A noble soul has reverence for itself

by amy – November 4, 2011 in Words

“A noble soul has reverence for itself.”

–Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Ayn Rand cites this quote in her introduction to The Fountainhead. She says, “[Nietzsche] projects at times a magnificient feeling for man’s greatness, expressed in emotional, not intellectual terms.” She likes how the quote “communicates the inner state of exalted self-esteem.”

Nietzsche’s own words explain it: Among artists and scholars today we find a sufficient number of those who through their works reveal how a profound desire for what is noble drives them: but this very need for what is noble is fundamentally different from the needs of the noble soul itself and is really the eloquent and dangerous indication that such a soul is lacking. It’s not the works; it’s the belief which decides here, which here establishes the order of rank, to take up once more an old religious formula with a new and more profound understanding: some basic certainty which a noble soul has about itself, something which is not to be sought, is not to be found, and perhaps, also, is not to be lost.

I really like this idea and identify with it, because it speaks to a quality of the soul that is unaffected by the desires and vices and typical insecurities of mankind. It also hearkens back to a primitive soul that is much like that found in nature’s creatures. It is a soul that doesn’t have (or find) a need to question or doubt itself.