Mistakes are good in NLP. We like people to make mistakes. Preferably, every mistake only once. If people try to avoid making mistakes they limit themselves unnecessarily. One of the basic ideas in NLP is that there is no failure only feedback.

Against remorse. I don’t like this kind of cowardice towards one’s own deed; one should not desert oneself when attacked by unexpected disgrace and distress. Extreme pride is more fitting here. In the end, what good is it! Remorse can’t undo any deed; neither can ‘forgiveness’ or ‘atonement’. One would have to be a theologian to believe in a power that cancels guilt; we immoralists prefer not to believe in ‘guilt’. We hold that every kind of action is at root identical in value – likewise that actions directed against us may yet, considered economically, be useful and generally desirable actions. – In individual cases we’ll admit that we could easily have been spared a particular deed – only circumstances favored our committing it. – Which of us, favored by circumstances, wouldn’t already have run the entire gamut of crimes? ,One should therefore never say: ‘You shouldn’t have done this or that,’ but only ever: ‘How strange that I haven’t done that a hundred times,’- In the end very few actions are typical actions and really abbreviations for a personality; and considering how little personality most people have, a man is rarely characterized by a single deed. A deed of circumstance, merely epidermal, merely a reflex triggered by a stimulus: before the depths of our being have been touched by it, consulted on it. A rage, a grasp, a knife-thrust: what is there of personality in that! – The deed often brings with it a kind of fixed stare and unfreedom: so that the doer seems transfixed by the memory of it and sees himself as no longer anything more than an appendage of it. This disturbance of the mind, a form of hypnosis, is what one must combat most of all: after all, a single deed, whatever it may be, is zero compared to the entirety of what one has done, and may be counted out without falsifying the calculation. The fair interest which society may have in calculating our whole existence in just one direction, as if its whole aim had been to produce one single deed, should not infect the doer himself: unfortunately this happens almost constantly. That is because every deed with unusual consequences is followed by a disturbance of the mind: regardless even of whether those consequences are good or bad. Look at a man in love who’s gained a promise; a writer applauded by the whole house: as far as their intellectual torpor is concerned, they differ not at all from the anarchist surprised by a raid. – There are actions that are unworthy of us: actions that, if we took them as typical, would push us down into a lower species. Here the one mistake to be avoided is taking them to be typical. There is the converse kind of action, of which we are unworthy: exceptions born of a special plenitude of happiness and health, our highest tidal waves, driven that high by a storm, a chance: such actions and ‘works’ are not typical. One should never measure an artist by the yardstick of his works.

Notebook 10, autumn 1887 paragraph 108

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