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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 147

mayest have, and which are even more weighty than
the latter. Sayest thou that nutrition, the land of thy birth, air, and
society change thee and determine thee? Well, thy opinions do this to
a much greater degree, for they even prescribe thy nourishment, thy
land of adoption, thy atmosphere, and thy society for thee.--If thou
ever assimilatest the thought of thoughts it will also alter thee. The
question which thou wilt have to answer before every deed that thou
doest: "is this such a deed as I am prepared to perform an incalculable
number of times?" is the best ballast.


The mightiest of all thoughts absorbs a good deal of energy which
formerly stood at the disposal of other aspirations, and in this way
it exercises a modifying influence; it creates new laws of motion in
energy, though no new energy. But it is precisely in this respect that
there lies some possibility of determining new emotions and new desires
in men.


Let us try and discover how the thought that something gets repeated
has affected mankind hitherto (the year, for instance, or periodical
illnesses, waking and sleeping, &c). Even supposing the recurrence of
the cycle is only a probability or a possibility, even a thought, even
a possibility, can shatter us and transform us. It is not only feelings
and definite expectations that do this! See what effect the thought of
eternal damnation has had!


From the moment when this thought begins to prevail all colours will
change their hue and a new history will begin.


The history of the future: this thought will tend to triumph ever more
and more, and those who disbelieve in it will be forced, according to
their nature, ultimately to die out.

He, alone, who will regard his existence as capable of eternal
recurrence will remain over: but among such as these a state will be
possible of which the imagination of no utopist has ever dreamt!


Ye fancy that ye will have a long rest ere your second birth takes
place,--but do not deceive yourselves! 'Twixt your last moment of
consciousness and the first ray of the dawn of your new life no time
will elapse,--as a flash of lightning will the space go by, even though
living creatures think it is billions of years, and are not even able
to reckon it. Timelessness and immediate re-birth are compatible, once
intellect is eliminated!


Thou feelest that thou must soon take thy leave perhaps--and the sunset
glow of this feeling pierces through thy happiness. Give heed to this
sign: it means that thou lovest life and thyself, and life as it

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Text Comparison with Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

Page 4
" "We, the new, the nameless, the hard-to-understand,"--it says there,--"we firstlings of a yet untried future--we require for a new end also a new means, namely, a new healthiness, stronger, sharper, tougher, bolder and merrier than all healthiness hitherto.
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and that teach I unto men: no longer to thrust one's head into the sand of celestial things, but to carry it freely, a terrestrial head, which giveth meaning to the earth! A new will teach I unto men: to choose that path which man hath followed blindly, and to approve of it--and no longer to slink aside from it, like the sick and perishing! The sick and perishing--it was they who despised the body and the earth, and invented the heavenly world, and the redeeming blood-drops; but even those sweet and sad poisons they borrowed from the body and the earth! From their misery they sought escape, and the stars were too remote for them.
Page 29
" The body is a big sagacity, a plurality with one sense, a war and a peace, a flock and a shepherd.
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Or at the best, cows.
Page 53
Many short follies--that is called love by you.
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Page 64
And one day Zarathustra made a sign to his disciples, and spake these words unto them: "Here are priests: but although they are mine enemies, pass them quietly and with sleeping swords! Even among them there are heroes; many of them.
Page 93
Not around the inventors of new noise, but around the inventors of new values, doth the world revolve; INAUDIBLY it revolveth.
Page 101
Therefore am I forbearing to the vain, because they are the physicians of my melancholy, and keep me attached to man as to a drama.
Page 114
" "Of Hazard"--that is the oldest nobility in the world; that gave I back to all things; I emancipated them from bondage under purpose.
Page 120
They commiserate also my accidents and chances:--but MY word saith: "Suffer the chance to come unto me: innocent is it as a little child!" How COULD they endure my happiness, if I did not put around it accidents, and winter-privations, and bear-skin caps, and enmantling snowflakes! --If I did not myself commiserate their PITY, the pity of those enviers and injurers! --If I did not myself sigh before them, and chatter with cold, and patiently LET myself be swathed in their pity! This is the wise waggish-will and good-will of my soul, that it CONCEALETH NOT its winters and glacial storms; it concealeth not its chilblains either.
Page 149
And if thou wouldst now die, O Zarathustra, behold, we know also how thou wouldst then speak to thyself:--but thine animals beseech thee not to die yet! Thou wouldst speak, and without trembling, buoyant rather with bliss, for a great weight and worry would be taken from thee, thou patientest one!-- 'Now do I die and disappear,' wouldst thou say, 'and in a moment I am nothing.
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To him do we convey this ass.
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And yet! And yet--how little was lacking for them to caress each other, that dog and that lonesome one! Are they not both--lonesome ones!" --"Whoever thou art," said the trodden one, still enraged, "thou treadest also too nigh me with thy parable, and not only with thy foot! Lo! am I then a dog?"--And thereupon the sitting one got up, and pulled his naked arm out of the swamp.
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all the world.
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Well! At all events, one way or other--he is gone! He was counter to the taste of mine ears and eyes; worse than that I should not like to say against him.
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now were they about to give me their answer.
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In the meantime the assembled ones had risen from their seats, and waited with reverence for Zarathustra to speak.
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But when it is remembered that in Zarathustra we not only have the history of his most intimate experiences, friendships, feuds, disappointments, triumphs and the like, but that the very form in which they are narrated is one which tends rather to obscure than to throw light upon them, the difficulties which meet the reader who starts quite unprepared will be seen to be really formidable.
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