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On the Genealogy of Morals On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche
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“We are unknown to ourselves, we men of knowledge - and with good reason. We have never sought ourselves - how could it happen that we should ever find ourselves? It has rightly been said: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also"; our treasure is where the beehives of our knowledge are.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“Human history would be nothing but a record of stupidity save for the cunning contributions of the weak”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“. . . there is no being behind doing, effecting, becoming; "the doer" is merely a fiction added to the deed—the deed is everything.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“We are noble, good, beautiful, and happy!”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“At this point, I can no longer avoid setting out, in an initial, provisional statement, my own hypothesis about the origin of “bad conscience.” It is not easy to get people to attend to it, and it requires them to consider it at length, to guard it, and to sleep on it. I consider bad conscience the profound illness which human beings had to come down with, under the pressure of the most fundamental of all the changes which they experienced—that change when they finally found themselves locked within the confines of society and peace. Just like the things water animals must have gone though when they were forced either to become land animals or to die off, so events must have played themselves out with this half-beast so happily adapted to the wilderness, war, wandering around, adventure—suddenly all its instincts were devalued and “disengaged.”

From this point on, these animals were to go on foot and “carry themselves”; whereas previously they had been supported by the water. A terrible heaviness weighed them down. In performing the simplest things they felt ungainly. In dealing with this new unknown world, they no longer had their old leader, the ruling unconscious drives which guided them safely. These unfortunate creatures were reduced to thinking, inferring, calculating, bringing together cause and effect, reduced to their “consciousness,” their most impoverished and error-prone organ! I believe that on earth there has never been such a feeling of misery, such a leaden discomfort—while at the same time those old instincts had not all at once stopped imposing their demands! Only it was difficult and seldom possible to do their bidding. For the most part, they had to find new and, as it were, underground satisfactions for them.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“Thus, the philosopher dislikes marriage as well as what might persuade him into it??marriage is a barrier and a disaster along his route to the optimal. What great philosopher up to now has been married? Heraclitus, Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibtniz, Kant, Schopenhauer?? None of these got married. What`s more, we cannot even imagine them married. A married philosopher belongs in a comedy, that`s my principle. And Socrates, the exception, the malicious Socrates, it appears, got married ironically to demonstrate this very principle.

Every philosopher would speak as once Buddha spoke when someone told him of the birth his son, "Rahula has been born to me. A shackle has been forged for me." (Rahula here means "a little demon"). To every "free spirit" there must come a reflective hour, provided that previously he has had a one without thought, of the sort that came then to Buddha - "Life in a house," he thought to himself, "is narrow and confined, a polluted place. Freedom consists of abandoning houses;" "because he thought this way, he left the house.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“Somebody said: "About two persons I have never reflected very thoroughly: that is the testimony of my love for them.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Genealogy Of Morals
“But there is no such substratum; there is no "being" behind doing, effecting, becoming; "the doer" is merely a fiction added to the deed-the deed is everything.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“My thoughts on the descent of our moral prejudices – for that is what this polemic is about – were first set out in a sketchy and provisional way in the collection of aphorisms entitled Human, All Too Human. A Book for Free Spirits, which I began to write in Sorrento during a winter that enabled me to pause, like a wanderer pauses, to take in the vast and dangerous land through which my mind had hitherto travelled. This was in the winter of 1876–7; the thoughts themselves go back further. They were mainly the same thoughts which I shall be taking up again in the present essays – let us hope that the long interval has done them good, that they have become riper, brighter, stronger and more perfect! The fact that I still stick to them today, and that they themselves in the meantime have stuck together increasingly firmly, even growing into one another and growing into one, makes me all the more blithely confident that from the first, they did not arise in me individually, randomly or sporadically but as stemming from a single root, from a fundamental will to knowledge deep inside me which took control, speaking more and more clearly and making ever clearer demands. And this is the only thing proper for a philosopher. We have no right to stand out individually: we must not either make mistakes or hit on the truth individually. Instead, our thoughts, values, every ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘if ’ and ‘but’ grow from us with the same inevitability as fruits borne on the tree – all related and referring to one another and a testimonial to one will, one health, one earth, one sun. – Do you like the taste of our fruit? – But of what concern is that to the trees? And of what concern is it to us philosophers? . . .”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“...wherever the strength of a faith steps decisively into the foreground, we infer a certain weakness in its ability to demonstrate its truth, even the improbability of what it believes. We, too, do not deny that the belief “makes blessed,” but for that very reason we deny that the belief proves something—a strong belief which confers blessedness creates doubts about what it has faith in. It does not ground “truth.” It grounds a certain probability— delusion.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“history would be nothing but a record of stupidity save for the cunning”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“They are now informing me that not only are they better than the powerful, the masters of the world whose spittle they have to lick (not from fear, not at all from fear! but because God orders them to honour those in authority) – not only are they better, but they have a “better time”, or at least will have a better time one day. But enough! enough! I can’t bear it any longer. Bad air! Bad air! This workshop where ideals are fabricated – it seems to me just to stink of lies.”
Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality
“When the Christian Crusaders in the East came into collision with that invincible order of assassins, that order of free spirits par excellence, whose lowest grade lives in a state of discipline such as no order of monks has ever attained, then in some way or other they managed to get an inkling of that symbol and tally- word, that was reserved for the highest grade alone as their secretum, "Nothing is true, everything is allowed," — in sooth, that was freedom of thought, thereby was taking leave of the very belief in truth.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“Insight into the origin of a work concerns the physiologists and vivisectionists of the spirit; never the aesthetic man, the artist!”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“While every aristocratic morality springs from a triumphant affirmation of its own demands, the slave morality says "no" from the very outset to what is "outside itself," "different from itself," and "not itself: and this "no" is its creative deed. This”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“We are unknown to ourselves, we knowers, and with good reason. We have never looked at ourselves.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“Of necessity we remain strangers to ourselves, we understand ourselves not, in ourselves we are bound to be mistaken, for of us holds good to all eternity the motto, “Each one is the farthest away from himself”—as far as ourselves are concerned we are not “knowers.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morals
“Debemos guardarnos de la confusión en que por contiguity [contiguidad] psicológica, para decirlo igual que los ingleses, muy fácilmente cae un artista: la de creer que él mismo es aquello que él puede representar, concebir, expresar. En realidad ocurre que, si él lo fuera, no lo podría en absoluto representar, concebir, expresar.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“Man will desire oblivion rather than not desire at all.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“Man, the bravest of animals, and the one most accustomed to suffering, does not repudiate suffering as such; he desires it, he even seeks it out, provided he is shown a meaning for it, a purpose of suffering. The meaninglessness of suffering, not suffering itself, was the curse that lay over mankind so far — and the ascetic ideal offered man meaning!”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“Oh, como somos felizes, nós que procuramos o conhecimento, se não quebrarmos o silêncio prematuramente!...”
Friedrich Nietzsche, A Genealogia da Moral
“Certainly one quality which nowadays has been best forgotten—and that is why it will take some time yet for my writings to become readable—is essential in order to practise reading as an art—a quality for the exercise of which it is necessary to be a cow, and under no circumstances a modern man!—rumination.   SILS-MARIA, UPPER ENGADINE, July, 1887.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morals
“Man, the bravest of animals, and the one most accustomed to suffering, does not repudiate suffering as such; he desires it, he even seeks it out, provided he is shown a meaning for it, a purpose of suffering. The meaninglessness of suffering, not suffering itself, was the curse that lay over mankind so far.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“But a spirit who is sure of himself speaks softly; he seeks secrecy, he lets himself be awaited.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“The ascetic ideal has an aim - this goal is, putting it generally, that all the other interests of human life should, measured by its standard, appear petty and narrow; it explains epochs, nations, men, in reference to this one end; it forbids any other interpretation, any other end; it”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“The sick are the greatest danger for the healthy; it is not from the strongest that harm comes to the strong, but from the weakest.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“Let us, in our character of knowers, not be ungrateful towards such determined reversals of the ordinary perspectives and values, with which the mind had for too long raged against itself with an apparently futile sacrilege! In the same way the very seeing of another vista, the very wishing to see another vista, is no little training and preparation of the intellect for its eternal "Objectivity" — objectivity being understood not as "contemplation without interest" (for that is inconceivable and nonsensical), but as the ability to have the pros and cons in one's power and to switch them on and off, so as to get to know how to utilise, for the advancement of knowledge, the difference in the perspective and in the emotional interpretations. But let us, forsooth, my philosophic colleagues, henceforward guard ourselves more carefully against this mythology of dangerous ancient ideas, which has set up a "pure, will-less, painless, timeless subject of knowledge"; let us guard ourselves from the tentacles of such contradictory ideas as "pure reason," "absolute spirituality," "knowledge-in-itself": — in these theories an eye that cannot be thought of is required to think, an eye which ex hypothesi has no direction at all, an eye in which the active and interpreting functions are cramped, are absent; those functions, I say, by means of which "abstract" seeing first became seeing something; in these theories consequently the absurd and the nonsensical is always demanded of the eye. There is only a seeing from a perspective, only a "knowing" from a perspective, and the more emotions we express over a thing, the more eyes, different eyes, we train on the same thing, the more complete will be our "idea" of that thing, our "objectivity." But the elimination of the will altogether, the switching off of the emotions all and sundry, granted that we could do so, what! would not that be called intellectual castration?”