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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 112

of falsity! "Virtue
itself shall bear us testimony." ... Only read the gospels as books
calculated to seduce by means of morality: morality is appropriated by
these petty people,--they know what morality can do! The best way of
leading mankind by the nose is with morality! The fact is that the most
conscious _conceit_ of people who believe themselves to be _chosen,_
here simulates modesty: in this way they, the Christian community, the
"good and the just" place themselves once and for all on a certain
side, the side "of Truth"--and the rest of mankind, "the world" on
the other.... This was the most fatal kind of megalomania that had
ever yet existed on earth: insignificant little abortions of bigots
and liars began to lay sole claim to the concepts "God," "Truth,"
"Light," "Spirit," "Love," "Wisdom," "Life," as if these things were,
so to speak, synonyms of themselves, in order to fence themselves off
from "the world"; little ultra-Jews, ripe for every kind of madhouse,
twisted values round in order to suit themselves, just as if the
Christian, alone, were the meaning, the salt, the standard and even the
"_ultimate tribunal_" of all the rest of mankind.... The whole fatality
was rendered possible only because a kind of megalomania, akin to this
one and allied to it in race,--the Jewish kind--was already to hand in
the world: the very moment the gulf between Jews and Judæo-Christians
was opened, the latter had no alternative left, but to adopt the same
self-preservative measures as the Jewish instinct suggested, even
_against_ the Jews themselves, whereas the Jews, theretofore, had
employed these same measures only against the Gentiles. The Christian
is nothing more than an anarchical Jew.


--Let me give you a few examples of what these paltry people have
stuffed into their heads, what they have laid _on the lips of their
Master_: quite a host of confessions from "beautiful souls."--

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart
thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against
them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom
and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city." (Mark vi.
11.)--_How evangelical!..._

"And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in
me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck,
and he were cast into the sea." (Mark ix. 42.)--How _evangelical!..._

"And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it fa better for thee to
enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be
cast into

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Text Comparison with Thoughts out of Season, Part I

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language towards you? Has there not always been among the few thinking heads in Germany a silent consent and an open contempt for you and your ways; the sort of contempt you yourselves have for the even more Anglo-Saxon culture of the Americans? I candidly confess that in my more German moments I have felt and still feel as the German philosophers do; but I have also my European turns and moods, and then I try to understand you and even excuse you, and take your part against earnest and thinking Germany.
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The Disraelian Novels are in my opinion the best and only preparation for those amongst you who wish gradually to become acquainted with the Nietzschean spirit.
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Only those whom Strauss designates as his "We," speak as he does, and then, when they expatiate upon their faith to us, they bore us even more than when they relate their dreams; be they "scholars, artists, military men, civil employes, merchants, or landed proprietors; come they in their thousands, and not the worst people in the land either!" If they do not wish to remain the peaceful ones in town or county, but threaten to wax noisy, then let not the din of their unisono deceive us concerning the poverty and vulgarity of the melody they sing.
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" But we know something more: we know that there are enthusiasts who are not intellectual, who do not rouse or exalt, and who, nevertheless, not only expect to be the guides of.
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"But this is only effected for some fleeting moments; it happens and counts only in the realms of phantasy; as soon as we return to.
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To such a man, the ground seems strewn with ashes, and all stars are obscured; while every withered tree and field laid waste seems to cry to him: Barren! Forsaken! Springtime is no longer possible here! He must feel as young Goethe felt when he first peered into the melancholy atheistic twilight of the Système de la Nature; to him this book seemed so grey, so Cimmerian and deadly, that he could only endure its presence with difficulty, and shuddered at it as one shudders at a spectre.
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No one would contend, I suppose, that Strauss is original, or that he is over-severe in his method; but the question is whether we can regard him as "master of his subject," and grant him "incomparable skill"? The confession to the effect that the treatise was intentionally "lightly equipped" leads us to think that it at least aimed at incomparable skill.
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Another rhetorical rule is also very widespread, namely, that didactic passages should be composed in long periods, and should be drawn out into lengthy abstractions, while all persuasive passages should consist of short sentences followed by striking contrasts.
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"I had only you to turn to," he said, "when I sought those who I thought would be in sympathy with my plans,-- you who are the most personal friends of my own particular art, my work and activity: only you could I invite to help me in my work, that it might be presented pure and whole to those who manifest a genuine interest in my art, despite the fact that it has hitherto made its appeal to them only in a disfigured and adulterated form.
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His attitude towards it then differs from that of every scholar, and more nearly resembles the relation of the ancient Greek to his myths; that is to say, his subject is something he may fashion, and about which he may write verses.
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"Where are.
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And under these conditions, which are only vaguely felt at present, language has gradually become a force in itself which with spectral arms coerces and drives humanity where it least wants to go.
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That is why they evade the new messenger of light; but he follows them--the love which gave him birth compels him to follow them and to reduce them to submission.
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moreover, that real music is of a piece with fate and primitive law; for it is quite impossible to attribute its presence amongst us precisely at the present time to empty and meaningless chance.
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through him.
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It also robbed them of the greatest and purest things which their deepest needs led them to create, and through which they meekly expressed the genuine and unique art within their soul: their myths, songs, dances, and their discoveries in the department of language, in order to distil therefrom a voluptuous antidote against the fatigue and boredom of its existence-- modern art.
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Not that everybody remained silent: on the contrary, answers were given to thousands of questions which he had never put; people gossipped about the new masterpieces as though they had only been composed for the express purpose of supplying subjects for conversation.
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All one is conscious of is of the great necessity of it all.
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But in vain! Thanks to their very efforts in contending against the dictates of their own consciences, they become ever meaner and smaller artists; they ruin their own natures by forcing themselves to tolerate undesirable allies and friends And in spite of all these sacrifices, they still find perhaps in their dreams, that their ear turns attentively to Wagner.