The conservative Victorian era was characterized by many progressions developed by mankind, but the social mentality still stood at narrow psychological thoughts and reservations and very little exposure to self and subjective matters.
Standing out from the herd and thinking outside the laid ways in the nineteenth century was perceived as a deviation from societal norms, and the person was seen as mentally ill. This was too thought of by German philosopher and philologist Friedrich Nietzsche.
His ideas and morals had an approach to modern intellectual evolution which did find relevance today. Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophies encompass self-growth from a psychological perspective, what he called “Selbstüberwindung”; self-overcoming, embracing sufferings to facilitate self-potential which he refers to as “Übermensch”; superman, in his philosophy. In contrast to his background, he followed a discourse from Christianity, in which he critically quoted, “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him”.
His psychological warfare philosophy seeks deviant but aesthetic means to follow the meaning in one’s existence and one’s self-actualization to find your voice, to have faith in your own philosophy. These 40 Nietzsche quotes will inspire you to bring the changing forces in you.
1. “He who has a why to live can bear almost anyhow.”
The one who realizes purpose in his life can overcome any loss and pressure to fulfill the meaning of purpose because they know the importance of life and all that it brings.
2. “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”
This Nietzsche quote defines a universal truth that without sufferings and struggles one cannot grow to the fullest. Every suffering brings an experience to energize your yearning for achieving something.
3. “What does not kill me makes me stronger.”
This quote is used as an aphorism to describe the resilient quality in a person to adapt to adversity and strive to be themselves and continue to live the purpose.
4. “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby becomes a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”
We all have a shadow or evil side within us, and we decide when to take it into force and tackle an obstruction. While fighting with obstruction, our evils might overpower us but our eyes, our reflection can recall back our inherent side back.
5. “One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
Nietzsche had a great way to engage in the novelty of art, which was also his refuge of morals.
This Nietzsche quote is about being liberal with one’s inner motives and choices rather than following what's good and bad according to others, there has to be chaos and rush within you to break from the herd, to give birth to the shining dance star of yourself.
6. “Without music, life would be a mistake.”
Music is such a fluid form of art that blends with anything, and Nietzsche knew it very well. It's a movement itself that eases emotions and soothes any breakdown. Any beginning or any motivation is incomplete without complementary music.
7. “There are no facts, only interpretations.”
Nietzsche has described it as “perspectivism”, we state something as a fact when that is closely related to any truth or something that has been experienced universally. But that’s what interpretation is in literature, we interpret those lines based on how we imagine or perceive it if “it’s relatable”.
8. “There are no beautiful surfaces without terrible depths.”
A beautiful mountain peak is always a pleasure to see, but one has to climb over rocky treks and pain in the legs to reach there. An individual’s life may seem beautiful to others, but they might not know the struggle to make it beautiful and their personal experiences.
9. “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”
People come to refuse reality because of their held irrational thoughts about the world, situations, other people, and many times their own failure.
10. “The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.”
Nietzsche’s morals were disputed by those who saw nothing more than their blind faith and relying on others to comfort and reduce their sufferings, but he soared a higher path to self-reliance and helping themselves by coming face to face with the miseries.
This quote by Nietzsche is for dreamers who find their sky and fly high for their ambitions, which will often come to be discouraged y others around you.
11. “One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.”
Over time, awareness about giving importance to emotions and the concept of EQ as equivalently important to IQ has revolutionized a psychological insight.
One should not always use logic to reason thoughts that have an emotional cause, they should be aware of the relation between one’s heart and mind and the power of their causes; thoughts, and emotions.
12. “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.”
Everything around us has to go through changes and reforms, a snake would die if it doesn’t shed its old skin, one should move ahead of old norms that become stereotypes to give new reforms in mind to flourish as we adapt.
13. “No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you alone.”
No one but you lay the foundation of your future, your actions are the steps of your bridge that wholly depends on yourself. The bridge is your lifetime, on which you embark every step alone. Nietzsche quotes this for those who 6underestimate themselves and seek external reliance.
14. “What does your conscience say? — ‘You should become the person you are’.”
There is a difference between being selfish and being oneself.
