Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak:  Reflections on Moral Prejudice. Morgenröte: Gedanken über die moralischen Vorurteile (also could be translated as The Dawn).

Written and published in 1881.

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Generally Misunderstood In conversation we sometimes observe people endeavouring to set a trap in which to catch others—not out of evil-mindedness as one might suppose but from delight in their own shrewdness.  Others again prepare a joke so that someone else may utter it they tie the knot so that others may undo it: not out of goodwill as might be supposed but from wickedness and their contempt for coarse intellects.  


Centre The feeling "I am the centre of the world" forcibly comes to us when we are unexpectedly overtaken by disgrace: we then feel as if we were standing dazed in the midst of a surge and dazzled by the glance of one enormous eye which gazes down upon us from all sides and looks us through and through.  353Freedom of Speech "The truth must be told even if the world should be shivered in fragments"—so cries the eminent and grandiloquent Fichte.  Yes certainly; but we must have it first.  What he really means however is that each man should speak his mind even if everything were to be turned upside down.  This point however is open to dispute.  


The Courage for Suffering Such as we now are we are capable of bearing a tolerable amount of displeasure and our stomach is suited to such indigestible food.  If we were deprived of it indeed we should perhaps think the banquet of life insipid; and if it were not for our willingness to suffer pain we should have to let too many pleasures escape us!  


Admirers The man who admires up to the point that he would be ready to crucify anyone who did not admire must be reckoned among the executioners of his party—beware of shaking hands with him even when he belongs to your own side.  


The Effect of Happiness The first effect of happiness is the feeling of power and this feeling longs to manifest itself whether towards ourselves or other men or towards ideas and imaginary beings.  Its most common modes of manifestation are making presents derision and destruction—all three being due to a common fundamental instinct.  


Moral Mosquitoes Those moralists who are lacking in the love of knowledge and who are only acquainted with the pleasure of giving pain have the spirit and tediousness of provincials.  Their pastime as cruel as it is lamentable is to observe their neighbour with the greatest possible closeness and unperceived to place a pin in such position that he cannot help pricking himself with it.  Such men have preserved something of the wickedness of schoolboys who cannot amuse themselves without hunting and torturing either the living or the dead.  


Reasons and their Unreason You feel a dislike for him and adduce innumerable reasons for this dislike but I only believe in your dislike and not in your reasons!  You flatter yourself by adducing as a rational conclusion both to yourself and to me that which happens to be merely a matter of instinct.  


Approving of Something We approve of marriage in the first place because we are not yet acquainted with it in the second place because we have accustomed ourselves to it and in the third place because we have contracted it—that is to say in most cases.  And yet nothing has been proved thereby in favour of the value of marriage in general.  


No Utilitarians "Power which has greatly suffered both in deed and in thought is better than powerlessness which only meets with kind treatment "— such was the Greek way of thinking.  In other words the feeling of power was prized more highly by them than any mere utility or fair renown.  


Ugly in Appearance Moderation appears to itself to be quite beautiful: it is unaware of the fact that in the eyes of the immoderate it seems coarse and insipid and consequently ugly.  


Different in their Hatred There are men who do not begin to hate until they feel weak and tired: in other respects they are fair—minded and superior.  Others only begin to hate when they see an opportunity for revenge: in other respects they carefully avoid both secret and open wrath and overlook it whenever there is any occasion for it.  


Men of Chance It is pure chance which plays the essential part in every invention but most men do not meet with this hazard.  


Choice of Environment We should beware of living in an environment where we are neither able to maintain a dignified silence nor to express our loftier thoughts so that only our complaints and needs and the whole story of our misery are left to be told.  We thus become dissatisfied with ourselves and with our surroundings and to the discomfort which brings about our complaints we add the vexation which we feel at always being in the position of grumblers.  Yet we should on the contrary live in a place where we should be ashamed to speak of ourselves and where it would not be necessary to do so.  Who however thinks of such things or of the choice in such things?  We talk about our "fate" brace up our shoulders and sigh "Unfortunate Atlas that I am"!  


Vanity Vanity is the dread of appearing to be original.  Hence it is a lack of pride but not necessarily a lack of originality.  


The Criminal's Grief The criminal who has been found out does not suffer because of the crime he has committed but because of the shame and annoyance caused him either by some blunder which he has made or by being deprived of his habitual element; and keen discernment is necessary to distinguish such cases.  Everyone who has had much experience of prisons and reformatories is astonished at the rare instances of really genuine "remorse" and still more so at the longing shown to return to the old wicked and beloved crime.  


