The Will to Power, Book I and II An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 13

as something fixed,
given and exacted _from outside_--that is to say, by some supernatural
authority. Once the belief in this has been unlearned, the force of an
old habit leads to the search after _another_ authority, which would
_know how to speak unconditionally,_ and could _point to_ goals and
missions. The authority of the _conscience_ now takes the first place
(the more _morality_ is emancipated from theology, the more imperative
does it become) as a compensation for the _personal authority._ Or
the authority of _reason._ Or the _gregarious instinct_ (the herd).
Or history with its _immanent_ spirit, which has its goal in itself,
and to which one can _abandon oneself._ One would like to _evade_ the
_will,_ as also the _willing_ of a goal and the risk of setting oneself
a goal. One would like to get rid of the responsibility (_Fatalism_
would be accepted). Finally: Happiness and with a dash of humbug, the
_happiness of the greatest number._

It is said:--

(1) A definite goal is quite unnecessary.

(2) Such a goal cannot possibly be foreseen. Precisely now, when _will_
in its _fullest strength_ were _necessary,_ it is in the _weakest_
and most _pusillanimous_ condition. _Absolute mistrust concerning the
organising power_ of the will.


21.

_The perfect Nihilist._--The Nihilist's eye _idealises in an ugly
sense,_ and is inconstant to what it remembers: it allows its
recollections to go astray and to fade, it does not protect them from
that cadaverous coloration with which weakness dyes all that is distant
and past. And what it does not do for itself it fails to do for the
whole of mankind as well--that is to say, it allows it to drop.


22.

Nihilism. It may be _two things_:--

A. Nihilism as a sign of _enhanced spiritual strength_: active Nihilism.

B. Nihilism as a sign of the _collapse_ and _decline_ of spiritual
_strength_: passive Nihilism.


23.

Nihilism, a _normal_ condition.

It may be a sign of _strength_; spiritual vigour may have increased to
such an extent that the _goals_ toward which man has marched _hitherto_
(the "convictions," articles of faith) are no longer suited to it
(for a faith generally expresses the exigencies of the _conditions of
existence,_ a submission to the authority of an order of things which
_conduces_ to the _prosperity,_ the _growth_ and _power_ of a living
creature ...); on the other hand, a sign of _insufficient_ strength, to
fix a goal, a "wherefore," and a faith for itself.

It reaches its _maximum_ of relative strength, as a powerful
_destructive_ force, in the form of _active Nihilism._

Its opposite would be _weary_ Nihilism, which no longer attacks: its
most renowned form being Buddhism: as _passive_ Nihilism,

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Will man sich kurz einen Begriff davon geben, wie vor mir Alles auf dem Kopfe stand, so mache man den Anfang mit dieser Schrift.
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