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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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the cause of a
belief in the existence of some _foreign power_; but all such examples
of apparent subjection--as, for instance, the bearing of the exalted
man, of the poet, of the great criminal, or the passions, love and
revenge--lead to the invention of supernatural powers. A condition is
made concrete by being identified with a personality, and when this
condition overtakes anybody, it is ascribed to that personality. In
other words: in the psychological concept of God, a certain state of
the soul is personified as a cause in order to appear as an effect.

The psychological logic is as follows: when the _feeling of power_
suddenly seizes and overwhelms a man,--and this takes place in the
case of all the great passions,--a doubt arises in him concerning his
own person: he dare not think himself the cause of this astonishing
sensation--and thus he posits a _stronger_ person, a Godhead as its
cause. In short, the origin of religion lies in the extreme feelings
of power, which, being _strange,_ take men by surprise: and just
as the sick man, who feels one of his limbs unaccountably heavy,
concludes that another man must be sitting on it, so the ingenuous
_homo religiosus,_ divides himself up into _several people._ Religion
is an example of the "_altération de la personalité._" A sort of _fear_
and _sensation of terror_ in one's own presence.... But also a feeling
of inordinate _rapture_ and _exaltation._ Among sick people, the
_sensation of health_ suffices to awaken a belief in the proximity of


_Rudimentary psychology of the religious man:--_All changes are
effects; all effects are effects of will (the notion of "Nature"
and of "natural law," is lacking); all effects presuppose an agent.
Rudimentary psychology: one is only a cause oneself, when one knows
that one has willed something.

Result: States of power impute to man the feeling that he is _not_ the
cause of them, that he is not _responsible_ for them: they come without
being willed to do so--consequently we cannot be their originators:
will that is not free (that is to say, the knowledge of a change in our
condition which we have not helped to bring about) requires a _strong_

_Consequence of this rudimentary psychology_: Man has never dared to
credit _himself_ with his strong and startling moods, he has always
conceived them as "passive," as "imposed upon him from outside":
Religion is the offshoot of a _doubt_ concerning the entity of the
person, an _altération_ of the personality: in so far as everything
great and strong in man was considered _superhuman_ and _foreign,_ man
belittled himself,--he laid the two sides, the very

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Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions

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Allow yourselves to be discovered--ye lonely ones in whose existence I believe! Ye unselfish ones, suffering in yourselves from the corruption of the German spirit! Ye contemplative ones who cannot, with hasty glances, turn your eyes swiftly from one surface to another! Ye lofty thinkers, of whom Aristotle said that ye wander through life vacillating and inactive so long as no great honour or glorious Cause calleth you to deeds! It is you I summon! Refrain this once from seeking refuge in your lairs of solitude and dark misgivings.
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Be reconciled, shake hands! What?--and are you the salt of the earth, the intelligence of the future, the seed of our hopes--and are you not even able to emancipate yourselves from the insane code of honour and its violent regulations? I will not cast any aspersions on your hearts, but your heads certainly do you no credit.
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" For instance, I heard the younger of the two men defending himself with great animation while the philosopher rebuked him with ever increasing vehemence.
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Should he then elevate himself above the herd by means of his speciality, he still remains one of them in regard to all else,--that is to say, in regard to all the most important things in life.
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us only think of what takes place at such an age in the production of such work.
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It is a hard time: one almost fears that the tendons are going to snap and one ceases to hope that the artificial and consciously acquired movements and positions of the feet will ever be carried out with ease and comfort.
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Of late, exercises of this kind have tended to decrease ever more and more: people are satisfied to _know_ the foreign classical tongues, they would scorn being able to _apply_ them.
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At the most, owing to their scholarly mannerisms and display of knowledge, he will be reminded of the fact that in Latin countries it is the artistically-trained man, and that in Germany it is the abortive scholar, who becomes a journalist.
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Just think of the innumerable crowd of teachers, who, in all good faith, have assimilated the system of education which has prevailed up to the present, that they may cheerfully and without over-much deliberation carry it further on.
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Such a large number of higher educational establishments are now to be found everywhere that far more teachers will continue to be required for them than the nature of even a highly-gifted people can produce; and thus an inordinate stream of undesirables flows into these institutions, who, however, by their preponderating numbers and their instinct of 'similis simile gaudet' gradually come to determine the nature of these institutions.
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A third feels ill at ease when examining all the mysterious.
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For what, after all, do we know about the difficult task of governing men, _i.
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Our embrace was a miserable failure when we did overtake him; for my friend gave a loud yell as the dog bit him, and the philosopher himself sprang away from me with such force that we both fell.
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Of what use is this ground to you? What does the proximity of a philosopher mean to you? For around him the air is sharp and clear, the ground dry and hard.
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And if it had been possible for you to take Goethe's friendship away from this melancholy, hasty life, hunted to premature death, then you would have crushed him even sooner than you did.
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So we walked on beside the philosopher, ashamed, compassionate, dissatisfied with ourselves, and more than ever convinced that the old man was right and that we had done him wrong.
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But he has left me in the lurch for once: how annoying it is! Come away with me! It's time to go!" At this moment something happened.
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He divests his struggles of their real importance, and feels himself ready to undertake any class of useful work, however degrading.
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It is by them that you can judge the educational strength of our universities, asking yourselves, in all seriousness, the question: What cause did you promote through them? The German power of invention, the noble German desire for knowledge, the qualifying of the German for diligence and self-sacrifice--splendid and beautiful things, which other nations envy you; yea, the finest and most magnificent things in the world, if only that true German spirit overspread them like a dark thundercloud, pregnant with the blessing of forthcoming rain.