You cannot know about others’ self without knowing yourself. Your behavior is the characteristic mode of living as a distinguished self from others, being different from others is to be yourself, that way each of us is unique in our own way.
15. “One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil.”
A teacher wants their student to learn the maximum of the knowledge surrounding them and use the best of it, and never stop learning.
But being in ignorance of the lessons and knowledge from the teacher just makes a student a mere pupil whose ears are hearing and eyes are observing, but their mind does not seek any learnings from it.
16. “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.”
Paulo Coelho in his biographical book “Hippie” talked about the time when he saw a group of lord Krishna followers dancing and chanting across a public area, caring less about those individuals who were mere spectators and didn’t know the pleasure in that insanity of getting lost in another state of consciousness.
17. “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier, and simpler.”
This psychoanalytic Nietzsche quote gives a primary basis to feelings that get reflected in thoughts. It is simply imitations of imitations, according to Plato’s explanation of noble reasons.
18. “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.”
Since we are a child throughout our youth, we are taught to make friends and stay around likewise thinkers and distance ourselves from deviant and “weird” thinkers. But in this prejudice, we forget to think and see from a different perspective and appreciate the unique things.
19. “A matter that becomes clear ceases to concern us.”
Nietzsche quotes that any conflict concerning us that affects our whole being, resolution of that conflict does no longer matters to us, and bringing the cause of the conflict back to our consciousness will only lead to us being stuck in the past.
20. “One must give value to their existence by behaving as if one's very existence were a work of art.”
Friedrich Nietzsche briefs out his philosophy of “living life as an artist” in this quote. We are constantly engaged in making and working on something novel and something that pleases us, which makes our existence easy, and this is because we should enjoy our existence as much as how we give value to an artwork.
21. “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”
In today’s self-focused and constructive modern era, working out has found existence that brings physical and psychological transformation and as per Nietzsche’s quote, taking a walk generates gallons of thought chains that can bring innovation and realization.
22. “Anyone who has declared someone else to be an idiot, a bad apple, is annoyed when it turns out in the end that he isn’t.”
Simply, it means that someone who we underestimate and treat as an outcast later turns out to be the opposite of the presumptions about them, which makes us feel offensive and annoyed because of the inferiority complex.
23. “Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.”
Memories are more than something to just remember and hold on to, memories play a part to shape us in experiences. But holding onto painful and remorse memories can make one stuck in life and make it hard to move on from the blunders and take on new experiences life brings with it.
24. “Be careful, lest in casting out your demon, you exorcise the best thing in you.”
This quote is from Nietzsche’s book “Thus spoke the Zarathustra”, when you unleash your inner demons you must never lose the best of you which also resides inside you.
25. “Underneath this reality in which we live and have our being, another and altogether different reality lies concealed.”
Another Nietzsche quote on the biased perception of humans which they regard to with their definition of truth and truth, according to Nietzsche, is an individual built standards to understand something that fits their internalized understanding.
Due to these built standards, individuals perceive something true and real based on their standards of understanding, and they do not engage in something abstract and lie to them.
26. “And 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.”
Nietzsche emphasizes enjoying life nonetheless, he uses dance and laughing as metaphors to make them part of our daily lives to lighten the mundane life.
27. “I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible.”
Pursuit of greatness and living dangerously is what Nietzsche believed in. It gives a sense of happiness that comes as you overcome the impossible and your wisdom grows in the unbearable, it gives a deeper meaning to your existence.
28. “Happiness is the feeling that power increase- that resistance is being overcome.”
As much as happiness comes from being in pleasure, according to Nietzsche, one can attain happiness by overcoming what life throws on us from our will, the will which manifests spirit to gain power overcoming struggles. This feeling comes from the sense of self-mastery.
29. “Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?”
It’s inevitable for individuals to be constantly engaged in one thing and never seek new experiences and adventures that would keep their lives purposeful and away from boredom.
For some adventures, life may seem short, but you should never drop out in the process that interests you.
30. “A subject for a great poet would be God’s boredom after the seventh day of creation.”
Can you imagine the god experiencing boredom?
