a matter of fact, the Christian is an example of
exaggerated self-control: in order to tame his passions, he seems to
find it necessary to extirpate or crucify them.
Man did not know himself physiologically throughout the ages his
history covers; he does not even know himself now. The knowledge, for
instance, that man has a nervous system (but no "soul") is still the
privilege of the most educated people. But man is not satisfied, in
this respect, to say he does not know. A man must be very superior to
be able to say: "I do not know this,"--that is to say, to be able to
admit his ignorance.
Suppose he is in pain or in a good mood, he never questions that he
can find the reason of either condition if only he seeks.... In truth,
he cannot find the reason; for he does not even suspect where it
lies.... What happens?... He takes the _result_ of his condition for
its _cause_; for instance, if he should undertake some work (really
undertaken because his good mood gave him the courage to do so) and
carry it through successfully: behold, the work itself is the _reason_
of his good mood.... As a matter of fact, his success was determined by
the same cause as that which brought about his good mood--that is to
say, the happy co-ordination of physiological powers and functions.
He feels bad: _consequently_ he cannot overcome a care, a scruple,
or an attitude of self-criticism.... He really fancies that his
disagreeable condition is the result of his scruple, of his "sin," or
of his "self-criticism."
But after profound exhaustion and prostration, a state of recovery sets
in. "How is it possible that I can feel so free, so happy? It is a
miracle; only a God could have effected this change."--Conclusion: "He
has forgiven my sin." ...
From this follow certain practices: in order to provoke feelings of
sinfulness and to prepare the way for crushed spirits it is necessary
to induce a condition of morbidity and nervousness in the body. The
methods of doing this are well known. Of course, nobody suspects
the causal logic of the fact: the _maceration_ of the _flesh_ is
interpreted religiously, it seems like an end in itself, whereas it
is no more than a _means_ of bringing about that morbid state of
indigestion which is known as repentance (the "fixed idea" of sin, the
hypnotising of the hen by-means of the chalk-line "sin").
The mishandling of the body prepares the ground for the required range
of "guilty feelings"--that is to say, for that general state of pain
118):--"If anyone should desire to obtain a rapid sketch of how everything before my time was standing on its head, he should begin reading me in this book.Page 14
Moral: we must get rid of the deception of the senses, of Becoming, of history, of falsehood.Page 22
Nevertheless this error is one of the most ancient and most recent habits of mankind.Page 29
2 Let me give you one example, quite provisionally.Page 34
All great periods of culture have been periods of political decline; that which is great from the standpoint of culture, was always unpolitical--even anti-political.Page 41
--It is possible to imagine a contrary state, a specifically anti-artistic state of the instincts,--a state in which a man impoverishes, attenuates, and draws the blood from everything.Page 44
Darwin forgot the intellect (--that is English!), the weak have more intellect.Page 56
When the latter state prevails, much is dared, much is challenged, and much is also _squandered_.Page 59
All reason has obviously been divorced from modern marriage: but this is no objection to matrimony itself but to modernity.Page 61
They know what they _must_ prove; in this respect they are practical,--they recognise each other by the fact that they agree upon "certain truths.Page 72
"The Greeks," he says, (_Aglaophamus,_ I.Page 76
Christianity has sided with everything weak, low, and botched; it has made an ideal out of _antagonism_ towards all the self-preservative instincts of strong life: it has corrupted even the reason of the strongest intellects, by teaching that the highest values of intellectuality are sinful, misleading and full of temptations.Page 92
26 The concept of.Page 97
Epicurus was a _typical_ decadent: and I was the first to recognise him as such.Page 99
A faith of this sort does not show anger, it does not blame, neither does it defend itself: it does not bring "the sword,"--it has no inkling of how it will one day establish feuds between man and man.Page 108
_ What I mean here by the word philology is, in a general sense to be understood as the art of reading well, of being able to take account of facts _without_ falsifying them by interpretation, without losing either caution, patience or subtlety owing to one's desire to understand.Page 142
That would mean that the whole sum of energy was not constant, any more than its attributes were But a sum of energy which would be inconstant and which would fluctuate is quite unthinkable Let us not indulge our fancy any longer with unthinkable things in order to fall once more before the concept of a Creator (multiplication out of nothing, reduction out of nothing, absolute arbitrariness and freedom in growth and in qualities):-- 16 He who does not believe in the circular process of the universe must pin his faith to an arbitrary God--thus my doctrine becomes necessary as opposed to all that has been said hitherto in matters of Theism.Page 155
" War (but without powder) between different thoughts and the hosts who support them I A new nobility, the result of breeding.Page 158
He lives as though he were beyond all ages: his loftiness allows him to have intercourse with the anchorites and the misunderstood of every age.