Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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Short lived Habits.  I love short lived habits, and regard them as an invaluable means for gaining knowledge of many things and states, to the very bottom of their sweetness and bitterness; my nature is altogether arranged for short lived habits, even in the needs of its bodily health, and in general, as far as I can see, from the lowest up to the highest matters.  I always think that this will at last satisfy me permanently (the short lived habit has also this characteristic belief of passion, the belief in everlasting duration; I am to be envied for having found it and recognised it), and then it nourishes me at noon and at eve, and spreads a profound satisfaction around me and in me, so that I have no longing for anything else, not needing to compare, or despise, or hate.  But one day the habit has had its time: the good thing separates from me, not as something which then inspires disgust in me but peaceably, and as though satisfied with me, as I am with it; as if we had to be mutually thankful, and thus shook hands for farewell.  And already the new habit waits at the door, and similarly also my belief indestructible fool and sage that I am!  that this new habit will be the right one, the ultimate right one.  So it is with me as regards foods, thoughts, men, cities, poems, music, doctrines, arrangements of the day, and modes of life.  On the other hand, I hate permanent habits, and feel as if a tyrant came into my neighbourhood, and as if my life's breath condensed, when events take such a form that permanent habits seem necessarily to grow out of them: for example, through an official position, through constant companionship with the same persons, through a settled abode, or through a uniform state of health.  Indeed, from the bottom of my soul I am gratefully disposed to all my misery and sickness, and to whatever is imperfect in me, because such things leave me a hundred back doors through which I can escape from permanent habits.  The most unendurable thing, to be sure, the really terrible thing, would be a life without habits, a life which continually required improvisation: that would be my banishment and my Siberia.  
 

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