Men of profound sadness betray themselves when they are happy: they have a mode of seizing upon happiness as though they would choke and strangle it, out of jealousy—ah, they know only too well that it will flee from them!
It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, even with the best right, but without being obliged to do so, proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life in itself already brings with it; not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing such a one comes to grief, it is so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it, nor sjonpathise with it. And he cannot any longer go back!
It is always more obvious to me that the philosopher, as a man indispensable for the morrow and the day after the morrow, has ever found himself, and has been obliged to find himself, in contradiction to the day in which he lives; his enemy has always been the ideal of his day. Hitherto all those extraordinary furtherers of humanity whom one calls philosophers—who rarely regarded themselves as lovers of wisdom, but rather as disagreeable fools and dangerous interrogators—have found their mission, their hard, involuntary, imperative mission (in the end however the greatness of their mission), in being the bad conscience of their age.
Insanity in individuals is something rare — but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.
In the background of all their personal vanity, women themselves have still their impersonal scorn—for “woman”.
I would repeat it, however, a hundred times, that “immediate certainty,” as well as “absolute knowledge” and the “thing in itself,” involve a contradictio in adjecto; we really ought to free ourselves from the misleading significance of words!
He who wills believes with a fair amount of certainty that will and action are somehow one; he ascribes the success, the carrying out of the willing, to the will itself, and thereby enjoys an increase of the sensation of power which accompanies all success.