Always appearing Happy When in the Greece of the third century philosophy had become a matter of public emulation there were not a few philosophers who became happy through the thought that others who lived according to different principles and suffered from them could not but feel envious of their happiness.  They thought they could refute these other people with their happiness better than anything else and to achieve this object they were content to appear to be always happy; but following this practice they were obliged to become happy in the long run!  This for example was the case of the cynics.  


The Cause of much Misunderstanding.  The morality of increasing nervous force is joyful and restless; the morality of diminishing nervous force towards evening or in invalids and old people is passive calm patient and melancholy and not rarely even gloomy.  In accordance with what we may possess of one or other of these moralities we do not understand that which we lack and we often interpret it in others as immorality and weakness.  


Raising one's self above one's own Lowness "Proud" fellows they are indeed those who in order to establish a sense of their own dignity and importance stand in need of other people whom they may tyrannise and oppress—those whose powerlessness and cowardice permits someone to make sublime and furious gestures in their presence with impunity so that they require the baseness of their surroundings to raise themselves for one short moment above their own baseness!  For this purpose one man requires a dog another a friend a third a wife a fourth a party a fifth again one very rarely to be met with a whole age.  


To what extent the thinker loves his Enemy Make it a rule never to withhold or conceal from yourself anything that may be thought against your own thoughts.  Vow it!  This is the essential requirement of honest thinking.  You must undertake such a campaign against yourself every day.  A victory and a conquered position are no longer your concern but that of truth—and your defeat also is no longer your concern!  


The Evil of Strength Violence as the outcome of passion for example of rage must be understood from the physiological point of view as an attempt to avoid an imminent fit of suffocation.  Innumerable acts arising from animal spirits and vented upon others are simply outlets for getting rid of sudden congestion by a violent muscular exertion: and perhaps the entire "evil of strength "must be considered from this point of view.  (This evil of strength wounds others unintentionally—it must find an outlet somewhere; while the evil of weakness wishes to wound and to see the signs of suffering that it has caused).  


To the Credit of the Connoisseur As soon as someone who is no connoisseur begins to pose as a judge we should remonstrate whether it is a male or female whipper-snapper.  Enthusiasm or delight in a thing or a human being is not an argument; neither is repugnance or hatred.  


Treacherous Blame "He has no knowledge of men "means in the mouth of some "He does not know what baseness is"; and in the mouths of others "He does not know the exception and knows only too well what baseness means".  


The Value of Sacrifice The more the rights of states and princes are questioned as to their right to sacrifice the individual (for example in the administration of justice conscription etc.)  the more will the value of self-sacrifice rise.  


Speaking too distinctly There are several reasons why we articulate our words too distinctly: in the first place from distrust of ourselves when using a new and unpractised language; secondly when we distrust others on account of their stupidity or their slowness of comprehension.  The same remark applies to intellectual matters: our communications are sometimes too distinct too painful because if it were otherwise those to whom we communicate our ideas would not understand us.  Consequently the perfect and easy style is only permissible when addressing a perfect audience.  


Plenty of Sleep What can we do to arouse ourselves when we are weary and tired of our ego?  Some recommend the gambling table others Christianity and others again electricity.  Yet the best remedy my dear hypochondriac is and always will be plenty of sleep in both the literal and figurative sense of the word.  Thus another morning will at length dawn upon us.  The knack of worldly wisdom is to find the proper time for applying this remedy in both its forms.  


What we may conclude from fantastic Ideals Where our deficiencies are there also is our enthusiasm.  The enthusiastic principle "love your enemies "had to be invented by the Jews the best haters that ever existed; and the finest glorifications of chastity have been written by those who in their youth led dissolute and licentious lives.  


Do not paint a picture either of God or the devil on your walls: this will ruin both your walls and the atmosphere.  


Probable and Improbable A woman secretly loved a man raised him far above her and said to herself hundreds of times in her inmost heart "If a man like that were to love me I should look upon it as a condescension before which I should have to humble myself in the dust.  "—And the man entertained the same feelings towards the woman and in his inmost heart he felt the very same thought.  When at last both their tongues were loosened and they had communicated their most secret thoughts to one another a deep and meditative silence ensued.  Then the woman said in a cold voice: "The thing is quite clear!  We are neither of us that which we loved!  If you are what you say you are and nothing more then I have humbled myself in vain and loved you; the demon misled me as well as you".  This very probable story never happens—and why doesn't it?  


Tested Advice Of all the means of consolation there is none so efficacious for him who has need of it as the declaration that in his case no consolation can be given.  This implies such a distinction that the afflicted person will at once raise his head again.  


