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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 80

movement_ of
antiquity, formulated with the use of the life, teaching, and "words"
of the Founder of Christianity, but interpreted quite _arbitrarily,_
according to a scheme embodying _profoundly different needs_:
translated into the language of all the _subterranean religions_ then

It is the rise of Pessimism (whereas Jesus wished to bring the peace
and the happiness of the lambs): and moreover the Pessimism of the
weak, of the inferior, of the suffering, and of the oppressed.

Its mortal enemies are (1) _Power,_ whether in the form of character,
intellect, or taste, and "worldliness"; (2) the "good cheer" of
classical times, the noble levity and scepticism, hard pride, eccentric
dissipation, and cold frugality of the sage, Greek refinement in
manners, words, and form. Its mortal enemy is as much the _Roman_ as
the _Greek._

The attempt on the part of _anti-paganism_ to establish itself on
a philosophical basis, and to make its tenets possible: it shows a
taste for the ambiguous figures of antique culture, and above all for
Plato, who was, more than any other, an anti-Hellene and Semite in
instinct.... It also shows a taste for Stoicism, which is essentially
the work of Semites ("dignity" is regarded as severity, law; virtue
is held to be greatness, self-responsibility, authority, greatest
sovereignty over oneself--this is Semitic.) The Stoic is an Arabian
sheik wrapped in Greek togas and notions.


Christianity only resumes the fight which had already been begun
against the _classical_ ideal and _noble_ religion.

As a matter of fact, the whole process of _transformation_ is only
an adaptation to the needs and to the level of intelligence of
_religious_ masses then existing:--those masses which believed in
Isis, Mithras, Dionysos, and the "great mother," and which demanded
the following things of a religion: (1) hopes of a beyond, (2) the
bloody phantasmagoria of animal sacrifice (the mystery), (3) holy
legend and the redeeming _deed,_ (4) asceticism, denial of the
world, superstitious "purification," (5) a hierarchy as a part of
the community. In short, Christianity everywhere fitted the already
prevailing and increasing _anti-pagan tendency_--those cults which
Epicurus combated,--or more exactly, those _religions proper to the
lower herd, women, slaves, and ignoble classes._

The misunderstandings are therefore the following:--

(1) The immortality of the individual;

(2) The assumed existence of _another_ world;

(3) The absurd notion of punishment and expiation in the heart of the
interpretation of existence;

(4) The profanation of the divine nature of man, instead of its
accentuation, and the construction of a very profound chasm, which
can only be crossed by the help of a miracle or by means of the most
thorough self-contempt;

(5) The whole world of corrupted imagination and morbid passion,
instead of

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from the _dies nefastus_ when this fatality befell--from the _first_ day of Christianity!--_Why not rather from its last?_--_From today?_--The transvaluation of all values!.