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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 17

avenging ourselves on this life with the
phantasmagoria of "another," of a "better" life.

_Proposition Four._ To divide the world into a "true" and an "apparent"
world, whether after the manner of Christianity or of Kant (after all
a Christian in disguise), is only a sign of decadence,--a symptom of
_degenerating_ life. The fact that the artist esteems the appearance
of a thing higher than reality, is no objection to this statement For
"appearance" signifies once more reality here, but in a selected,
strengthened and corrected form. The tragic artist is no pessimist,--he
says _Yea_ to everything questionable and terrible, he is Dionysian.

[1] Nietzsche here refers to the concept "free will" of the Christians;
this does not mean that there is no such thing as will--that is to say
a powerful determining force from within.--TR.



1. The true world, attainable to the sage, the pious man and the man of
virtue,--he lives in it, _he is it._

(The most ancient form of the idea was relatively clever,
simple, convincing. It was a paraphrase of the proposition
"I, Plato, am the truth.")

2. The true world which is unattainable for the moment, is promised to
the sage, to the pious man and to the man of virtue ("to the sinner who

(Progress of the idea: it becomes more subtle, more
insidious, more evasive,--It _becomes a woman,_ it becomes

3. The true world is unattainable, it cannot be proved, it cannot
promise anything; but even as a thought, alone, it is a comfort, an
obligation, a command.

(At bottom this is still the old sun; but seen through mist
and scepticism: the idea has become sublime, pale, northern,

4. The true world--is it unattainable? At all events it is unattained.
And as unattained it is also _unknown._ Consequently it no longer
comforts, nor saves, nor constrains: what could something unknown
constrain us to?

(The grey of dawn. Reason stretches itself and yawns for the
first time. The cock-crow of positivism.)

5. The "true world"--an idea that no longer serves any purpose, that
no longer constrains one to anything,--a useless idea that has become
quite superfluous, consequently an exploded idea: let us abolish it!

(Bright daylight; breakfast; the return of common sense
and of cheerfulness; Plato

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And listen to what I have found In the South! * * * "You are merry lovers and false and gay, In frolics and sport you pass the day; Whilst in the North, I shudder to say, I worshipped a woman, hideous and gray, Her name was Truth, so I heard them say, But I left her there and I flew away To the South!" BEPPA THE PIOUS.
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Variations in hyphenation and compound words have been preserved.