Beyond Good and Evil
Friedrich Nietzsche

Part 1 out of 4

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The following is a reprint of the Helen Zimmern translation from
German into English of "Beyond Good and Evil," as published in
The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche (1909-1913). Some
adaptations from the original text were made to format it into
an e-text. Italics in the original book are capitalized in this
e-text, except for most foreign language phrases that were
italicized. Original footnotes are put in brackets "[]" at the
points where they are cited in the text. Some spellings were
altered. "To-day" and "To-morrow" are spelled "today" and
"tomorrow." Some words containing the letters "ise" in the original
text, such as "idealise," had these letters changed to "ize," such
as "idealize." "Sceptic" was changed to "skeptic."






SUPPOSING that Truth is a woman--what then? Is there not ground
for suspecting that all philosophers, in so far as they have been
dogmatists, have failed to understand women--that the terrible
seriousness and clumsy importunity with which they have usually
paid their addresses to Truth, have been unskilled and unseemly
methods for winning a woman? Certainly she has never allowed
herself to be won; and at present every kind of dogma stands with
sad and discouraged mien--IF, indeed, it stands at all! For there
are scoffers who maintain that it has fallen, that all dogma lies
on the ground--nay more, that it is at its last gasp. But to
speak seriously, there are good grounds for hoping that all
dogmatizing in philosophy, whatever solemn, whatever conclusive
and decided airs it has assumed, may have been only a noble
puerilism and tyronism; and probably the time is at hand when it
will be once and again understood WHAT has actually sufficed for
the basis of such imposing and absolute philosophical edifices as
the dogmatists have hitherto reared: perhaps some popular
superstition of immemorial time (such as the soul-superstition,
which, in the form of subject- and ego-superstition, has not yet
ceased doing mischief): perhaps some play upon words, a deception
on the part of grammar, or an audacious generalization of very
restricted, very personal, very human--all-too-human facts. The
philosophy of the dogmatists, it is to be hoped, was only a
promise for thousands of years afterwards, as was astrology in
still earlier times, in the service of which probably more
labour, gold, acuteness, and patience have been spent than on any
actual science hitherto: we owe to it, and to its "super-
terrestrial" pretensions in Asia and Egypt, the grand style of
architecture. It seems that in order to inscribe themselves upon
the heart of humanity with everlasting claims, all great things
have first to wander about the earth as enormous and awe-
inspiring caricatures: dogmatic philosophy has been a caricature
of this kind--for instance, the Vedanta doctrine in Asia, and
Platonism in Europe. Let us not be ungrateful to it, although it
must certainly be confessed that the worst, the most tiresome,
and the most dangerous of errors hitherto has been a dogmatist
error--namely, Plato's invention of Pure Spirit and the Good in
Itself. But now when it has been surmounted, when Europe, rid of
this nightmare, can again draw breath freely and at least enjoy a
healthier--sleep, we, WHOSE DUTY IS WAKEFULNESS ITSELF, are the
heirs of all the strength which the struggle against this error
has fostered. It amounted to the very inversion of truth, and the
denial of the PERSPECTIVE--the fundamental condition--of life, to
speak of Spirit and the Good as Plato spoke of them; indeed one
might ask, as a physician: "How did such a malady attack that
finest product of antiquity, Plato? Had the wicked Socrates
really corrupted him? Was Socrates after all a corrupter of
youths, and deserved his hemlock?" But the struggle against
Plato, or--to speak plainer, and for the "people"--the struggle
against the ecclesiastical oppression of millenniums of
produced in Europe a magnificent tension of soul, such as had not
existed anywhere previously; with such a tensely strained bow one
can now aim at the furthest goals. As a matter of fact, the
European feels this tension as a state of distress, and twice
attempts have been made in grand style to unbend the bow: once by
means of Jesuitism, and the second time by means of democratic
enlightenment--which, with the aid of liberty of the press and
newspaper-reading, might, in fact, bring it about that the spirit
would not so easily find itself in "distress"! (The Germans
invented gunpowder-all credit to them! but they again made things
square--they invented printing.) But we, who are neither Jesuits,
nor democrats, nor even sufficiently Germans, we GOOD EUROPEANS,
and free, VERY free spirits--we have it still, all the distress
of spirit and all the tension of its bow! And perhaps also the
arrow, the duty, and, who knows? THE GOAL TO AIM AT. . . .

Sils Maria Upper Engadine, JUNE, 1885.



