Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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PRUDENCE OF THE FREE SPIRITS.  Freethinkers, those who live by knowledge alone, will soon attain the supreme aim of their life and their ultimate position towards society and State, and will gladly content themselves, for instance, with a small post or an income that is just sufficient to enable them to live; for they will arrange to live in such a manner that a great change of outward prosperity, even an overthrow of the political order, would not cause an overthrow of their life.  To all these things they devote as little energy as possible in order that with their whole accumulated strength, and with a long breath, they may dive into the element of knowledge.  Thus they can hope to dive deep and be able to see the bottom.  Such a spirit seizes only the point of an event, he does not care for things in the whole breadth and prolixity of their folds, for he does not wish to entangle himself in them.  He, too, knows the weekdays of restraint, of dependence and servitude.  But from time to time there must dawn for him a Sunday of liberty, otherwise he could not endure life.  It is probable that even his love for humanity will be prudent and somewhat short winded, for he desires to meddle with the world of inclinations and of blindness only as far as is necessary for the purpose of knowledge.  He must trust that the genius of justice will say something for its disciple and protege if accusing voices were to call him poor in love.  In his mode of life and thought there is a refined heroism, which scorns to offer itself to the great mob reverence, as its coarser brother does, and passes quietly through and out, of the world.  Whatever labyrinths it traverses, beneath whatever rocks its stream has occasionally worked its way when it reaches the light it goes clearly, easily, and almost noiselessly on its way, and lets the sunshine strike down to its very bottom.  
 

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