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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 146

a sandglass, will always be reversed
and will ever run out again,--a long minute of time will elapse until
all those conditions out of which you were evolved return in the wheel
of the cosmic process. And then you will find every pain and every
pleasure, every friend and every enemy, every hope and every error,
every blade of grass and every ray of sunshine once more, and the whole
fabric of things that makes up your life. This ring in which you are
but a grain will glitter afresh for ever. And in every one of these
cycles of human life there will be one hour where for the first time
one man, and then many, will perceive the mighty thought of the eternal
recurrence of all things:--and for mankind this is always the hour of
Noon.



2. THE EFFECTS OF THE DOCTRINE UPON MANKIND


26

How can we give weight to our inner life without making it evil and
fanatical towards people who think otherwise. Religious belief is
declining and man is beginning to regard himself as ephemeral and
unessential, a point of view which is making him weak; he does not
exercise so much effort in striving or enduring. What he wants is
momentary enjoyment He would make things light for himself,--and a good
deal of his spirit gets squandered in this endeavour.


27

The political mania at which I smile just as merrily as my
contemporaries smile at the religious mania of former times is above
all Materialism, a belief in the world, and in the repudiation of a
"Beyond," of a "back-world." The object of those who believe in the
latter is the well-being of the ephemeral individual: that is why
Socialism is its fruit; for with Socialism ephemeral individuals wish
to secure their happiness by means of socialisation. They have no
reason to wait, as those men had who believed in eternal souls, in
eternal development and eternal amelioration. My doctrine is: Live
so that thou mayest desire to live again,--that is thy duty,--for in
any case thou wilt live again He unto whom striving is the greatest
happiness, let him strive; he unto whom peace is the greatest
happiness, let him rest; he unto whom subordination, following,
obedience, is the greatest happiness, let him obey. All that is
necessary is that he should know what it is that gives him the highest
happiness, and to fight shy of no means! Eternity is at stake!


28

"But if everything is necessary, what control have I over my actions?"
Thought and faith are a form of ballast which burden thee in addition
to other burdens thou

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For this should be thoroughly understood; it was during those years in which my vitality reached its lowest point that I ceased from being a pessimist: the instinct of self-recovery forbade my holding to a philosophy of poverty and desperation.
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When he has not a book between his fingers he cannot think.
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Any kind of spiritual decrepitude utterly excludes all intercourse with them--even any kind of dyspepsia: a man must have no nerves, but he must have a cheerful belly.
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If the most insignificant organ within the body neglects, however slightly, to assert with absolute certainty its self-preservative powers, its recuperative claims, and its egoism, the whole system degenerates.
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Cohn.
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In a chamber high above the Piazza just mentioned, from which one obtained a general view of Rome, and could hear the fountains plashing far below, the loneliest of all songs was composed--"The Night-Song.
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--From what do I suffer when I suffer from the fate of music? From the fact that music has lost its world-transfiguring, yea-saying character--that it is decadent music and no longer the flute of Dionysus.
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_And this some have tried to do! It is precisely this that men called morality.
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What man, before my time, had descended into the underground caverns from out of which the poisonous fumes of this ideal--of this slandering of the world--burst forth? What man had even dared to suppose that they were underground caverns? Was a single one of the philosophers who preceded me a psychologist at all, and not the very reverse of a psychologist--that is to say, a "superior swindler," an "Idealist"? Before my time there was no psychology.