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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 46

vices; and the
consequence is that the latter are dying out. Everything evil which
is the outcome of strength of will--and maybe there is nothing evil
without the strengh of will,--degenerates, in our muggy atmosphere,
into virtue. The few hypocrites I have known only imitated hypocrisy:
like almost every tenth man to-day, they were actors.--


_Beautiful and Ugly:_--Nothing is more relative, let us say, more
restricted, than our sense of the beautiful. He who would try to
divorce it from the delight man finds in his fellows, would immediately
lose his footing. "Beauty in itself," is simply a word, it is not even
a concept. In the beautiful, man postulates himself as the standard of
perfection; in exceptional cases he worships himself as that standard.
A species has no other alternative than to say "yea" to itself alone,
in this way. Its lowest instinct, the instinct of self-preservation and
self-expansion, still radiates in such sublimities. Man imagines the
world itself to be overflowing with beauty,--he forgets that he is the
cause of it all. He alone has endowed it with beauty. Alas! and only
with human all-too-human beauty! Truth to tell man reflects himself in
things, he thinks everything beautiful that throws his own image back
at him. The judgment "beautiful" is the "vanity of his species." ...
A little demon of suspicion may well whisper into the sceptic's ear:
is the world really beautified simply because man thinks it beautiful?
He has only humanised it--that is all. But nothing, absolutely nothing
proves to us that it is precisely man who is the proper model of
beauty. Who knows what sort of figure he would cut in the eyes of a
higher judge of taste? He might seem a little _outré_? perhaps even
somewhat amusing? perhaps a trifle arbitrary? "O Dionysus, thou divine
one, why dost thou pull mine ears?" Ariadne asks on one occasion of
her philosophic lover, during one of those famous conversations on the
island of Naxos. "I find a sort of humour in thine ears, Ariadne: why
are they not a little longer?"


Nothing is beautiful; man alone is beautiful: all æsthetic rests on
this piece of ingenuousness, it is the first axiom of this science.
And now let us straightway add the second to it: nothing is ugly save
the degenerate man,--within these two first principles the realm of
æsthetic judgments is confined. From the physiological standpoint,
everything ugly weakens and depresses man. It reminds him of decay,
danger, impotence; he literally loses strength in its presence. The
effect of ugliness may be gauged by the dynamometer. Whenever man's
spirits are downcast, it is

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Text Comparison with The Will to Power, Book III and IV An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values

Page 3
" Before leaving Part I.
Page 22
That is why this acknowledgment would not in the least prove reality: "that which is" is part of our optics.
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" 558.
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sort of shifting of things and a changing of places; of a sort of "being" or stable entity: this ancient mythology established the belief in "cause and effect," once it had found a lasting form in the functions of speech and grammar.
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] 651.
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_ Finally, we can grasp the conscious ego itself, merely as an instrument in the service of that higher and more extensive intellect: and then we may ask whether all conscious _willing,_ all conscious _purposes,_ all _valuations,_ are not perhaps only means by virtue of which something essentially _different is attained,_ from that which consciousness supposes.
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_ we made a desideratum in regard to certain means (especially pleasurable, rational, and virtuous) into a rule, and then only did we decide what end would be desirable.
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[Footnote 9: German: "Rausch.
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_ Embellishment is merely an expression of a triumphant will, of an increased state of co-ordination, of a harmony of all the strong desires, of an infallible and perpendicular equilibrium.
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_ just as the man sees the woman and makes her a present of everything that can enhance her personal charm, so the sensuality of the artist adorns an object with everything else that he honours and esteems, and by this means perfects it (or idealises it).
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_ to deny it.
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(_Dîners chez Magny:_ all intellectual gourmets with spoilt stomachs.
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What is noble? --External punctiliousness; because this punctiliousness hedges a man about, keeps him at a distance, saves him from being confounded with somebody else.
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_--Philosophers may be conceived as men who make the greatest efforts to _discover_ to what extent man can _elevate_ himself--this holds good more particularly of Plato: how far man's _power_ can extend.
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Europe must be brought face to face with the logic of facts, and confronted with the question whether its will for ruin is really earnest.
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Or, better still, it develops, it passes away, but it never began to develop, and has never ceased from passing away; it _maintains_ itself in both states.