or the devil on your walls: this will ruin both your walls and the atmosphere.
I have not come to know atheism as a result of logical reasoning and still less as an event in my life: in me it is a matter of instinct.
Religious War has signified the greatest advance of the masses so far, for it proves that the masses have begun to treat concepts with respect.
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
If God had wanted to become an object of love, he would first of all have had to forgo judging and justice : a judge, and even a gracious judge, is no object of love.
Is man merely a mistake of God’s? Or God merely a mistake of man?
After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.
Is man one of God’s blunders? Or is God one of man’s blunders?
Just look at the faces of the great Christians! They are the faces of great haters.
In truth,there was only one christian and he died on the cross.
If that glad message of your Bible were written in your faces, you would not need to demand belief in the authority of that book in such stiff-necked fashion.
There is nothing more necessary than truth, and in comparison with it everything else has only secondary value. This absolute will to truth: what is it? Is it the will to not allow ourselves to be deceived? Is it the will not to deceive? One does not want to be deceived, under the supposition that it is injurious, dangerous, or fatal to be deceived.
It is neither the best nor the worst things in a book that defy translation.
I believe only in French culture and consider everything in Europe that calls itself ‘culture’ a misunderstanding, not to speak of German culture.
Even the pluckiest among us has but seldom the courage of what he really knows.