This quote from Part 3 of Zarathustra has always at the same time dazzled and perplexed me. Nietzsche in the passage calls on those “who are glad of riddles” to interpret this “vision of the loneliest.” Any Nietzscheans brave enough to put forward their interpretations of this passage? 

Among wild cliffs I stood suddenly alone, bleak, in the bleakest moonlight. But there lay a man. And there–the dog, jumping, bristling, whining–now he saw me coming; then he howled again, he cried. Had I ever heard a dog cry like this for help? And verily, what I saw – I had never seen the like. A young shepherd I saw, writhing, gagging, in spasms, his face distorted, and a heavy black snake hung out of his mouth. Had I ever seen so much nausea and pale dread on one face? He seemed to have been asleep when the snake crawled into his throat, and there bit itself fast. My hand tore at the snake and tore in vain; it did not tear the snake out of his throat. Then it cried out of me: ‘Bite! Bite its head off! Bite!’ Thus it cried out of me – my dread, my hatred, my nausea, my pity, all that is good and wicked in me cried out of me with a single cry….

The shepherd…bit as my cry counseled him; he bit with a good bite. Far away he spewed the head of the snake – and he jumped up. No longer shepherd, no longer human – one changed, radiant, laughing! Never yet on earth has a human being laughed as he laughed! O my brothers, I heard a laughter that was no human laughter; and now a thirst gnaws at me, a longing that never grows still. My longing for this laughter gnaws at me; oh, how do I bear to go on living! And how could I bear to die now!”

– Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Vision and the Riddle”

Where is beauty? Where I must will with all my will; where I want to love and perish that an image may not remain a mere image. Loving and perishing: that has rhymed for eternities. The will to love, that is to be willing also to die.

Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

"The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. ‘Where is God?’ he cried; ‘I’ll tell you! We have killed him – you and I! We are all his murderers.’”

– Nietzsche, The Gay Science, §125

'Madness' of Nietzsche was cancer not syphilis - Telegraph ›

In light of Nietzsche’s death 114 years ago today, here’s an interesting article from 2003 that claims the German philosopher’s death my have been caused by slowly-degenerating brain tumor, not syphilis. 

Nietzsche’s 10 Rules for Writers ›



The eulogists of work. Behind the glorification of ‘work’ and the tireless talk of the ‘blessings of work’ I find the same thought as behind the praise of impersonal activity for the public benefit: the fear of everything individual. At bottom, one now feels when confronted with work–and what is invariably meant is relentless industry from early till late–that such work is the best police, that it keeps everybody in harness and powerfully obstructs the development of reason, of covetousness, of the desire for independence. For it uses up a tremendous amount of nervous energy and takes it away from reflection, brooding, dreaming, worry, love, and hatred; it always sets a small goal before one’s eyes and permits easy and regular satisfactions. In that way a society in which the members continually work hard will have more security: and security is now adored as the supreme goddess. And now–horrors!–it is precisely the ‘worker’ who has become dangerous. Dangerous individuals are swarming all around. And behind them, the danger of dangers: the individual.”

Nietzsche, The Dawn, §173

How good bad music and bad reasons sound when one marches against an enemy!

Nietzsche, The Dawn, §557

I was whirled upward—or was it downward?—into a one-man universe, a secret cult demanding that you put a gun to the head of your dearest habits and beliefs. That intoxicating whiff of half-conscious madness; that casually hair-raising evisceration of everything moral, responsible and parentally approved—these waves overwhelmed my adolescent dinghy. And even more than by his ideas—many of which I didn’t understand at all, but some of which I perhaps grasped better then than I do now—I was seduced by his prose. At the end of his sentences you could hear an electric crack, like the whip of a steel blade being tested in the air. He might have been the Devil, but he had better lines than God.

Gary Kamiya on Nietzsche (via intj-paradigm)

"In the Dionysiac dithyramb man is stimulated to the highest intensification of his symbolic powers; something that he has never felt before urgently demands to be expressed: the destruction of the veil of maya, one-ness as the genius of humankind, indeed of nature itself. The essence of nature is bent on expressing itself; a new world of symbols is required, firstly the symbolism of the entire body, not just of the mouth, the face, the word, but the full gesture of dance with its rhythmical movement of every limb. Then there is a sudden, tempestuous growth in music’s other symbolic powers, in rhythm, dynamics, and harmony. To comprehend this complete unchaining of all symbolic powers, a man must already have reached that height of self-abandonment which seeks symbolic expression in those powers: thus the dithyrambic servant of Dionysos can only be understood by his own kind! With what astonishment the Apolline Greeks must have regarded him! With an astonishment enlarged by the added horror of realizing that all this was not so foreign to them after all, indeed that their Apolline consciousness only hid this Dionysiac world from them like a veil."

—Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragdy, §2