Interesting, but someone fluid and sensitive to imagining would put the best explanation to it; a poet, as Nietzsche quotes, would use it as a prompt for his poetry that no matter how powerful you are, one day it will feel just like a routine.
31. “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
Nietzsche reflects on being off the beaten track and having a divergent approach to life, there are no rules to live life the right way according to someone. You need to have a conscience to choose your own path.
32. “Whatever is done for love always occurs beyond good and evil."
It is now considered a satanic lie but what Nietzsche tried to mean from this quote was, in the pursuit of love which does not lie in moral judgment, an act of love occurs beyond good or evil for any other motive in the act of it.
33. “The demand to be loved is the greatest of all arrogant presumptions.”
The feeling of being in love or being loved is ecstatic, Nietzsche quotes here that just by being in someone's life or around them does not entitle you to receive a forced love from them throughout, they have their own ways to be there for you and care for you.
Even blood relations can turn toxic because of the feeling of giving love as a duty.
34. “No price too high for the privilege of owning yourself.”
Nietzsche is trying to generate individualism through this quote, as you should not give up on being yourself in fear of paying the price for it. Many times you have to be by yourself and move ahead, but without knowing yourself you cannot put forth any action waiting for someone to guide you.
35. “Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.”
When you love someone you tend to overlook their flaws because you see them as a version of how they appear to you but in a friendship, the flaws are visible at first, and you come to accept them as who they are and with time you somewhat experience a similar romantic feeling towards them.
If you come to see the flaw of someone you love, it brings some conflict between them.
36. “A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love.”
Love is not an illusion, but it can illusionize some reality that hampers the feeling of seeing good and fantasizing things. Perhaps we need a "powerful spectacle" that could show a tragic side of it too, which would clear allusions, and yet the feeling of love would remain beyond good and evil.
37. “I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage.”
I once read somewhere, being in a stressed, pressured, and stopping condition to one's growth can boost them to grow more and take this condition as an opportunity.
Examples were; olives need to be put under pressure to extract oil, grapes are kept in darkness and rotten till it becomes a savory old wine. This calls for change for the better in this quote by Nietzsche.
38. “Either we have no dreams or our dreams are interesting. One must learn to be awake in the same fashion: either not at all, or in an interesting manner.”
You remember a dream that has either made you curious and startled or something that might have happened to you but appeared in your dream in the weirdest way, it's interesting that you want to keep being in those dreams.
That's what Nietzsche is trying to say in this quote, that you should live your life being conscious as if it was an interesting dream that keeps you interested to know more and more about what is coming next.
39. “He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.”
Even with numbness in your legs, struggling to catch a breath, but all you think is; you made it to the peak, and you burst into the euphoria of achievement no matter what you went through throughout the journey.
That's what appears to be in this Nietzsche quote, that tragedies have their own humor that you laugh at as you sense the feeling of its overcoming.
40. “The images of myth must be the daemonic guardians, omnipresent and unnoticed, which protect the growth of the young mind, and guide man’s interpretation of his life and struggles.”
Nietzsche is trying to refer to the myths developed by elders that they teach the youngsters on how to behave and the direction in which they should think just like how they had to, but that just narrows their way of perception, their own pattern of thinking that stops, if the myths told to them, come to their mind.
They give misunderstood meanings to their personal struggles and curiosity in thoughts because of myths. These myths are equal to a guardian demon who hurts their existence as an individual but also saves from disregards from the ones who developed these myths.
Nietzsche's quotes come largely from his self-discoveries and his passion for writing well-developed with his intellectual thoughts and self-motivated spiritual philosophy. Even in his isolated suffering with disability, he yearned to learn and experience more of the world, as he quotes- "I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary for things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful."
It may sound arrogant to writers and great thinkers what Nietzsche says- "I can write in a sentence what it takes other people a book to write".
Not just this but at first read, his philosophy and words may appear arrogant and selfish, but it won't take long to realize that beyond a collectivistic life there tend to be self-driven ambitions that are basic human needs.
Nietzsche's quotes have an emotional and psychological approach different from a materialistic existence, but he also says to be selfish in a strategic way.
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