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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 29

to become their hangmen. This
is the European form of Buddhism, that _active negation,_ after all
existence has lost its meaning.


It must not be supposed that "poverty" has grown more acute, on the
contrary! "God, morality, resignation" were remedies in the very
deepest stages of misery: _active_ Nihilism made its appearance in
circumstances which were relatively much more favourable. The fact,
alone, that morality is regarded as overcome, presupposes a certain
degree of intellectual culture; while this very culture, for its part,
bears evidence to a certain relative well-being. A certain intellectual
fatigue, brought on by the long struggle concerning philosophical
opinions, and carried to hopeless scepticism _against_ philosophy,
shows moreover that the level of these Nihilists is by no means a
low one. Only think of the conditions in which Buddha appeared! The
teaching of the eternal recurrence would have learned principles to
go upon (just as Buddha's teaching, for instance, had the notion of
causality, etc.).


What do we mean to-day by the words "botched and bungled"? In the
first place, they are used _physiologically_ and not politically. The
unhealthiest kind of man all over Europe (in all classes) is the soil
out of which Nihilism grows: this species of man will regard eternal
recurrence as damnation--once he is bitten by the thought, he can no
longer recoil before any action. He would not extirpate passively,
but would cause everything to be extirpated which is meaningless
and without a goal to this extent; although it is only a spasm, or
sort of blind rage in the presence of the fact that everything has
existed again and again for an eternity--even this period of Nihilism
and destruction. The value of such a _crisis_ is that it _purifies,_
that it unites similar elements, and makes them mutually destructive,
that it assigns common duties to men of opposite persuasions, and
brings the weaker and more uncertain among them to the light, thus
taking the first step towards a new _order of rank_ among forces
from the standpoint of health: recognising commanders as commanders,
subordinates as subordinates. Naturally irrespective of all the present
forms of society.


What class of men will prove they are strongest in this new order of
things? The most moderate--they who do not _require_ any extreme forms
of belief, they who not only admit of, but actually like, a certain
modicum of chance and nonsense; they who can think of man with a very
moderate view of his value, without becoming weak and small on that
account; the most rich in health, who are able to withstand a maximum
amount of sorrow, and who are therefore not so

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays Collected Works, Volume Two

Page 9
This bloody jealousy of city against city, of party against party, this murderous greed of those little wars, the tiger-like triumph over the corpse of the slain enemy, in short, the incessant renewal of those Trojan scenes of struggle and horror, in the spectacle of which, as a genuine Hellene, Homer stands before us absorbed with _delight_--whither does this naïve barbarism of the Greek State point? What is its excuse before the tribunal of eternal justice? Proud and calm, the State steps before this tribunal and by the hand it leads the flower of blossoming womanhood: Greek society.
Page 13
THE GREEK WOMAN (Fragment, 1871) Just as Plato from disguises and obscurities brought to light the innermost purpose of the State, so also he conceived the chief cause of the position of the _Hellenic Woman_ with regard to the State; in both cases he saw in what existed around him the image of the ideas manifested to him, and of these ideas of course the actual was only a hazy picture and phantasmagoria.
Page 14
_Family was to cease.
Page 18
The one species manifest themselves to us as pleasure-and-displeasure-sensations and accompany all other conceptions as a never-lacking fundamental basis.
Page 22
Not the word, but the "more pleasing" sound, not the idea but the most heartfelt joyful tone was chosen by the sublime master in his longing for the most soul-thrilling ensemble of his orchestra.
Page 25
To us, who intentionally in this investigation avoid any question of the historic value of an art-phenomenon and endeavour to focus only the phenomenon itself, in its unaltered eternal meaning, and consequently in its _highest_ type, too,--to us the art-species of the "opera" seems to be justified as much as the folk-song, in so far as we find in both that union of the Dionysean and Apollonian and are permitted to assume for the opera--namely for the highest type of the opera--an origin analogous to that of the folk-song.
Page 39
I he Greeks, as _the_ truly healthy nation, have _justified_ philosophy once for all by having philosophised; and that indeed more than all other nations.
Page 50
It may not be very logical, it is however at any rate very human and moreover quite in harmony with the philosophical leaping described above, now with Anaximander to consider all Becoming as a punishable emancipation from eternal "Being," as a wrong that is to be atoned for by destruction.
Page 62
Never for example would one be able to imagine the pride of Heraclitus as an idle possibility.
Page 64
When later that icy abstraction-horror caught him, and the simplest proposition treating of "Being" and "Not-Being" was advanced by him, then among the many older doctrines thrown by him upon the scrap heap was also his own system.
Page 66
" Passion brings together the antagonistic and antipathetic elements: the result is a Becoming.
Page 72
Nothing Infinite can.
Page 74
an _Atomon_--an impossible conception! All our conceptions, as soon as their empirically-given content, drawn out of this concrete world, is taken as a _Veritas æterna,_ lead to contradictions.
Page 77
Change is motion--but whence originates motion? Does this motion leave perhaps wholly untouched the proper essence of those many independent, isolated substances, and, according to the most severe idea of the "Existent," _must_ not motion in itself be foreign to them? Or does it after all belong to the things themselves? We stand here at an important decision; according to which way we turn, we shall step into the realm either of Anaxagoras or of Empedocles or of Democritus.
Page 79
Obviously those opponents have no real consciousness and knowledge as to the awful force of those Eleatean thoughts, "There can be no time, no motion, no space; for all these we can only think of as infinite, and to be more explicit, firstly infinitely large, then infinitely divisible; but everything infinite has no 'Being,' does not exist," and this nobody doubts, who takes the meaning of the word "Being" severely and considers the existence of something contradictory impossible, _e.
Page 87
Once that circle is put into motion and caused to roll by the Nous, then all the order, law and beauty of the world is the natural consequence of that first impetus.
Page 90
To the later philosophers of antiquity the way in which Anaxagoras made use of his Nous for the interpretation of the world was strange, indeed scarcely pardonable; to them it seemed as though he had found a grand tool but had not well understood it and they tried to retrieve what the finder had neglected.
Page 91
The Nous has not been dragged in by Anaxagoras for the purpose of answering the special question: "What is the cause of motion and what causes regular motions?"; Plato however reproaches him, that he ought to have, but had not shown that everything was in its own fashion and its own place the most beautiful, the best and the most appropriate.
Page 94
Page 104
For the latter is an imitation of the relations of time, space and number in the realm of metaphors.