1. The Will to Truth, which is to tempt us to many a hazardous
enterprise, the famous Truthfulness of which all philosophers
have hitherto spoken with respect, what questions has this Will
to Truth not laid before us! What strange, perplexing,
questionable questions! It is already a long story; yet it seems
as if it were hardly commenced. Is it any wonder if we at last
grow distrustful, lose patience, and turn impatiently away? That
this Sphinx teaches us at last to ask questions ourselves? WHO is
it really that puts questions to us here? WHAT really is this
"Will to Truth" in us? In fact we made a long halt at the
question as to the origin of this Will--until at last we came to
an absolute standstill before a yet more fundamental question. We
inquired about the VALUE of this Will. Granted that we want the
truth: WHY NOT RATHER untruth? And uncertainty? Even ignorance?
The problem of the value of truth presented itself before us--or
was it we who presented ourselves before the problem? Which of us
is the Oedipus here? Which the Sphinx? It would seem to be a
rendezvous of questions and notes of interrogation. And could it
be believed that it at last seems to us as if the problem had
never been propounded before, as if we were the first to discern
it, get a sight of it, and RISK RAISING it? For there is risk in
raising it, perhaps there is no greater risk.

2. "HOW COULD anything originate out of its opposite? For
example, truth out of error? or the Will to Truth out of the will
to deception? or the generous deed out of selfishness? or the
pure sun-bright vision of the wise man out of covetousness? Such
genesis is impossible; whoever dreams of it is a fool, nay, worse
than a fool; things of the highest value must have a different
origin, an origin of THEIR own--in this transitory, seductive,
illusory, paltry world, in this turmoil of delusion and cupidity,
they cannot have their source. But rather in the lap of Being, in
the intransitory, in the concealed God, in the 'Thing-in-itself--
THERE must be their source, and nowhere else!"--This mode of
reasoning discloses the typical prejudice by which metaphysicians
of all times can be recognized, this mode of valuation is at the
back of all their logical procedure; through this "belief" of
theirs, they exert themselves for their "knowledge," for
something that is in the end solemnly christened "the Truth." The
fundamental belief of metaphysicians is THE BELIEF IN ANTITHESES
OF VALUES. It never occurred even to the wariest of them to doubt
here on the very threshold (where doubt, however, was most
necessary); though they had made a solemn vow, "DE OMNIBUS
DUBITANDUM." For it may be doubted, firstly, whether antitheses
exist at all; and secondly, whether the popular valuations and
antitheses of value upon which metaphysicians have set their
seal, are not perhaps merely superficial estimates, merely
provisional perspectives, besides being probably made from some
corner, perhaps from below--"frog perspectives," as it were, to
borrow an expression current among painters. In spite of all the
value which may belong to the true, the positive, and the
unselfish, it might be possible that a higher and more
fundamental value for life generally should be assigned to
pretence, to the will to delusion, to selfishness, and cupidity.
It might even be possible that WHAT constitutes the value of
those good and respected things, consists precisely in their
being insidiously related, knotted, and crocheted to these evil
and apparently opposed things--perhaps even in being essentially
identical with them. Perhaps! But who wishes to concern himself
with such dangerous "Perhapses"! For that investigation one must
await the advent of a new order of philosophers, such as will
have other tastes and inclinations, the reverse of those hitherto
prevalent--philosophers of the dangerous "Perhaps" in every sense
of the term. And to speak in all seriousness, I see such new
philosophers beginning to appear.

3. Having kept a sharp eye on philosophers, and having read
between their lines long enough, I now say to myself that the
greater part of conscious thinking must be counted among the
instinctive functions, and it is so even in the case of
philosophical thinking; one has here to learn anew, as one
learned anew about heredity and "innateness." As little as the
act of birth comes into consideration in the whole process and
procedure of heredity, just as little is "being-conscious"
OPPOSED to the instinctive in any decisive sense; the greater
part of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly
influenced by his instincts, and forced into definite channels.
And behind all logic and its seeming sovereignty of movement,
there are valuations, or to speak more plainly, physiological
demands, for the maintenance of a definite mode of life For
example, that the certain is worth more than the uncertain, that
illusion is less valuable than "truth" such valuations, in spite
of their regulative importance for US, might notwithstanding be
only superficial valuations, special kinds of maiserie, such as
may be necessary for the maintenance of beings such as ourselves.
Supposing, in effect, that man is not just the "measure of

