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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 74

seem to you blessed to stamp
your hand upon millenniums as upon wax,--

--Blessed to write upon the will of millenniums as upon brass,--harder
than brass, nobler than brass.--Hard through and through is only the

This new table of values, O my brethren, I set over your heads: Become

--"Thus Spake Zarathustra,

III., 29.


An Attempted Criticism of Christianity


This book belongs to the very few. Maybe not one of them is yet alive;
unless he be of those who understand my Zarathustra. How _can_ I
confound myself with those who to-day already find a hearing?--Only the
day after to-morrow belongs to me. Some are born posthumously.

I am only too well aware of the conditions under which a man
understands me, and then _necessarily_ understands. He must be
intellectually upright to the point of hardness, in order even to
endure my seriousness and my passion. He must be used to living on
mountain-tops,--and to feeling the wretched gabble of politics and
national egotism _beneath_ him. He must have become indifferent; he
must never inquire whether truth is profitable or whether it may
prove fatal.... Possessing from strength a predilection for questions
for which no one has enough courage nowadays; the courage for the
_forbidden;_ his predestination must be the labyrinth. The experience
of seven solitudes. New ears for new music. New eyes for the most
remote things. A new conscience for truths which hitherto have
remained dumb. And the will to economy on a large scale: to husband
his strength and his enthusiasm.... He must honour himself, he must
love himself; he must be absolutely free with regard to himself....
Very well then! Such men alone are my readers, my proper readers,
my preordained readers: of what account are the rest?--the rest are
simply--humanity.--One must be superior to humanity in power, in
loftiness of soul,--in contempt.



Let us look each other in the face. We are hyperboreans,--we know
well enough how far outside the crowd we stand. "Thou wilt find the
way to the Hyperboreans neither by land nor by water": Pindar already
knew this much about us. Beyond the north, the ice, and death--_our
life, our happiness...._ We discovered happiness; we know the way; we
found the way out of thousands of years of labyrinth. Who _else_ would
have found it?--Not the modern man, surely?--"I do not know where I
am or what I am to do; I am everything that knows not where it is or
what to do,"--sighs the modern man. We were made quite ill by _this_
modernity,--with its indolent peace, its cowardly compromise, and the
whole of the virtuous filth of its Yea

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Text Comparison with The Dawn of Day

Page 9
Page 11
coarse would they sound if we uttered them! or to so great an extent would they seem to be a slander upon morality! Thus, for example, the fundamental clause: morality is nothing else (and, above all, nothing more) than obedience to customs, of whatsoever nature they may be.
Page 15
Whence cometh this new spirit that dwelleth within me but from you? Prove to me, then, that I am one of you--nothing but madness will prove it to me.
Page 19
_ the minds of Socrates and Plato): though the plain evidence and experience of our daily life prove the contrary.
Page 27
--The same impulse, under the impression of the blame cast upon it by custom, develops into the painful feeling of cowardice, or else the pleasurable feeling of _humility_, in case a morality, like that of Christianity, has taken it to its heart and called it _good_.
Page 34
I say: Let us be indulgent towards the two-eyed, both great and small; for, _such as we are now_, we shall never rise beyond indulgence! 52.
Page 59
Is not the most essential point, the answer to this _wherein?_ and _whither?_ left out of the formula? What results therefrom, so far as our own actions and duties are concerned, which is not already tacitly and instinctively understood? Can we sufficiently understand from this formula whether we must prolong as far as possible the existence of the human race, or bring about the greatest possible disanimalisation of man? How different the means, _i.
Page 63
In all this process our intellect is rather merely the blind instrument of another rival craving, whether it be the impulse to repose, or the fear of disgrace and other evil consequences, or love.
Page 64
Under the domination of this experience, which he is powerless to shake off, he admires neutrality of feeling or "objectivity" as an extraordinary thing, as something connected with genius or a very rare morality, and he cannot believe that even this neutrality is merely the product of education and habit.
Page 77
--Of all human actions probably the least understood are those which are carried out for a definite purpose, because they have always been regarded as the most intelligible and commonplace to our intellect.
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Let us not forget also, however, that the injury caused to society and to the individual by the criminal is of the same species as that caused by the sick: for the sick spread cares and ill-humour; they are non-productive, consume the earnings of others, and at the same time require attendance, doctors, and support, and they really live on the time and strength of the healthy.
Page 121
--Whence arises this excessive impatience in our day which turns men into criminals even in circumstances which would be more likely to bring about the contrary tendency? What induces one man to use false weights, another to set his house on fire after having insured it for more than its value, a third to take part in counterfeiting, while three-fourths of our upper classes indulge in legalised fraud, and suffer from the pangs of conscience that follow speculation and dealings on the Stock Exchange: what gives rise to all this? It is not real want,--for their existence is by no means precarious; perhaps.
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He even secretly enjoyed the thought of bewildering their judgment and good taste by the thunder and lightning of his highest authority--that authority which lies in the union of power and genius--while both his judgment and his good taste held fast proudly and indifferently to.
Page 146
--They were friends once, but now they have ceased to be so, and both of them broke off the friendship at the same time, the one because he believed himself to be too greatly misunderstood, and the other because he thought he was known too intimately--and both were wrong! For neither of them knew himself well enough.
Page 153
In all cases where experience, precautions, and prudent steps are required, it is the innocent man who will be most thoroughly corrupted, for he has to drink with closed eyes the dregs and most secret poison of everything put before him.
Page 199
--Michelangelo considered Raphael's genius as having been acquired by study, and upon his own as a natural gift: learning as opposed to talent; though this is mere pedantry, with all due respect to the great pedant himself.
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--If we consider all that has been venerated up to the present as "superhuman intellect" or "genius," we must come to the sad conclusion that, considered as a whole, the intellectuality of mankind must have been extremely low and poor: so little mind has hitherto been necessary in order to feel at once considerably superior to all this! Alas for the cheap glory of "genius"! How quickly has it been raised to the throne, and its worship grown into a custom! We still fall on our knees before power--according to the old custom of slaves--and nevertheless, when the degree of venerability comes to be determined, only the degree of reason in the power will be the deciding factor.