Monday Aphorism: Compassion and Pity


Some aspect of my being seems to force me to identify my self with all the less fortunate, the downtrodden, the down and outers. It’s not pity. I feel no more sorry for them than I do for myself. I experience ten minutes of dripping pity once in a while, but I cannot sustain the feelings of weakness which pity arouses in me. I have no right to feel sorry for, to pity…

To feel pity is to have bought a particular vision of their being victims of a world’s madness; to be mourned…while still alive.

To feel pity is to have abandoned compassion, to have steeled my self against the possibility of being the object of pity, by thinking my self into some more exalted position – but still on an axis where pity reigns. Yet I see my self as all those others: maimed, hurt, dying; spurned for what they are or who they are not. I end up feeling bad that I am not one of them, whoever that might be.

Compassion? Perhaps. Maybe a pity gone wrong, I can tell my self that I am no longer alive. Or a sense of humanity, a sense of identity with all that is life, whatever tomorrow will bring. The future will… (Nietzsche’s: Antichrist)