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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 92

hieratic posing and vexation.


_Poverty, humility, and chastity_ are dangerous and slanderous ideals;
but like poisons, which are useful cures in the case of certain
diseases, they were also necessary in the time of the Roman Empire.

All ideals are dangerous: because they lower and brand realities; they
are all poisons, but occasionally indispensable as cures.


God created man, happy, idle, innocent, and immortal: our actual life
is a false, decadent, and sinful existence, a punishment.... Suffering,
struggle, work, and death are raised as objections against life, they
make life questionable, unnatural--something that must cease, and for
which one not only requires but also _has_--remedies!

Since the time of Adam, man has been in an abnormal state: God
Himself delivered up His Son for Adam's sin, in order to put an end
to the abnormal condition of things: the natural character of life
is a _curse_; to those who believe in Him, Christ restores normal
life: He makes them happy, idle, and innocent. But the world did not
become fruitful without labour; women do not bear children without
pain; illness has not ceased: believers are served just as badly as
unbelievers in this respect. All that has happened is, that man is
delivered from _death_ and _sin--_two assertions which allow of no
verification, and which are therefore emphasised by the Church with
more than usual heartiness. "He is free from sin,"--not owing to
his own efforts, not owing to a vigorous struggle on his part, but
_redeemed by the death of the Saviour,_--consequently, perfectly
innocent and paradisaical.

_Actual_ life is nothing more than an illusion (that is to say, a
deception, an insanity). The whole of struggling, fighting, and
real existence--so full of light and shade, is only bad and false:
everybody's duty is to be _delivered_ from it.

"Man, innocent, idle, immortal, and happy"--this concept, which is
the object of the "most supreme desires," must be criticised before
anything else. Why should guilt, work, death, and pain (_and,_ from
the Christian point of view, also _knowledge_ ...) be _contrary_ to
all supreme desires?--The lazy Christian notions: "blessedness,"
"innocence," "immortality."


The eccentric concept "holiness" does not exist--"God" and "man" have
not been divorced from each other. "Miracles" do not exist--such
spheres do not exist: the only one to be considered is the
"intellectual" (that is to say, the symbolically-psychological). As
decadence: a counterpart to "Epicureanism." ... Paradise according to
Greek notions was only "Epicurus' Garden."

A life of this sort lacks a purpose: it _strives after_ nothing;--a
form of the "Epicurean gods"--there is no longer any reason to aim at
anything,--not even at having children:--everything has been done.


They despised the body: they did

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Text Comparison with The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms.

Page 2
For a long while he regarded his master as the Saviour of Germany, as the innovator and renovator who was going to arrest the decadent current of his time and lead men to a greatness which had died with antiquity.
Page 4
, and which I did not think it necessary to repeat in my first preface to these pamphlets, will be found to receive the fullest confirmation.
Page 6
A little more suspicion, for instance, ought to be applied to Wagner's _My Life_, especially in England, where critics are not half suspicious enough about a continental artist's self-revelations, and are too prone, if they have suspicions at all, to apply them in the wrong place.
Page 9
That Wagner, too, was a great sufferer, there can be no doubt; not, however, a sufferer from strength, like a true artist, but from weakness--the weakness of his age, which he never overcame.
Page 11
" With what then does the philosopher have the greatest fight? With all that in him which makes him the child of his time.
Page 13
And how soothing is this Moorish dancing! How, for once, even our insatiability gets sated by its lascivious melancholy!--And finally love, love translated back into _Nature_! Not the love of a "cultured girl!"--no Senta-sentimentality.
Page 14
cry of Don Jose with which the work ends: "Yes, it is I who have killed her, I--my adored Carmen!" --Such a conception of love (the only one worthy of a philosopher) is rare: it distinguishes one work of art from among a thousand others.
Page 19
Maybe, that nothing is better known to-day, or in any case the subject of greater study, than the Protean character of degeneration which has disguised itself here, both as an art and as an artist.
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must be on our guard.
Page 27
" Wagner is _no_ dramatist; let nobody be deceived on this point.
Page 32
Let us try to estimate the influence of this worship upon culture.
Page 33
{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} The case of Wagner proves this fact: he captivated the masses--he depraved taste, he even perverted our taste for opera!-- One pays dearly for having been a follower of Wagner.
Page 37
Not everyone has the right to every teacher: and this holds good of whole epochs.
Page 39
{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} How would a _diagnosis of the modern soul_ begin? With a determined incision into this agglomeration of contradictory instincts, with the total suppression of its antagonistic values, with vivisection applied to its most _instructive_ case.
Page 40
Turin, _Christmas 1888_.
Page 43
{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} In the theatre one becomes mob, herd, woman, Pharisee, electing cattle, patron, idiot--Wagnerite: there, the most personal conscience is bound to submit to the levelling charm of the great multitude, there the neighbour rules, there one _becomes_ a neighbour.
Page 50
For I had no one save Richard Wagner.
Page 51
Curious and terrible at the same time! It is for our relaxation that we have to pay most dearly! And should we wish after all to return to health, we then have no choice: we are compelled to burden ourselves _more_ heavily than we had been burdened before.
Page 52
The intellectual loathing and haughtiness of every man who has suffered deeply--the extent to which a man can suffer, almost determines the order of rank--the chilling uncertainty with which he is thoroughly imbued and coloured, that by virtue of his suffering he _knows more_ than the shrewdest and wisest can ever know, that he has been familiar with, and "at home" in many distant terrible worlds of which "_you_ know nothing!"--this silent intellectual haughtiness, this pride of the elect of knowledge, of the "initiated," of the almost sacrificed, finds all forms of disguise necessary to protect itself from contact with gushing and sympathising hands, and in general from all that is not its equal in suffering.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} _Amor fati_: this is the very core of my being--And as to my prolonged illness, do I not owe much more to it than I owe to my health? To it I owe a _higher_ kind of health, a sort of health which grows stronger under everything that does not actually kill it!--_To it, I owe even my philosophy_.