4. The falseness of an opinion is not for us any objection to it:
it is here, perhaps, that our new language sounds most strangely.
The question is, how far an opinion is life-furthering, life-
preserving, species-preserving, perhaps species-rearing, and we
are fundamentally inclined to maintain that the falsest opinions
(to which the synthetic judgments a priori belong), are the most
indispensable to us, that without a recognition of logical
fictions, without a comparison of reality with the purely
IMAGINED world of the absolute and immutable, without a constant
counterfeiting of the world by means of numbers, man could not
live--that the renunciation of false opinions would be a
renunciation of life, a negation of life. TO RECOGNISE UNTRUTH AS
A CONDITION OF LIFE; that is certainly to impugn the traditional
ideas of value in a dangerous manner, and a philosophy which
ventures to do so, has thereby alone placed itself beyond good
and evil.

5. That which causes philosophers to be regarded half-
distrustfully and half-mockingly, is not the oft-repeated
discovery how innocent they are--how often and easily they make
mistakes and lose their way, in short, how childish and childlike
they are,--but that there is not enough honest dealing with them,
whereas they all raise a loud and virtuous outcry when the
problem of truthfulness is even hinted at in the remotest manner.
They all pose as though their real opinions had been discovered
and attained through the self-evolving of a cold, pure, divinely
indifferent dialectic (in contrast to all sorts of mystics, who,
fairer and foolisher, talk of "inspiration"), whereas, in fact, a
prejudiced proposition, idea, or "suggestion," which is generally
their heart's desire abstracted and refined, is defended by them
with arguments sought out after the event. They are all advocates
who do not wish to be regarded as such, generally astute
defenders, also, of their prejudices, which they dub "truths,"--
and VERY far from having the conscience which bravely admits this
to itself, very far from having the good taste of the courage
which goes so far as to let this be understood, perhaps to warn
friend or foe, or in cheerful confidence and self-ridicule. The
spectacle of the Tartuffery of old Kant, equally stiff and
decent, with which he entices us into the dialectic by-ways that
lead (more correctly mislead) to his "categorical imperative"--
makes us fastidious ones smile, we who find no small amusement in
spying out the subtle tricks of old moralists and ethical
preachers. Or, still more so, the hocus-pocus in mathematical
form, by means of which Spinoza has, as it were, clad his
philosophy in mail and mask--in fact, the "love of HIS wisdom,"
to translate the term fairly and squarely--in order thereby to
strike terror at once into the heart of the assailant who should
dare to cast a glance on that invincible maiden, that Pallas
Athene:--how much of personal timidity and vulnerability does
this masquerade of a sickly recluse betray!

6. It has gradually become clear to me what every great
philosophy up till now has consisted of--namely, the confession
of its originator, and a species of involuntary and unconscious
auto-biography; and moreover that the moral (or immoral) purpose
in every philosophy has constituted the true vital germ out of
which the entire plant has always grown. Indeed, to understand
how the abstrusest metaphysical assertions of a philosopher have
been arrived at, it is always well (and wise) to first ask
oneself: "What morality do they (or does he) aim at?"
Accordingly, I do not believe that an "impulse to knowledge" is
the father of philosophy; but that another impulse, here as
elsewhere, has only made use of knowledge (and mistaken
knowledge!) as an instrument. But whoever considers the
fundamental impulses of man with a view to determining how far
they may have here acted as INSPIRING GENII (or as demons and
cobolds), will find that they have all practiced philosophy at
one time or another, and that each one of them would have been
only too glad to look upon itself as the ultimate end of
existence and the legitimate LORD over all the other impulses.
For every impulse is imperious, and as SUCH, attempts to
philosophize. To be sure, in the case of scholars, in the case of
really scientific men, it may be otherwise--"better," if you
will; there there may really be such a thing as an "impulse to
knowledge," some kind of small, independent clock-work, which,
when well wound up, works away industriously to that end, WITHOUT
the rest of the scholarly impulses taking any material part
therein. The actual "interests" of the scholar, therefore, are
generally in quite another direction--in the family, perhaps, or
in money-making, or in politics; it is, in fact, almost
indifferent at what point of research his little machine is
placed, and whether the hopeful young worker becomes a good
philologist, a mushroom specialist, or a chemist; he is not
CHARACTERISED by becoming this or that. In the philosopher, on
the contrary, there is absolutely nothing impersonal; and above
all, his morality furnishes a decided and decisive testimony as
to WHO HE IS,--that is to say, in what order the deepest impulses
of his nature stand to each other.

