to-day about the _Semitic_ spirit of the _New Testament_:
but the thing referred to is merely priestcraft,--and in the purest
example of an Arian law-book, in Manu, this kind of "Semitic
spirit"--that is to say, _Sacerdotalism,_ is worse than anywhere else.
The development of the Jewish hierarchy is _not_ original: they learnt
the scheme in Babylon--it is Arian. When, later on, the same thing
became dominant in Europe, under the preponderance of Germanic blood,
this was in conformity to the spirit of the _ruling race_: a striking
case of atavism. The Germanic middle ages aimed at a revival of the
_Arian order of castes_.
Mohammedanism in its turn learned from Christianity the use of a
"Beyond" as an instrument of punishment.
The scheme of a _permanent community,_ with priests at its
head--this oldest product of Asia's great culture in the domain of
organisation--_naturally_ provoked reflection and imitation in every
way.--Plato is an example of this, but above all, the Egyptians.
_Moralities_ and _religions_ are the principal means by which one can
modify men into whatever one likes; provided one is possessed of an
overflow of creative power, and can cause one's will to prevail over
long periods of time.
If one wish to see an _affirmative_ Arian religion which is the product
of a _ruling_ class, one should read the law-book of Manu. (The
deification of the feeling of power in the Brahmin: it is interesting
to note that it originated in the warrior-caste, and was later
transferred to the priests.)
If one wish to see an _affirmative_ religion of the Semitic order,
which is the product of the _ruling_ class, one should read the Koran
or the earlier portions of the Old Testament. (_Mohammedanism,_ as a
religion for men, has profound contempt for the sentimentality and
prevarication of Christianity, ... which, according to Mohammedans, is
a woman's religion.)
If one wish to see a _negative_ religion of the Semitic order, which is
the product of the _oppressed_ class, one should read the New Testament
(which, according to Indian and Arian points of view, is a religion for
If one wish to see a _negative_ Arian religion, which is the product of
the _ruling_ classes, one should study Buddhism.
It is quite in the nature of things that we have no Arian religion
which is the product of the _oppressed_ classes; for that would have
been a contradiction: a race of masters is either paramount or else it
goes to the dogs.
Religion, _per se,_ has nothing to do with morality; yet both offshoots
of the Jewish religion are _essentially_ moral religions--which
prescribe the rules of living, and procure obedience to
Philology is composed of history just as much as of natural science or aesthetics: history, in so far as it endeavours to comprehend the manifestations of the individualities of peoples in ever new images, and the prevailing law in the disappearance of phenomena; natural science, in so far as it strives to fathom the deepest instinct of man, that of speech; aesthetics, finally, because from various antiquities at our disposal it endeavours to pick out the so-called "classical" antiquity, with the view and pretension of excavating the ideal world buried under it, and to hold up to the present the mirror of the classical and everlasting standards.Page 1
With this contrast the so heartrending and dogmatic tradition follows in a _theory_, and consequently in the practice.Page 2
It was none other than Goethe who, in early life a supporter of Wolf's theories regarding Homer, recanted in the verses-- With subtle wit you took away Our former adoration: The Iliad, you may us say, Was mere conglomeration.Page 3
" It may be added that, for a given period--such as our present philological period, for example--the centre of discussion may be removed from the problem of the poet's personality; for even now a painstaking experiment is being made to reconstruct the Homeric poems without the aid of personality, treating them as the work of several different persons.Page 4
They conceived the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ as the creations of _one single_ Homer; they declared it to be psychologically possible for two such different works to have sprung from the brain of _one_ genius, in contradiction to the Chorizontes, who represented the extreme limit of the scepticism of a few detached individuals of antiquity rather than antiquity itself considered as a whole.Page 5
At a certain given date, about the time of Pisistratus, the poems which had been repeated orally were said to have been collected in manuscript form; but the scribes, it is added, allowed themselves to take some liberties with the text by transposing some lines and adding extraneous matter here and there.Page 6
The conception of popular poetry seemed to lead like a bridge over this problem--a deeper and more original power than that of every single creative individual was said.Page 7
Could it be possible that that same Nature who so sparingly distributed her rarest and most precious production--genius--should suddenly take the notion of lavishing her gifts in one sole direction? And here the thorny question again made its appearance: Could we not get along with one genius only, and explain the present existence of that unattainable excellence? And now eyes were keenly on the lookout for whatever that excellence and singularity might consist of.Page 8
The people now understood for the first time that the long-felt power of greater individualities and wills was larger than the pitifully small will of an individual man; they now saw that everything truly great in the kingdom of the will could not have its deepest root in the inefficacious and ephemeral individual will; and, finally, they now discovered the powerful instincts of the masses, and diagnosed those unconscious impulses to be the foundations and supports of the so-called universal history.Page 9
If we apply all these principles to the Homeric poems, it follows that we gain nothing with our theory of the poetising soul of the people, and that we are always referred back to the poetical individual.Page 10
the Homeric poems.Page 11
Where, however, a poet is unable to observe artistically with a single glance,.Page 12
Those, therefore, who look for the "original and perfect design" are looking for a mere phantom; for the dangerous path of oral tradition had reached its end just as the systematic arrangement appeared on the scene; the disfigurements which were caused on the way could not have affected the design, for this did not form part of the material handed down from generation to generation.Page 13
The generation that invented those numerous Homeric fables, that poetised the myth of the contest between Homer and Hesiod, and looked upon all the poems of the epic cycle as Homeric, did not feel an aesthetic but a material singularity when it pronounced the name "Homer.Page 14
It is time to close; yet before I do so a few words of a personal character must be added, justified, I hope, by the occasion of this lecture.Page 15
great homogeneous views alone remain.