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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 88

by means of prayer;
while the highest thing is regarded as unattainable, as a gift, as an
act of "grace" Here plain dealing is also entirely lacking: concealment
and the darkened room are Christian. Here the body is despised, hygiene
is repudiated as sensual; the church repudiates even cleanliness (--the
first Christian measure after the banishment of the Moors was the
closing of the public baths, of which Cordova alone possessed 270).
A certain spirit of cruelty towards one's self and others is also
Christian: hatred of all those who do not share one's views; the will
to persecute Sombre and exciting ideas are in the foreground; the most
coveted states and those which are endowed with the finest names, are
really epileptic in their nature; diet is selected in such a way as
to favour morbid symptoms and to over-excite the nerves. Christian,
too, is the mortal hatred of the earth's rulers,--the "noble,"--and
at the same time a sort of concealed and secret competition with them
(the subjugated leave the "body" to their master--all they want is
the "soul"). Christian is the hatred of the intellect, of pride, of
courage, freedom, intellectual _libertinage;_ Christian is the hatred
of the _senses,_ of the joys of the senses, of joy in general.


When Christianity departed from its native soil, which consisted of the
lowest classes, the _submerged masses_ of the ancient world, and set
forth in quest of power among barbaric nations, it no longer met with
exhausted men but inwardly savage and self-lacerating men--the strong
but bungled men. Here, dissatisfaction with one's self, suffering
through one's self, is not as in the case of Buddhism, excessive
irritability and susceptibility to pain, but rather, conversely, it
is an inordinate desire for inflicting pain, for a discharge of the
inner tension in hostile deeds and ideas. Christianity was in need of
_barbaric_ ideas and values, in order to be able to master barbarians:
such are for instance, the sacrifice of the first-born, the drinking
of blood at communion, the contempt of the intellect and of culture;
torture in all its forms, sensual and non-sensual; the great pomp of
the cult Buddhism is a religion for _senile_ men, for races which
have become kind, gentle, and over-spiritual, and which feel pain too
easily (--Europe is not nearly ripe for it yet--); it calls them back
to peace and cheerfulness, to a regimen for the intellect, to a certain
hardening of the body. Christianity aims at mastering _beasts of prey_;
its expedient is to make them _ill,_--to render feeble is the Christian
recipe for taming, for "civilisation." Buddhism is a religion for

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

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Could not a rejuvenated Graeco-Roman system of valuing (once it had been refined and made more profound by the schooling which two thousand years of Christianity had provided) effect another such revolution within a calculable period of time, until that glorious type of manhood shall finally appear which is to be our new faith and hope, and in the creation of which Zarathustra exhorts us to participate? In his private notes on the subject the author uses the expression "Superman" (always in the singular, by-the-bye), as signifying "the most thoroughly well-constituted type," as opposed to "modern man"; above all, however, he designates Zarathustra himself as an example of the Superman.
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And thus spake the old man to Zarathustra: "No stranger to me is this wanderer: many years ago passed he by.
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Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's pride? To exhibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom? Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrateth its triumph? To ascend high mountains to tempt the tempter? Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for the sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul? Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends of the deaf, who never hear thy requests? Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of truth, and not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads? Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and give one's hand to the phantom when it is going to frighten us? All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself: and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness, so hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.
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And not in vain did the youths sit before the preacher of virtue.
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I often overleap the steps when I clamber; for so doing, none of the steps pardons me.
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Our faith in others betrayeth wherein we would fain have faith in ourselves.
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Lo! it is the table of their triumphs; lo! it is the voice of their Will to Power.
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Ah, ye men, within the stone slumbereth an image for me, the image of my visions! Ah, that it should slumber in the hardest, ugliest stone! Now rageth my hammer ruthlessly against its prison.
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All the secrets of your heart shall be brought to light; and when ye lie in the sun, grubbed up and broken, then will also your falsehood be separated from your truth.
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Ah, that my hand hath not strength enough! Gladly, indeed, would I free thee from evil dreams!-- And while Zarathustra thus spake, he laughed at himself with melancholy and bitterness.
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Once did one BELIEVE in soothsayers and astrologers; and THEREFORE did one believe, "Everything is fate: thou shalt, for thou must!" Then again did one distrust all soothsayers and astrologers; and THEREFORE did one believe, "Everything is freedom: thou canst, for thou willest!" O my brethren, concerning the stars and the future there hath hitherto been only illusion, and not knowledge; and THEREFORE concerning good and evil there hath hitherto been only illusion and not knowledge! 10.
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On the contrary, he lay quietly with closed eyes like a person sleeping, although he did not sleep; for he communed just then with his soul.
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time: it hath forgotten me perhaps? Or doth it sit behind a big stone and catch flies? And verily, I am well-disposed to mine eternal fate, because it doth not hound and hurry me, but leaveth me time for merriment and mischief; so that I have to-day ascended this high mountain to catch fish.
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And Zarathustra went thoughtfully on, further and lower down, through forests and past moory bottoms; as it happeneth, however, to every one who meditateth upon hard matters, he trod thereby unawares upon a man.
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And verily, thou hast well detected me! But thou thyself--hast given me no small proof of thyself: thou art HARD, thou wise Zarathustra! Hard strikest thou with thy 'truths,' thy cudgel forceth from me--THIS truth!" --"Flatter not," answered Zarathustra, still excited and frowning, "thou stage-player from the heart! Thou art false: why speakest thou--of truth! Thou peacock of peacocks, thou sea of vanity; WHAT didst thou represent before me, thou evil magician; WHOM was I meant to believe in when thou wailedst in such wise?" "THE PENITENT IN SPIRIT," said the old man, "it was him--I represented; thou thyself once devisedst this expression-- --The poet and magician who at last turneth his spirit against himself, the transformed one who freezeth to death by his bad science and conscience.
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The least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a lizard's rustling, a breath, a whisk, an eye-glance--LITTLE maketh up the BEST happiness.
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Better to adore God so, in this form, than in no form at all! Think over this saying, mine exalted friend: thou wilt readily divine that in such a saying there is wisdom.
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We have given Nietzsche's definition of life in the Note on Chapter LVI.
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I become thin, I am almost equal to a shadow!" At last, in despair, such men do indeed cry.