Knowing one's "Individuality".  We too often forget that in the eyes of strangers who see us for the first time we are quite different beings from what we consider ourselves to be—in most cases we exhibit nothing more than one particular characteristic which catches the eye of the stranger and determines the impression we make on him.  Thus the most peaceful and fair—minded man if only he has a big moustache may as it were repose in the shade of this moustache; for ordinary eyes will merely see in him the accessory of a big moustache that is to say a military irascible and occasionally violent character and will act accordingly.  


Gardeners and Gardens Wet dreary days, loneliness and unkind words give rise within us to conclusions like fungi; some morning we find that they have grown up in front of us we know not whence and there they scowl at us sullen and morose.  Woe to the thinker who instead of being the gardener of his plants is merely the soil from which they spring.  


The Comedy of Pity However much we may feel for an unhappy friend of ours we always act with a certain amount of insincerity in his presence: we refrain from telling him everything we think and how we think it with all the circumspection of a doctor standing by the bedside of a patient who is seriously ill.  


Curious Saints There are pusillanimous people who have a bad opinion of everything that is best in their works and who at the same time interpret and comment upon them badly: but also by a kind of revenge they entertain a bad opinion of the sympathy of others and do not believe in sympathy at all; they are ashamed to appear to be carried away from themselves and feel a defiant comfort in appearing or becoming ridiculous.  States of soul like these are to be found in melancholy artists.  


Vain People We are like shop windows where we ourselves are constantly arranging concealing or setting in the foreground those supposed qualities which others attribute to us—in order to deceive ourselves 386.  Pathetic and Naive It may be a very vulgar habit to let no opportunity slip of assuming a pathetic air for the sake of the enjoyment to be experienced in imagining the spectator striking his breast and feeling himself to be small and miserable.  Consequently it may also be the indication of a noble mind to make fun of pathetic situations and to behave in an undignified manner in them.  The old warlike nobility of France possessed that kind of distinction and delicacy.  


A Reflection before Marriage Supposing she loved me what a burden she would be to me in the long run!  And supposing that she did not love me what a much greater burden she would be to me in the long run!  We have to choose between two different kinds of burdens; therefore let us marry.  


Rascality with a good Conscience It is exceedingly annoying to be cheated in small bargains in certain countries—in the Tyrol for example—because in addition to the bad bargain we are compelled to accept the evil countenance and coarse greediness of the man who has cheated us together with his bad conscience and his hostile feeling against us.  At Venice on the other hand the cheater is highly delighted at his successful fraud and is not in the least angry with the man he has cheated—nay he is even inclined to show him some kindness and above all to have a hearty laugh with him if he likes.  In short one must possess wit and a good conscience in order to be a knave and this will almost reconcile the cheated one with the cheat.  


Rather too Awkward Good people who are too awkward to be polite and amiable promptly endeavour to return an act of politeness by an important service or by a contribution beyond their power.  It is touching to see them timidly producing their gold coins when others have offered them their gilded coppers!  


Hiding one's Intelligence When we surprise someone in the act of hiding his intelligence from us we call him evil: the more so if we suspect that it is his civility and benevolence which have induced him to do so.  


The Evil Moment Lively dispositions only lie for a moment: after this they have deceived themselves and are convinced and honest.  


The Condition of Politeness Politeness is a very good thing and really one of the four chief virtues (although the last) but in order that it may not result in our becoming tiresome to one another the person with whom I have to deal must be either one degree more or less polite than I—otherwise we should never get on and the ointment would not only anoint us but would cement us together.  


Dangerous Virtues "He forgets nothing but forgives everything "— wherefore he shall be doubly detested for he causes us double shame by his memory and his magnanimity.  


Without Vanity Passionate people think little of what others may think; their state of mind raises them above vanity.  


Contemplation In some thinkers the contemplative state peculiar to a thinker is always the consequence of a state of fear in others always of desire.  In the former contemplation thus seems allied to the feeling of security in the latter to the feeling of surfeit—in other words the former are spirited in their mood the latter over-satiated and neutral.  


Hunting The one is hunting for agreeable truths the other for disagreeable ones.  Yet even the former takes greater pleasure in the hunt than in the booty.  


Education Education is a continuation of procreation and very often a kind of supplementary varnishing of it.  


How to recognise the Choleric Of two persons who are struggling together or who love and admire one another the more choleric will always be at a disadvantage.  The same remark applies to two nations.  


Self-Excuse Many men have the best possible right to act in this or that way; but as soon as they begin to excuse their actions we no longer believe that they are right—and we are mistaken.  


