Work without pleasure

Looking for work in order to be paid: in civilized countries today almost all men are at one in doing that. For all of them work is a means and not an end in itself. Hence they are not very refined in their choice of work, if only it pays well.

But there are, if only rarely, men who would rather perish than work without any pleasure in their work. 

They are choosy, hard to satisfy, and do not care for ample rewards, if the work itself is not the reward of rewards. Artists and contemplative men of all kinds belong to this rare breed, but so do even those men of leisure who spend their lives hunting, traveling, or in love affairs and adventures.

All of these desire work and misery if only it is associated with pleasure, and the hardest, most difficult work if necessary. Otherwise, their idleness is resolute, even if it spells impoverishment, dishonor, and danger to life and limb.

They do not fear boredom as much as work without pleasure; they actually require a lot of boredom if their work is to succeed. For thinkers and all sensitive spirits, boredom is that disagreeable "windless calm" of the soul that precedes a happy voyage and cheerful winds. They have to bear it and must wait for its effect on them.

Precisely this is what lesser natures cannot achieve by any means. To ward off boredom at any cost is vulgar, no less than work without pleasure.

[Friedrich Nietzsche]
The Gay Science, 42

Related posts:


Insensitive                        -                      Sensitive
Stoicism                           -                      Epicureanism

The Epicurean selects the situation, the persons, and even the events that suit his extremely irritable, intellectual constitution; he gives up all others, which means almost everything, because they would be too strong and heavy for him to digest.

The Stoic, on the other hand, trains himself to swallow stones and worms, slivers of glass and scorpions without nausea; he wants his stomach to become ultimately indifferent to whatever the accidents of existence might pour into it: he reminds one of that Arabian sect of the Assaua whom one encounters in Algiers: like these insensitive people, he, too, enjoys having an audience when he shows off his insensitivity, while the Epicurean would rather dispense with that, having his "garden"!

For those with whom fate attempts improvisations - those who live in violent ages and depend on sudden and mercurial people - Stoicism may indeed be advisable. But anyone who foresees more or less that fate permits him to spin a long thread does well to make Epicurean arrangements.

That is what all those have always done whose work is of the spirit. For this type it would be the loss of losses to be deprived of their subtle irritability and be awarded in its place a hard Stoic hedgehog skin.

[Friedrich Nietzsche]
The Gay Science, 306

Related posts:

The Front Door

Knock knock! Is anybody there?

Ah, its you. I've been expecting you. Please come in. Put your feet up for a few minutes. The internet can be an exhausting place, and you must be tired.

I am actually, its just one thing after another out there. Now then, what exactly is this place?

Good question. Foreverbecoming is a storehouse for the various bits of information that I come across on my travels; those that I find interesting enough to want to save.

I do my best to link all of the separate posts up to one another, creating threads - or constellations - that make (to my mind) greater sense out of the various bits of information.

By linking things up - gathering separate elements together to make larger wholes - a higher, more abstract layer is created on top of that which already exists.

Essentially, I am using specifics to get at generalities. And sometimes generalities to get at even greater generalities.

I see it as akin to building a pyramid, where every subsequent layer of blocks gets larger and fewer in number. It culminates in a single block at the top - the capstone - which could be seen as a universal binding truth (such as the golden rule, "harm no one, help others as much as you can"). A true capstone is something that can in some way encapsulate everything beneath it, albeit in a very general way. It contains no details.

I'm not sure what the capstone of foreverbecoming is, although I suspect it may be something like "L O V E."

That sounds rather wishy-washy. Who the devil are you?

I am an enthusiastic amateur. I have the kind of mind that needs to make sense of things. My default mode is to be a step back from the world, looking, listening, and taking notes. Hence the site you see before you. It is, basically, a way in which I make sense of the world.

Sounds dubious. So where do we go from here?

Below are the central themes of the site. They are much like the main branches of a tree; each one leading to smaller branches, with those branches leading to still smaller branches, and then on to its many leaves.

Most posts can be found through these starting points. Alternately, there is a temperamental search bar up to the right there - if you have a subject of interest then just type it in and see what comes up.

Many posts will also have labels attached to them. These can be found at the bottom of the post. Clicking on one will bring up all other posts associated with that label.

To the right there's also an index of all authors featured on the site. If there's someone in particular you're interested in then click their name and all posts featuring them will be shown.

I hope you enjoy exploring this place. It has some interesting nooks and crannies. But don't get lost! That can happen all too easily around here ...