130 Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes (That Aspire to Inspire)
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) was a German philosopher, composer, poet, cultural critic, philologist, and Greek and Latin scholar. His writings on truth, morality, language, aesthetics, cultural theory, history, nihilism, power, consciousness, and the meaning of existence have exerted an enormous influence on Western philosophy and intellectual history. He is famous for uncompromising criticisms of traditional European morality and religion, as well as of conventional philosophical ideas and social and political pieties associated with modernity.
Some interpreters of Nietzsche believe he embraced nihilism, rejected philosophical reasoning, and promoted a literary exploration of the human condition, while not being concerned with gaining truth and knowledge in the traditional sense of those terms. However, other interpreters of Nietzsche say that in attempting to counteract the predicted rise of nihilism, he was engaged in a positive program to reaffirm life, and so he called for a radical, naturalistic rethinking of the nature of human existence, knowledge, and morality. This collection will hopefully inspire readers to seek out the books from which these quotes were taken, in order to gain a fuller understanding of Nietzsche’s profound view of the world.
Nietzsche Short quotes
- Art is the proper task of life.
- Man is the cruelest animal.
- There are no facts, only interpretations.
- Without music, life would be a mistake.
- To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.
- Become who you are.
- We have art in order not to die of the truth.
- Live dangerously.
- Silence is worse; all truths that are kept silent become poisonous.
- I am one thing, my writings are another.
Funny quotes by Friedrich Nietzsche
- It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them.
- The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
- In heaven, all the interesting people are missing.
- Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.
- In truth, there was only one christian and he died on the cross.
- After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.
- Invisible threads are the strongest ties.
- Remorse would simply mean adding to the first act of stupidity a second.
- I obviously do everything to be hard to understand myself.
Inspirational Quotes by Friedrich Nietzsche
- I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible.
- You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.
- The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.
- He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.
- No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.
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- Amor Fati – Love Your Fate, which is in fact your life.
- That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
- 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.
- What does your conscience say? — You should become the person you are.
- All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.
- We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.
- Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?
- Judgments, judgments of value, concerning life, for it or against it, can, in the end, never be true: they have value only as symptoms, they are worthy of consideration only as symptoms; in themselves such judgments are stupidities. One must by all means stretch out one’s fingers and make the attempt to grasp this amazing finesse, that the value of life cannot be estimated.
- All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.
- There is an innocence in admiration: it occurs in one who has not yet realized that they might one day be admired.
- What is the seal of liberation? Not to be ashamed in front of oneself.
- He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.
- The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in hardness against themselves and others, in experiments. Their joy is self-conquest: asceticism becomes in them nature, need, and instinct. Difficult tasks are a privilege to them; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation. Knowledge–a form of asceticism. They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not preclude their being the most cheerful and the kindliest.
Cynical quotes by Friedrich Nietzsche
- It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
- 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.
- I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.
- They muddy the water, to make it seem deep.
- Faith: not wanting to know what the truth is.
- A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
- There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth.
- Be careful, lest in casting out your demon you exorcise the best thing in you.
- Plato was a bore.
- There is not enough love and goodness in the world to permit giving any of it away to imaginary beings.
- Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.
- The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others.
- Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
- The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.
- Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen.
- Throw roses into the abyss and say: here is my thanks to the monster who didn’t succeed in swallowing me alive.
- For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.
- No shepherd and one herd. Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.
- In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.
- The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its diseases is called man.
Insightful quotes by Friedrich Nietzsche
- There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.
- A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.
- Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.
- I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.
- Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.
- One must pay dearly for immortality; one has to die several times while still alive.
- 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.
- When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.
- Being nationalistic in the sense in which it is now demanded by public opinion would, it seems to me, be for us who are more spiritual not mere insipidity but dishonesty, a deliberate deadening of our better will and conscience.
- The lonely one offers his hand too quickly to whomever he encounters.
- In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.
- There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe.
- A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.
- That which is done out of love is always beyond good and evil.
- Ultimately, it is the desire, not the desired, that we love.
- Self-interest is worth as much as the person who has it: it can be worth a great deal, and it can be unworthy and contemptible.
