Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 74

not because God was active behind the priests, as is generally
believed, but because it was a _faute de mieux_--from the fact that
hitherto it has been the only ideal and has had no competitors. "For
man prefers to aspire to nonentity than not to aspire at all." But
above all, until the time of _Zarathustra_ there was no such thing
as a counter-ideal. You have understood my meaning. Three decisive
overtures on the part of a psychologist to a _Transvaluation of all
Values._--This book contains the first psychology of the priest.




This work--which covers scarcely one hundred and fifty pages, with its
cheerful and fateful tone, like a laughing demon, and the production
of which occupied so few days that I hesitate to give their number--is
altogether an exception among books: there is no work more rich in
substance, more independent, more upsetting--more wicked. If any one
should desire to obtain a rapid sketch of how everything, before my
time, was standing on its head, he should begin reading me in this
book. That which is called "Idols" on the title page is simply the
old truth that has been believed in hitherto. In plain English, _The
Twilight of the Idols_ means that the old truth is on its last legs.


There is no reality, no "ideality," which has not been touched in
this book (touched! what a cautious euphemism!). Not only the eternal
idols, but also the youngest--that is to say, the most senile: modern
ideas, for instance. A strong wind blows between the trees and in
all directions fall the fruit--the truths. There is the waste of an
all-too-rich autumn in this book: you trip over truths. You even crush
some to death, there are too many of them. Those things that you can
grasp, however, are quite unquestionable; they are irrevocable decrees.
I alone have the criterion of "truths" in my possession. I alone _can_
decide. It would seem as if a second consciousness had grown up in me,
as if the "life-will" in me had thrown a light upon the downward path
along which it has been running throughout the ages. The _downward
path_--hitherto this had been called the road to "Truth." All obscure
impulse--"darkness and dismay"--is at an end, the "_good man_" was
precisely he who was least aware of the proper way.[1] And, speaking
in all earnestness, no one before me knew the proper way, the way
upwards: only after my time could men once more find hope, life-tasks,
and roads mapped out that lead to culture--_I am the

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Genealogy of Morals The Complete Works, Volume Thirteen, edited by Dr. Oscar Levy.

Page 0
We have never searched for ourselves--how should it then come to pass, that we should ever _find_ ourselves? Rightly has it been said: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Page 3
Rée, like all the English moral philosophers, sees the ethical "Thing-in-itself"); finally, Aph.
Page 11
_ "the powerful," "the lords," "the commanders"), or after the most obvious sign of their superiority, as for example "the rich," "the possessors" (that is the meaning of _arya_; and the Iranian and Slav languages correspond).
Page 12
Bonus accordingly as the man of discord, of variance, "entzweiung" (_duo_), as the warrior: one sees what in ancient Rome "the good" meant for a man.
Page 16
In view of this context has the Church nowadays any necessary purpose? has it, in fact, a right to live? Or could man get on without it? _Quæritur_.
Page 21
nonchalance and contempt for safety, body, life, and comfort, their awful joy and intense delight in all destruction, in all the ecstasies of victory and cruelty,--all these features become crystallised, for those who suffered thereby in the picture of the "barbarian," of the "evil enemy," perhaps of the "Goth" and of the "Vandal.
Page 28
Hic est quem a Juda redemistis, hic est ille arundine et colaphis diverberatus, sputamentis de decoratus, felle et acete potatus.
Page 31
The question, "What is the _value_ of this or that table of 'values' and morality?" will be asked from the most varied standpoints.
Page 51
--Punishment, as compensation for the injury sustained by the injured party, in any form whatsoever (including the form of sentimental compensation).
Page 57
But to do this we must take a long breath, and we must first of all go back once again to an earlier point of view.
Page 59
Granted that we have gradually started on the _reverse_ movement, there is no little probability in the deduction, based on the continuous decay in the belief in the Christian god, to the effect that there also already exists a considerable decay in the human consciousness of owing (ought); in fact, we cannot shut our eyes to the prospect of the complete and eventual triumph of atheism freeing mankind from all this feeling of obligation to their origin, their _causa prima_.
Page 74
But there is not one iota of "virtue" in all this.
Page 83
Page 92
But is he really a _physician_, this ascetic priest? We already understand why we are scarcely allowed to call him a physician, however much he likes to feel a "saviour" and let himself be worshipped as a saviour.
Page 97
Perchance this was then a novelty, a real discovery? This conjuring up of the will for co-operation, for family organisation, for communal life, for "_Cœnacula_" necessarily brought the Will for Power, which had been already infinitesimally stimulated, to a new and much fuller manifestation.
Page 98
Every oligarchy is continually quivering with the tension of the effort required by each individual to keep mastering this desire.
Page 107
And now look at the other side, at those rare cases, of which I spoke, the most supreme idealists to be found nowadays among philosophers and scholars.
Page 110
344, and best of all the whole fifth book of that work, as well as the Preface to _The Dawn of Day_.
Page 118
Page 124
This is our distrust, which recurs again and again; our care, which never lets us sleep; our question, which no one listens to or wishes to listen to; our Sphinx, near which there is more than one precipice: we believe that the men of present-day Europe are deceived in regard to the things which we love best, and a pitiless demon (no, not pitiless, only indifferent and puerile)--plays with our hearts and their enthusiasm, as it may perhaps have already played with everything that lived and loved; I believe that everything which we Europeans of to-day are in the habit of admiring as the values of all these respected things called "humanity," "mankind," "sympathy," "pity," may be of some value as the debilitation and moderating of certain powerful and dangerous primitive impulses.