7. How malicious philosophers can be! I know of nothing more
stinging than the joke Epicurus took the liberty of making on
Plato and the Platonists; he called them Dionysiokolakes. In its
original sense, and on the face of it, the word signifies
"Flatterers of Dionysius"--consequently, tyrants' accessories and
lick-spittles; besides this, however, it is as much as to say,
"They are all ACTORS, there is nothing genuine about them" (for
Dionysiokolax was a popular name for an actor). And the latter is
really the malignant reproach that Epicurus cast upon Plato: he
was annoyed by the grandiose manner, the mise en scene style of
which Plato and his scholars were masters--of which Epicurus was
not a master! He, the old school-teacher of Samos, who sat
concealed in his little garden at Athens, and wrote three hundred
books, perhaps out of rage and ambitious envy of Plato, who
knows! Greece took a hundred years to find out who the garden-god
Epicurus really was. Did she ever find out?

8. There is a point in every philosophy at which the "conviction"
of the philosopher appears on the scene; or, to put it in the
words of an ancient mystery:

Adventavit asinus, Pulcher et fortissimus.

9. You desire to LIVE "according to Nature"? Oh, you noble
Stoics, what fraud of words! Imagine to yourselves a being like
Nature, boundlessly extravagant, boundlessly indifferent, without
purpose or consideration, without pity or justice, at once
fruitful and barren and uncertain: imagine to yourselves
INDIFFERENCE as a power--how COULD you live in accordance with
such indifference? To live--is not that just endeavouring to be
otherwise than this Nature? Is not living valuing, preferring,
being unjust, being limited, endeavouring to be different? And
granted that your imperative, "living according to Nature," means
actually the same as "living according to life"--how could you do
DIFFERENTLY? Why should you make a principle out of what you
yourselves are, and must be? In reality, however, it is quite
otherwise with you: while you pretend to read with rapture the
canon of your law in Nature, you want something quite the
contrary, you extraordinary stage-players and self-deluders! In
your pride you wish to dictate your morals and ideals to Nature,
to Nature herself, and to incorporate them therein; you insist
that it shall be Nature "according to the Stoa," and would like
everything to be made after your own image, as a vast, eternal
glorification and generalism of Stoicism! With all your love for
truth, you have forced yourselves so long, so persistently, and
with such hypnotic rigidity to see Nature FALSELY, that is to
say, Stoically, that you are no longer able to see it otherwise--
and to crown all, some unfathomable superciliousness gives you
the Bedlamite hope that BECAUSE you are able to tyrannize over
yourselves--Stoicism is self-tyranny--Nature will also allow
herself to be tyrannized over: is not the Stoic a PART of
Nature? . . . But this is an old and everlasting story: what
happened in old times with the Stoics still happens today, as
soon as ever a philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always
creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise;
philosophy is this tyrannical impulse itself, the most spiritual
Will to Power, the will to "creation of the world," the will to
the causa prima.

10. The eagerness and subtlety, I should even say craftiness,
with which the problem of "the real and the apparent world" is
dealt with at present throughout Europe, furnishes food for
thought and attention; and he who hears only a "Will to Truth" in
the background, and nothing else, cannot certainly boast of the
sharpest ears. In rare and isolated cases, it may really have
happened that such a Will to Truth--a certain extravagant and
adventurous pluck, a metaphysician's ambition of the forlorn
hope--has participated therein: that which in the end always
prefers a handful of "certainty" to a whole cartload of beautiful
possibilities; there may even be puritanical fanatics of
conscience, who prefer to put their last trust in a sure nothing,
rather than in an uncertain something. But that is Nihilism, and
the sign of a despairing, mortally wearied soul, notwithstanding
the courageous bearing such a virtue may display. It seems,
however, to be otherwise with stronger and livelier thinkers who
are still eager for life. In that they side AGAINST appearance,
and speak superciliously of "perspective," in that they rank the
credibility of their own bodies about as low as the credibility
of the ocular evidence that "the earth stands still," and thus,
apparently, allowing with complacency their securest possession
to escape (for what does one at present believe in more firmly
than in one's body?),--who knows if they are not really trying to
win back something which was formerly an even securer possession,
something of the old domain of the faith of former times, perhaps
the "immortal soul," perhaps "the old God," in short, ideas by
which they could live better, that is to say, more vigorously and
more joyously, than by "modern ideas"? There is DISTRUST of these
modern ideas in this mode of looking at things, a disbelief in
all that has been constructed yesterday and today; there is
perhaps some slight admixture of satiety and scorn, which can no
longer endure the BRIC-A-BRAC of ideas of the most varied origin,
such as so-called Positivism at present throws on the market; a
disgust of the more refined taste at the village-fair motleyness
and patchiness of all these reality-philosophasters, in whom
there is nothing either new or true, except this motleyness.
Therein it seems to me that we should agree with those skeptical
anti-realists and knowledge-microscopists of the present day;
their instinct, which repels them from MODERN reality, is
unrefuted . . . what do their retrograde by-paths concern us!
The main thing about them is NOT that they wish to go "back,"
but that they wish to get AWAY therefrom. A little MORE strength,
swing, courage, and artistic power, and they would be OFF--and
not back!

