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My Favorite Nietzsche Quotes

Nietzsche is my best friend, guide, mentor, and hype-man. Nietzsche is probably the most life affirming person. Second is probably Kanye.

Anyways, here are some of my favorite quotes from Nietzsche, and why it shapes how I live:

In praise of chaos

“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”

Modern society tries to squelch your chaos. What if we THRIVED as a consequence of the chaos within ourselves?

Don’t be boring.

“In heaven, all the interesting people are missing.”

The true philosopher thinks BEYOND traditional (Christian) morality.

Love your enemy, hate your friends.

“The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.”

I believe that when Cleon took office, he disavowed his friends. Why? He didn’t want to let his personal friendships affect his judgement.

The funny inversion that Nietzsche says regarding morality (maybe he said this in ‘The Antichrist’):

If we are taught to love our enemies, shouldn’t we also learn to hate our friends?

An interesting inversion.

What is your telos (purpose in life?)

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

If you know the ‘WHY’ you live, you can discover HOW to live (how to pay your bills, make money, etc).

Determine what is your great self-appointed purpose in life. Then everything else will take care of itself.

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

Don’t be a slave to society, of wanting others to like you.

Just dance!

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”

If you live long enough, you’re bound to change your mind!

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”

The upside of forgetful memory in photography

“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”

I will often derive GREAT JOY from re-discovering some of my old photos! Photos I forgot I shot. And seeing them after a while (marinating my photos), I derive EVEN MORE joy from them [compared with viewing them for the first time].

Think different.

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”

More fun to be misunderstood than understood

“Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood.”

Success isn’t good, failure isn’t bad.

“A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions–as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.”

The joy of discovering deeper levels of truth in reality [truthiness]. Success and failure are both overrated/underrated.

“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”

“The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.”

“There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth.”

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”

“you must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame;
how could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?”

“Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.”

“Meaning and morality of One’s life come from within oneself. Healthy, strong individuals seek self expansion by experimenting and by living dangerously. Life consists of an infinite number of possibilities and the healthy person explores as many of them as possible. Religions that teach pity, self-contempt, humility, self-restraint and guilt are incorrect. The good life is ever changing, challenging, devoid of regret, intense, creative and risky.”

“Art is the proper task of life. ”

“What does your conscience say? — ‘You should become the person you are’.”

“Ultimately, it is the desire, not the desired, that we love.”

“Today as always, men fall into two groups: slaves and free men. Whoever does not have two-thirds of his day for himself, is a slave, whatever he may be: a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar.”

“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.”

“Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.”

“Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?”