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“The history of mankind would be far too stupid a thing if it had not had the intellect [Geist] of the powerless injected into it: — let us take the best example straight away. Nothing that has been done on earth against ‘the noble’, ‘the mighty’, ‘the masters’ and ‘the rulers’, is worth mentioning compared with what the Jews have done against them: the Jews, that priestly people, which in the last resort was able to gain satisfaction from its enemies and conquerors only through a radical revaluation of their values, that is, through an act of the most deliberate revenge. Only this was fitting for a priestly people with the most entrenched priestly vengefulness. It was the Jews who, rejecting the aristocratic value equation (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = happy = blessed) ventured, with awe-inspiring consistency, to bring about a reversal and held it in the teeth of the most unfathomable hatred (the hatred of the powerless), saying: ‘Only those who suffer are good, only the poor, the powerless, the lowly are good; the suffering, the deprived, the sick, the ugly, are the only pious people, the only ones saved, salvation is for them alone, whereas you rich, the noble and powerful, you are eternally wicked, cruel, lustful, insatiate, godless, you will also be eternally wretched, cursed and damned!’ . . . the slaves’ revolt in morality begins with the Jews: a revolt which has two thousand years of history behind it and which has only been lost sight of because — it was victorious . . .”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morals
“...we then find the sovereign individual as the ripest fruit on its tree, like only to itself, having freed itself from the morality of custom, an autonomous, supra-ethical individual (because ‘autonomous’ and ‘ethical’ are mutually exclusive), in short, we find a man with his own, independent, enduring will, whose prerogative it is to promise – and in him a proud consciousness quivering in every muscle of what he has finally achieved and incorporated, an actual awareness of power and freedom, a feeling that man in general has reached completion.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
“não existe, talvez, nada mais assustador e mais sinistro em toda a pré-história do homem que a sua técnica para se lembrar das coisas.” Alguma coisa é impressa, para que permaneça na memória: apenas o que dói incessantemente é recordado” – este é uma proposição central da mais antiga (e, infelizmente, também a mais duradoura) filosofia na Terra. Uma pessoa pode até sentir-se tentada a dizer que algo deste horror – através da qual em tempos se fizeram promessas por toda a Terra e foram dadas garantias e empenhamentos -, algo disto ainda sobrevive sempre que a solenidade, seriedade, secretismo e cores sombrias se encontram na vida dos homens e das nações: o passado, o passado mais longo, mais profundo e mais desagradável, respira sobre nós e brota em nós sempre que nos tornamos “sérios”. As coisas nunca avançaram sem sangue, tortura e vítimas, quando o homem achou necessário forjar uma memória de si próprio. Os sacrifícios e as oferendas mais horrendos (…), as mutilações mais repulsivas (…), os rituais mais cruéis de todos os cultos religiosos ( e todas as religiões são, nas suas fundações mais profundas, sistemas de crueldade) - todas estas coisas tem origem naquele instinto que adivinhou que a mais poderosa ajuda da memória era a dor.
Num certo sentido, todo o ascetismo faz parte disto: algumas ideias tem de tornar-se inextinguíveis, omnipresentes, inesquecíveis, “fixas” – com o objectivo de hipnotizar todo o sistema nervoso e intelecto através destas “ideias fixas” – e os procedimentos e formas de vida ascéticos são o meio de libertar essas ideias da competição com todas as outras ideias, para torna-las “inesquecíveis”. Quanto maior era a memoria da humanidade, mais assustadores parecem ser os seus costumes; a dureza dos códigos de punição, em particular, dá uma medida da quantidade de esforço que é necessária para triunfar sobre o esquecimento e tornar estes escravos efémeros da emoção e do desejo atentos a alguns requisitos primitivos de coabitação social. (…) Para dominar (…) recorreram a meios assustadores (…) de apedrejamento, (…), a empalação na estaca, a dilaceração ou o espezinhamento por cavalos, (…), queimar o criminoso em azeite (…), a prática popular de esfolamento, (…) cobrir o criminoso de mel e deixá-lo às moscas num sol abrasador. Com a ajuda deste tipo de imagens e procedimentos, a pessoa acaba por memorizar cinco ou seis “Não farei”, fazendo assim a promessa em troca das vantagens oferecidas pela sociedade. E de facto! com a ajuda deste tipo de memória, a pessoa acaba por “ver a razão”! Ah, razão, seriedade, domínio das emoções, todo o caso sombrio que dá pelo nome de pensamento, todos esses privilégios e exemplos do homem: que preço elevado que foi pago por eles! Quanto sangue e horror está no fundo de todas as “coisas boas”!”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals

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