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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 65

happy to be party to a
subterranean conspiracy.


_Buddha_ versus _Christ._--Among the Nihilistic religions, Christianity
and _Buddhism_ may always be sharply distinguished. _Buddhism_ is the
expression of a _fine evening,_ perfectly sweet and mild--it is a sort
of gratitude towards all that lies hidden, including that which it
entirely lacks, viz., bitterness, disillusionment, and resentment.
Finally it possesses lofty intellectual love; it has got over all
the subtlety of philosophical contradictions, and is even resting
after it, though it is precisely from that source that it derives its
intellectual glory and its glow as of a sunset (it originated in the
higher classes).

_Christianity_ is a degenerative movement, consisting of all kinds
of decaying and excremental elements: it is _not_ the expression of
the downfall of a race, it is, from the root, an agglomeration of all
the morbid elements which are mutually attractive and which gravitate
to one another.... It is therefore _not_ a national religion, _not_
determined by race: it appeals to the disinherited everywhere; it
consists of a foundation of resentment against all that is successful
and dominant: it is in need of a symbol which represents the damnation
of everything successful and dominant. It is opposed to every form of
_intellectual_ movement, to all philosophy: it takes up the cudgels for
idiots, and utters a curse upon all intellect. Resentment against those
who are gifted, learned, intellectually independent: in all these it
suspects the element of success and domination.


In Buddhism this thought prevails: "All passions, everything which
creates emotions and leads to blood, is a call to action"--to this
extent alone are its believers _warned_ against evil. For action has
no sense, it merely binds one to existence. All existence, however, has
no sense. Evil is interpreted as that which leads to irrationalism:
to the affirmation of means whose end is denied. A road to nonentity
is the desideratum, _hence all_ emotional impulses are regarded with
horror. For instance: "On no account seek after revenge! Be the enemy
of no one!"--The Hedonism of the weary finds its highest expression
here. Nothing is more utterly foreign to Buddhism than the Jewish
fanaticism of St. Paul: nothing could be more contrary to its instinct
than the tension, fire, and unrest of the religious man, and, above
all, that form of sensuality which sanctifies Christianity with the
name "Love." Moreover, it is the cultured and very intellectual classes
who find blessedness in Buddhism: a race wearied and besotted by
centuries of philosophical quarrels, but not _beneath all culture_ as
those classes were from which Christianity sprang.... In the Buddhistic
ideal, there is essentially an emancipation from good and evil: a

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Text Comparison with The Joyful Wisdom Complete Works, Volume Ten

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China is an instance of a.
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a violent, penitential passion, and _in this state_ he put on the raiment of the populace as _his_ special kind of hair-shirt! His bad conscience was the neglect of revenge.
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Every sin is an infringement of respect, a _crimen læsæ majestatis divinæ_?--and nothing more! Contrition, degradation, rolling-in-the-dust,--these are the first and last conditions on which his favour depends: the restoration, therefore, of his divine honour! If injury be caused otherwise by sin, if a profound, spreading evil be propagated by it, an evil which, like a disease, attacks and strangles one man after another--that does not trouble this honour-craving Oriental in heaven; sin is an offence against him, not against mankind!--to him on whom he has bestowed his favour he bestows also this indifference to the natural consequences of sin.
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_Against Embarrassment.
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and spoilers, ye knowing ones, as long as ye cannot be rulers and possessors! The time will soon pass when you can be satisfied to live like timorous deer concealed in the forests.
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When we consider the mode of building cities in the north, the law and the general delight in legality and obedience, impose upon us: we thereby divine the propensity to equality and submission which must have ruled in those builders.
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_Conscious_ thinking, and especially that of the philosopher, is the weakest, and on that account also the relatively mildest and quietest mode of thinking: and thus it is precisely the philosopher who is most easily misled concerning the nature of knowledge.
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I shall soon die, only promise to die with me"--I might promise it, just as--to select for once bad examples for good reasons--the sight of a small, mountain people struggling for freedom,.
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"--Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.
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In the latter case I warrant that nothing comes of it: for the great problems, granting that they let themselves be grasped at all, do not let themselves be _held_ by toads and weaklings: that has ever been their taste--a taste also which they share with all high-spirited women.
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This error had its last expression in modern Pessimism; an older and stronger manifestation in the teaching of Buddha; but Christianity also contains it, more dubiously, to be sure, and more ambiguously, but none the less seductive on that account.
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The import, the originality of the founder of a religion, discloses itself usually in the fact that he _sees_ the mode of life, _selects_ it, and _divines_ for the first time the purpose for which it can be used, how it can be interpreted.
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as an event and an evidence of the "Greek soul"? Or would the reverse perhaps be true? Were they individually as much _exceptions_ to the spirit of the race, as was, for example, Goethe's Paganism with a good conscience? Or as Bismarck's Macchiavelism was with a good conscience, his so-called "practical politics" in Germany? Did our philosophers perhaps even go counter to the _need_ of the "German soul"? In short, were the German philosophers really philosophical _Germans_?--I call to mind three cases.
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But he _raised_ the question--as a good European, as we have said, and _not_ as a German.
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It is precisely here that the popular belief in something superhuman in man, in a miracle, in the saving God in man, has its most subtle and insidious advocate.
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" A distinguished intellect and taste, when it wants to communicate its thoughts, always selects its hearers; by selecting them, it at the same time closes its barriers against "the others.
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