Moral Pampering There are tender moral natures who are ashamed of all their successes and feel remorse after every failure.  


Dangerous Unlearning We begin by unlearning to love others and end by finding nothing lovable in ourselves.  


Another form of Toleration "To remain a minute too long on red—hot coals and to be burnt a little does no harm either to men or to chestnuts.  The slight bitterness and hardness makes the kernel all the sweeter.  "—Yes this is your opinion you who enjoy the taste!  You sublime cannibals!  


Different Pride Women turn pale at the thought that their lover may not be worthy of them; Men turn pale at the thought that they may not be worthy of the women they love.  I speak of perfect women perfect men.  Such men who are self-reliant and conscious of power at ordinary times grow diffident and doubtful of themselves when under the influence of a strong passion.  Such women on the other hand though always looking upon themselves as the weak and devoted sex become proud and conscious of their power in the great exception of passion—they ask: "Who then is worthy of me?  " 404.  When we seldom do Justice Certain men are unable to feel enthusiasm for a great and good cause without committing a great injustice in some other quarter: this is their kind of morality.  


Luxury The love of luxury is rooted in the depths of a man's heart: it shows that the superfluous and immoderate is the sea wherein his soul prefers to float.  


Let him who wishes to kill his opponent first consider whether by doing so he will not immortalise him enemy in himself.  


Against our Character If the truth which we have to utter goes against our character—as very often happens—we behave as if we had uttered a clumsy falsehood and thus rouse suspicion.  


Where a great deal of Gentleness is Needed.  Many natures have only the choice of being either public evil doers or secret sorrow bearers.  


Illness Among illness are to be reckoned the premature approach of old age ugliness and pessimistic opinions—three things that always go together.  


Timid People It is the awkward and timid people who easily become murderers: they do not understand slight but sufficient means of defence or revenge and their hatred owing to their lack of intelligence and presence of mind can conceive of no other expedient than destruction.  


Without Hatred You wish to bid farewell to your passion?  Very well but do so without hatred against it!  Otherwise you have a second passion.  The soul of the Christian who has freed himself from sin is generally ruined afterwards by the hatred for sin.  Just look at the faces of the great Christians! They are the faces of great haters.    


Ingenious and Narrow-Minded.  He can appreciate nothing beyond himself and when he wishes to appreciate other people he must always begin by transforming them into himself.  In this however he is ingenious.  


Private and Public Accusers Watch closely the accuser and inquirer—for he reveals his true character; and it is not rare for this to be a worse character than that of the victim whose crime he is investigating.  The accuser believes in all innocence that the opponent of a crime and criminal must be by nature of good character or at least must appear as such—and this is why he lets himself go that is to say he drops his mask.  


Voluntary Blindness There is a kind of enthusiastic and extreme devotion to a person or a party which reveals that in our inmost hearts we feel ourselves superior to this person or party and for this reason we feel indignant with ourselves.  We blind ourselves as it were of our own free will to punish our eyes for having seen too much.  


Remedwm Amoris That old radical remedy for love is now in most cases as effective as it always was: love in return.  


Where is our worst Enemy?  He who can look after his own affairs well and knows that he can do so is as a rule conciliatory towards his adversary.  Yet to believe that we have right on our side and to know that we are incapable of defending it—this gives rise to a fierce and implacable hatred against the opponent of our cause.  Let everyone judge accordingly where his worst enemies are to be sought.  


The Limits of all Humility Many men may certainly have attained that humility which says credo quia absurdum est and sacrifices its reason; but so far as I know not one has attained to that humility which after all is only one step further and which says credo quia absurdus sum.  


Acting the Truth Many a man is truthful not because he would be ashamed to exhibit hypocritical feelings but because he would not succeed very well in inducing others to believe in his hypocrisy.  In a word he has no confidence in his talent as an actor and therefore prefers honestly to act the truth.  


Courage in a Party The poor sheep say to their bell-wether: "Only lead us and we shall never lack courage to follow you".  But the poor bell-wether thinks in his heart: "Only follow me and I shall never lack courage to lead you".  


Cunning of the Victim What a sad cunning there is in the wish to deceive ourselves with respect to the person for whom we have sacrificed ourselves when we give him an opportunity in which he must appear to us as we should wish him to be!  


Through Others There are men who do not wish to be seen except through the eyes of others: a wish which implies a great deal of wisdom.  


Making Others Happy Why is the fact of our making others happy more gratifying to us than all other pleasures?  Because in so doing we gratify fifty cravings at one time.  Taken separately they would perhaps be very small j pleasures; but when put into one hand that i hand will be fuller than ever before-and the heart also.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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