11. It seems to me that there is everywhere an attempt at present
to divert attention from the actual influence which Kant
exercised on German philosophy, and especially to ignore
prudently the value which he set upon himself. Kant was first and
foremost proud of his Table of Categories; with it in his hand he
said: "This is the most difficult thing that could ever be
undertaken on behalf of metaphysics." Let us only understand this
"could be"! He was proud of having DISCOVERED a new faculty in
man, the faculty of synthetic judgment a priori. Granting that he
deceived himself in this matter; the development and rapid
flourishing of German philosophy depended nevertheless on his
pride, and on the eager rivalry of the younger generation to
discover if possible something--at all events "new faculties"--of
which to be still prouder!--But let us reflect for a moment--it
is high time to do so. "How are synthetic judgments a priori
POSSIBLE?" Kant asks himself--and what is really his answer? "BY
MEANS OF A MEANS (faculty)"--but unfortunately not in five words,
but so circumstantially, imposingly, and with such display of
German profundity and verbal flourishes, that one altogether
loses sight of the comical niaiserie allemande involved in such
an answer. People were beside themselves with delight over this
new faculty, and the jubilation reached its climax when Kant
further discovered a moral faculty in man--for at that time
Germans were still moral, not yet dabbling in the "Politics of
hard fact." Then came the honeymoon of German philosophy. All the
young theologians of the Tubingen institution went immediately
into the groves--all seeking for "faculties." And what did they
not find--in that innocent, rich, and still youthful period of
the German spirit, to which Romanticism, the malicious fairy,
piped and sang, when one could not yet distinguish between
"finding" and "inventing"! Above all a faculty for the
"transcendental"; Schelling christened it, intellectual
intuition, and thereby gratified the most earnest longings of the
naturally pious-inclined Germans. One can do no greater wrong to
the whole of this exuberant and eccentric movement (which was
really youthfulness, notwithstanding that it disguised itself so
boldly, in hoary and senile conceptions), than to take it
seriously, or even treat it with moral indignation. Enough,
however--the world grew older, and the dream vanished. A time
came when people rubbed their foreheads, and they still rub them
today. People had been dreaming, and first and foremost--old
Kant. "By means of a means (faculty)"--he had said, or at least
meant to say. But, is that--an answer? An explanation? Or is it
not rather merely a repetition of the question? How does opium
induce sleep? "By means of a means (faculty), "namely the virtus
dormitiva, replies the doctor in Moliere,

Quia est in eo virtus dormitiva,
Cujus est natura sensus assoupire.

But such replies belong to the realm of comedy, and it is high
time to replace the Kantian question, "How are synthetic
judgments a PRIORI possible?" by another question, "Why is belief
in such judgments necessary?"--in effect, it is high time that we
should understand that such judgments must be believed to be
true, for the sake of the preservation of creatures like
ourselves; though they still might naturally be false judgments!
Or, more plainly spoken, and roughly and readily--synthetic
judgments a priori should not "be possible" at all; we have no
right to them; in our mouths they are nothing but false
judgments. Only, of course, the belief in their truth is
necessary, as plausible belief and ocular evidence belonging to
the perspective view of life. And finally, to call to mind the
enormous influence which "German philosophy"--I hope you
understand its right to inverted commas (goosefeet)?--has
exercised throughout the whole of Europe, there is no doubt that
a certain VIRTUS DORMITIVA had a share in it; thanks to German
philosophy, it was a delight to the noble idlers, the virtuous,
the mystics, the artiste, the three-fourths Christians, and the
political obscurantists of all nations, to find an antidote to
the still overwhelming sensualism which overflowed from the last
century into this, in short--"sensus assoupire." . . .

