The Twilight of the Idols - The Antichrist Complete Works, Volume Sixteen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 100

Jesus might be called a "free spirit"--he cares not a jot for anything
that is established: the word _killeth,_ everything fixed _killtth._
The idea, _experience,_ "life" as he alone knows it, is, according to
him, opposed to every kind of word, formula, law, faith and dogma. He
speaks only of the innermost things: "life" or "truth," or "light," is
his expression for the innermost thing,--everything else, the whole of
reality, the whole of nature, language even, has only the value of a
sign, of a simile for him.--It is of paramount importance not to make
any mistake at this point, however great may be the temptation thereto
that lies in Christian--I mean to say, ecclesiastical prejudice. Any
such essential symbolism stands beyond the pale of all religion, all
notions of cult, all history, all natural science, all experience of
the world, all knowledge, all politics, all psychology, all books and
all Art--for his "wisdom" is precisely the complete ignorance[4] of the
existence of such things. He has not even heard speak of _culture,_ he
does not require to oppose it,--he does not deny it.... The same holds
good of the state, of the whole of civil and social order, of work
and of war--he never had any reason to deny the world, he had not the
vaguest notion of the ecclesiastical concept "the world." ... Denying
is precisely what was quite impossible to him.--Dialectic is also
quite absent, as likewise the idea that any faith, any "truth" can be
proved by argument (--his proofs are inner "lights," inward feelings of
happiness and self-affirmation, a host of "proofs of power"--). Neither
can such a doctrine contradict, it does not even realise the fact that
there are or can be other doctrines, it is absolutely incapable of
imagining a contrary judgment.... Wherever it encounters such things,
from a feeling of profound sympathy it bemoans such "blindness,"--for
it sees the "light,"--but it raises no objections.


The whole psychology of the "gospels" lacks the concept of guilt and
punishment, as also that of reward. "Sin," any sort of aloofness
between God and man, is done away with,--_this is precisely what
constitutes the "glad tidings"._ Eternal bliss is not promised, it is
not bound up with certain conditions; it is the only reality--the rest
consists only of signs wherewith to speak about it....

The results of such a state project themselves into a new practice
of life, the actual evangelical practice. It is not a "faith" which
distinguishes the Christians: the Christian acts, he distinguishes
himself by means of a _different_ mode of action. He does not resist
his enemy either by words

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Text Comparison with The Birth of Tragedy; or, Hellenism and Pessimism

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Of course, despite their extraordinarily good health, the life of this family was not by any means all sunshine.
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that had befallen him during his one year of student life in Bonn had deeply depressed him.
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In October 1868, my brother returned to his studies in Leipzig with double joy.
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[1] The beauteous appearance of the dream-worlds, in the production of which every man is a perfect artist, is the presupposition of all plastic art, and in fact, as we shall see, of an important half of poetry also.
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in joy, sorrow, and knowledge, even to the transpiercing shriek, became audible: let us ask ourselves what meaning could be attached to the psalmodising artist of Apollo, with the phantom harp-sound, as compared with this demonic folk-song! The muses of the arts of "appearance" paled before an art which, in its intoxication, spoke the truth, the wisdom of Silenus cried "woe! woe!" against the cheerful Olympians.
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The Dionyso-musical enchantment of the sleeper now emits, as it were, picture sparks, lyrical poems, which in their highest development are called tragedies and dramatic dithyrambs.
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Not reflection, no!--true knowledge, insight into appalling truth, preponderates over all motives inciting to action, in Hamlet as well as in the Dionysian man.
Page 63
What was it that thus forcibly diverted this highly gifted artist, so incessantly impelled to production, from the path over which shone the sun of the greatest names in poetry and the cloudless heaven of popular favour? What strange consideration for the spectator led him to defy, the spectator? How could he, owing to too much respect for the public --dis-respect the public? Euripides--and this is the solution of the riddle just propounded--felt himself, as a poet, undoubtedly superior to the masses, but not to two of his spectators: he brought the masses upon the stage; these two spectators he revered as the only competent judges and masters of his art: in compliance with their directions and admonitions, he transferred the entire world of sentiments, passions, and experiences, hitherto present at every festival representation as the invisible chorus on the spectators' benches, into the souls of his stage-heroes; he yielded to their demands when he also sought for these new characters the new word and the new tone; in their voices alone he heard the conclusive verdict on his work, as also the cheering promise of triumph when he found himself condemned as usual by the justice.
Page 68
So long as the spectator has to divine the meaning of this or that person, or the presuppositions of this or that conflict of inclinations and intentions, his complete absorption in the doings and sufferings of the chief persons is impossible, as is likewise breathless fellow-feeling and fellow-fearing.
Page 72
"[18] But then it seemed to Socrates that tragic art did not even "tell the truth": not to mention the fact that it addresses.
Page 74
This perplexity with respect to the chorus first manifests itself in Sophocles--an important sign that the Dionysian basis of tragedy already begins to disintegrate with him.
Page 90
When Goethe on one occasion said to Eckermann with reference to Napoleon: "Yes, my good friend, there is also a productiveness of deeds," he reminded us in a charmingly naïve manner that the non-theorist is something incredible and astounding to modern man; so that the wisdom of Goethe is needed once more in order to discover that such a surprising form of existence is.
Page 92
Page 94
The recitative was regarded as the rediscovered language of this primitive man; the opera as the recovered land.
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Page 112
The stupendous historical exigency of the unsatisfied modern culture, the gathering around one of countless other cultures, the consuming desire for knowledge--what does all this point to, if not to the loss of myth, the loss of the mythical home, the mythical source? Let us ask ourselves whether the feverish and so uncanny stirring of this culture is aught but the eager seizing and snatching at food of the hungerer--and who would care to contribute anything more to a.
Page 113
Through a remarkable disruption of both these primitive artistic impulses, the ruin of Greek tragedy seemed to be necessarily brought about: with which process a degeneration and a transmutation of the Greek national character was strictly in keeping, summoning us to earnest reflection as to how closely and necessarily art and the people, myth and custom, tragedy and the state, have coalesced in their bases.
Page 114
On the heights there is the same exuberant love of knowledge, the same insatiate happiness of the discoverer, the same stupendous secularisation, and, together with these, a homeless roving about, an eager intrusion at foreign tables, a frivolous deification of the present or a dull senseless estrangement, all _sub speci sæculi,_ of the present time: which same symptoms lead one to infer the same defect at the heart of this culture, the annihilation of myth.