- It seems to me that a human being with the very best of intentions can do immeasurable harm, if he is immodest enough to wish to profit those whose spirit and will are concealed from him
- There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.
- Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.
- Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.
- One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.
- This is the mistake which I seem to make eternally, that I imagine the sufferings of others as far greater than they really are. Ever since my childhood, the proposition “my greatest dangers lie in pity” has been confirmed again and again.
- There are no eternal facts, as there are no absolute truths.
- Without forgetting it is quite impossible to live at all.
- As long as you still experience the stars as something above you, you lack the eye of knowledge.
Unexpected Nietzsche quotes
- A thought comes when it will, not when I will.
- Is man merely a mistake of God’s? Or God merely a mistake of man?
- Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood.
- I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance.
- Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.
- One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil.
- Love is a state in which a man sees things most decidedly as they are not.
- All great things must first wear terrifying and monstrous masks in order to inscribe themselves on the hearts of humanity.
- What is the truth, but a lie agreed upon.
- The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.
- One must shed the bad taste of wanting to agree with many.
- Pity is the practice of nihilism. To repeat: this depressive and contagious instinct crosses those instincts which aim at the preservation of life and at the enhancement of its value. It multiplies misery and conserves all that is miserable, and is thus a prime instrument of the advancement of decadence: pity persuades men to nothingness!
Intellectual quotes by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
- Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he himself does not become a monster. If you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
- The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.
- All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
- I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage.
- Of all evil I deem you capable: Therefore I want good from you. Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.
- 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.
- At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.
- Is it better to out-monster the monster or to be quietly devoured?
- 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.
- The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.
- 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 author must keep his mouth shut when his work starts to speak.
- To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence.
- My solitude doesn’t depend on the presence or absence of people; on the contrary, I hate who steals my solitude without, in exchange, offering me true company.
- The spiritualization of sensuality is called love: it is a great triumph over Christianity.
- It is not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow, that the lover of knowledge is reluctant to step into its waters.
- The individual himself is a fallacy. Everything which happens in us is in itself something else which we do not know. ‘The individual’ is merely a sum of conscious feelings and judgments and misconceptions, a belief, a piece of the true life system or many pieces thought together and spun together, a ‘unity’, that doesn’t hold together. We are buds on a single tree—what do we know about what can become of us from the interests of the tree! But we have a consciousness as though we would and should be everything, a phantasy of ‘I’ and all ‘not I.’ Stop feeling oneself as this phantastic ego! Learn gradually to discard the supposed individual! Discover the fallacies of the ego! Recognize egoism as fallacy! The opposite is not to be understood as altruism! This would be love of other supposed individuals! No! Get beyond ‘myself’ and ‘yourself’! Experience cosmically!
Poetic quotes by Friedrich Nietzsche
- You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.
- Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier and simpler.
- One must give value to their existence by behaving as if ones very existence were a work of art.
- You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame; how could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?
- Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
- I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.
- A subject for a great poet would be God’s boredom after the seventh day of creation.
- 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.
- It is the same with man as with the tree. The more he seeks to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark, the deep – into evil.
- One must be a sea, to receive a polluted stream without becoming impure.
- They call you heartless; but you have a heart and I love you for being ashamed to show it.
- Man is something that shall be overcome. Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman ― a rope over an abyss. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.
- The voice of beauty speaks softly; it creeps only into the most fully awakened souls
- In the end it must be as it is and always has been: great things remain for the great, abysses for the profound, nuances and shudders for the refined, and, in brief, all that is rare for the rare.
- Nothing on earth consumes a man more quickly than the passion of resentment.
- The end of a melody is not its goal: but nonetheless, had the melody not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either. A parable.
- Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.
- My dear friend, what is this our life? A boat that swims in the sea, and all one knows for certain about it is that one day it will capsize. Here we are, two good old boats that have been faithful neighbors, and above all your hand has done its best to keep me from capsizing! Let us then continue our voyage—each for the other’s sake, for a long time yet, a long time! We should miss each other so much! Tolerably calm seas and good winds and above all sun—what I wish for myself, I wish for you, too, and am sorry that my gratitude can find expression only in such a wish and has no influence at all on wind or weather!
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