12. As regards materialistic atomism, it is one of the best-
refuted theories that have been advanced, and in Europe there is
now perhaps no one in the learned world so unscholarly as to
attach serious signification to it, except for convenient
everyday use (as an abbreviation of the means of expression)--
thanks chiefly to the Pole Boscovich: he and the Pole Copernicus
have hitherto been the greatest and most successful opponents of
ocular evidence. For while Copernicus has persuaded us to
believe, contrary to all the senses, that the earth does NOT
stand fast, Boscovich has taught us to abjure the belief in the
last thing that "stood fast" of the earth--the belief in
"substance," in "matter," in the earth-residuum, and particle-
atom: it is the greatest triumph over the senses that has
hitherto been gained on earth. One must, however, go still
further, and also declare war, relentless war to the knife,
against the "atomistic requirements" which still lead a dangerous
after-life in places where no one suspects them, like the more
celebrated "metaphysical requirements": one must also above all
give the finishing stroke to that other and more portentous
atomism which Christianity has taught best and longest, the SOUL-
ATOMISM. Let it be permitted to designate by this expression the
belief which regards the soul as something indestructible,
eternal, indivisible, as a monad, as an atomon: this belief ought
to be expelled from science! Between ourselves, it is not at all
necessary to get rid of "the soul" thereby, and thus renounce one
of the oldest and most venerated hypotheses--as happens
frequently to the clumsiness of naturalists, who can hardly touch
on the soul without immediately losing it. But the way is open
for new acceptations and refinements of the soul-hypothesis; and
such conceptions as "mortal soul," and "soul of subjective
multiplicity," and "soul as social structure of the instincts and
passions," want henceforth to have legitimate rights in science.
In that the NEW psychologist is about to put an end to the
superstitions which have hitherto flourished with almost tropical
luxuriance around the idea of the soul, he is really, as it were,
thrusting himself into a new desert and a new distrust--it is
possible that the older psychologists had a merrier and more
comfortable time of it; eventually, however, he finds that
precisely thereby he is also condemned to INVENT--and, who knows?
perhaps to DISCOVER the new.

13. Psychologists should bethink themselves before putting down
the instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an
organic being. A living thing seeks above all to DISCHARGE its
strength--life itself is WILL TO POWER; self-preservation is only
one of the indirect and most frequent RESULTS thereof. In short,
here, as everywhere else, let us beware of SUPERFLUOUS
teleological principles!--one of which is the instinct of self-
preservation (we owe it to Spinoza's inconsistency). It is thus,
in effect, that method ordains, which must be essentially economy
of principles.

14. It is perhaps just dawning on five or six minds that natural
philosophy is only a world-exposition and world-arrangement
(according to us, if I may say so!) and NOT a world-explanation;
but in so far as it is based on belief in the senses, it is
regarded as more, and for a long time to come must be regarded as
more--namely, as an explanation. It has eyes and fingers of its
own, it has ocular evidence and palpableness of its own: this
operates fascinatingly, persuasively, and CONVINCINGLY upon an
age with fundamentally plebeian tastes--in fact, it follows
instinctively the canon of truth of eternal popular sensualism.
What is clear, what is "explained"? Only that which can be seen
and felt--one must pursue every problem thus far. Obversely,
however, the charm of the Platonic mode of thought, which was an
ARISTOCRATIC mode, consisted precisely in RESISTANCE to obvious
sense-evidence--perhaps among men who enjoyed even stronger and
more fastidious senses than our contemporaries, but who knew how
to find a higher triumph in remaining masters of them: and this
by means of pale, cold, grey conceptional networks which they
threw over the motley whirl of the senses--the mob of the senses,
as Plato said. In this overcoming of the world, and interpreting
of the world in the manner of Plato, there was an ENJOYMENT
different from that which the physicists of today offer us--and
likewise the Darwinists and anti-teleologists among the
physiological workers, with their principle of the "smallest
possible effort," and the greatest possible blunder. "Where there
is nothing more to see or to grasp, there is also nothing more
for men to do"--that is certainly an imperative different from
the Platonic one, but it may notwithstanding be the right
imperative for a hardy, laborious race of machinists and bridge-
builders of the future, who have nothing but ROUGH work to

15. To study physiology with a clear conscience, one must insist
on the fact that the sense-organs are not phenomena in the sense
of the idealistic philosophy; as such they certainly could not be
causes! Sensualism, therefore, at least as regulative hypothesis,
if not as heuristic principle. What? And others say even that the
external world is the work of our organs? But then our body, as a
part of this external world, would be the work of our organs! But
then our organs themselves would be the work of our organs! It
seems to me that this is a complete REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM, if the
conception CAUSA SUI is something fundamentally absurd.
Consequently, the external world is NOT the work of our organs--?

16. There are still harmless self-observers who believe that
there are "immediate certainties"; for instance, "I think," or as
the superstition of Schopenhauer puts it, "I will"; as though
cognition here got hold of its object purely and simply as "the
thing in itself," without any falsification taking place either
on the part of the subject or the object. I would repeat it,
however, a hundred times, that "immediate certainty," as well as
"absolute knowledge" and the "thing in itself," involve a
CONTRADICTIO IN ADJECTO; we really ought to free ourselves from
the misleading significance of words! The people on their part
may think that cognition is knowing all about things, but the
philosopher must say to himself: "When I analyze the process that
is expressed in the sentence, 'I think,' I find a whole series of
daring assertions, the argumentative proof of which would be
difficult, perhaps impossible: for instance, that it is _I_ who
think, that there must necessarily be something that thinks, that
thinking is an activity and operation on the part of a being who
is thought of as a cause, that there is an 'ego,' and finally,
that it is already determined what is to be designated by
thinking--that I KNOW what thinking is. For if I had not already
decided within myself what it is, by what standard could I
determine whether that which is just happening is not perhaps
'willing' or 'feeling'? In short, the assertion 'I think,'
assumes that I COMPARE my state at the present moment with other
states of myself which I know, in order to determine what it is;
on account of this retrospective connection with further
'knowledge,' it has, at any rate, no immediate certainty for
me."--In place of the "immediate certainty" in which the people
may believe in the special case, the philosopher thus finds a
series of metaphysical questions presented to him, veritable
conscience questions of the intellect, to wit: "Whence did I get
the notion of 'thinking'? Why do I believe in cause and effect?
What gives me the right to speak of an 'ego,' and even of an
'ego' as cause, and finally of an 'ego' as cause of thought?" He
who ventures to answer these metaphysical questions at once by an
appeal to a sort of INTUITIVE perception, like the person who
says, "I think, and know that this, at least, is true, actual,
and certain"--will encounter a smile and two notes of
interrogation in a philosopher nowadays. "Sir," the philosopher
will perhaps give him to understand, "it is improbable that you
are not mistaken, but why should it be the truth?"

17. With regard to the superstitions of logicians, I shall never
tire of emphasizing a small, terse fact, which is unwillingly
recognized by these credulous minds--namely, that a thought comes
when "it" wishes, and not when "I" wish; so that it is a
PERVERSION of the facts of the case to say that the subject "I"
is the condition of the predicate "think." ONE thinks; but that
this "one" is precisely the famous old "ego," is, to put it
mildly, only a supposition, an assertion, and assuredly not an
"immediate certainty." After all, one has even gone too far with
this "one thinks"--even the "one" contains an INTERPRETATION of
the process, and does not belong to the process itself. One
infers here according to the usual grammatical formula--"To think
is an activity; every activity requires an agency that is active;
consequently" . . . It was pretty much on the same lines that the
older atomism sought, besides the operating "power," the material
particle wherein it resides and out of which it operates--the
atom. More rigorous minds, however, learnt at last to get along
without this "earth-residuum," and perhaps some day we shall
accustom ourselves, even from the logician's point of view, to
get along without the little "one" (to which the worthy old "ego"
has refined itself).

18. It is certainly not the least charm of a theory that it is
refutable; it is precisely thereby that it attracts the more
subtle minds. It seems that the hundred-times-refuted theory of
the "free will" owes its persistence to this charm alone; some
one is always appearing who feels himself strong enough to refute

19. Philosophers are accustomed to speak of the will as though it
were the best-known thing in the world; indeed, Schopenhauer has
given us to understand that the will alone is really known to us,
absolutely and completely known, without deduction or addition.
But it again and again seems to me that in this case Schopenhauer
also only did what philosophers are in the habit of doing-he
seems to have adopted a POPULAR PREJUDICE and exaggerated it.
Willing-seems to me to be above all something COMPLICATED,
something that is a unity only in name--and it is precisely in a
name that popular prejudice lurks, which has got the mastery over
the inadequate precautions of philosophers in all ages. So let us
for once be more cautious, let us be "unphilosophical": let us
say that in all willing there is firstly a plurality of
sensations, namely, the sensation of the condition "AWAY FROM
WHICH we go," the sensation of the condition "TOWARDS WHICH we
go," the sensation of this "FROM" and "TOWARDS" itself, and then
besides, an accompanying muscular sensation, which, even without
our putting in motion "arms and legs," commences its action by
force of habit, directly we "will" anything. Therefore, just as
sensations (and indeed many kinds of sensations) are to be
recognized as ingredients of the will, so, in the second place,
thinking is also to be recognized; in every act of the will there
is a ruling thought;--and let us not imagine it possible to sever
this thought from the "willing," as if the will would then remain
over! In the third place, the will is not only a complex of
sensation and thinking, but it is above all an EMOTION, and in
fact the emotion of the command. That which is termed "freedom of
the will" is essentially the emotion of supremacy in respect to
him who must obey: "I am free, 'he' must obey"--this
consciousness is inherent in every will; and equally so the
straining of the attention, the straight look which fixes itself
exclusively on one thing, the unconditional judgment that "this
and nothing else is necessary now," the inward certainty that
obedience will be rendered--and whatever else pertains to the
position of the commander. A man who WILLS commands something
within himself which renders obedience, or which he believes
renders obedience. But now let us notice what is the strangest
thing about the will,--this affair so extremely complex, for
which the people have only one name. Inasmuch as in the given
circumstances we are at the same time the commanding AND the
obeying parties, and as the obeying party we know the sensations
of constraint, impulsion, pressure, resistance, and motion, which
usually commence immediately after the act of will; inasmuch as,
on the other hand, we are accustomed to disregard this duality,
and to deceive ourselves about it by means of the synthetic term
"I": a whole series of erroneous conclusions, and consequently of
false judgments about the will itself, has become attached to the
act of willing--to such a degree that he who wills believes
firmly that willing SUFFICES for action. Since in the majority of
cases there has only been exercise of will when the effect of the
command--consequently obedience, and therefore action--was to be
EXPECTED, the APPEARANCE has translated itself into the
sentiment, as if there were a NECESSITY OF EFFECT; in a word, he
who wills believes with a fair amount of certainty that will and
action are somehow one; he ascribes the success, the carrying out
of the willing, to the will itself, and thereby enjoys an
increase of the sensation of power which accompanies all success.
"Freedom of Will"--that is the expression for the complex state
of delight of the person exercising volition, who commands and at
the same time identifies himself with the executor of the order--
who, as such, enjoys also the triumph over obstacles, but thinks
within himself that it was really his own will that overcame
them. In this way the person exercising volition adds the
feelings of delight of his successful executive instruments, the
useful "underwills" or under-souls--indeed, our body is but a
social structure composed of many souls--to his feelings of
delight as commander. L'EFFET C'EST MOI. what happens here is
what happens in every well-constructed and happy commonwealth,
namely, that the governing class identifies itself with the
successes of the commonwealth. In all willing it is absolutely a
question of commanding and obeying, on the basis, as already
said, of a social structure composed of many "souls", on which
account a philosopher should claim the right to include willing-
as-such within the sphere of morals--regarded as the doctrine of
the relations of supremacy under which the phenomenon of "life"
manifests itself.

20. That the separate philosophical ideas are not anything
optional or autonomously evolving, but grow up in connection and
relationship with each other, that, however suddenly and
arbitrarily they seem to appear in the history of thought, they
nevertheless belong just as much to a system as the collective
members of the fauna of a Continent--is betrayed in the end by
the circumstance: how unfailingly the most diverse philosophers
always fill in again a definite fundamental scheme of POSSIBLE
philosophies. Under an invisible spell, they always revolve once
more in the same orbit, however independent of each other they
may feel themselves with their critical or systematic wills,
something within them leads them, something impels them in
definite order the one after the other--to wit, the innate
methodology and relationship of their ideas. Their thinking is,
in fact, far less a discovery than a re-recognizing, a
remembering, a return and a home-coming to a far-off, ancient
common-household of the soul, out of which those ideas formerly
grew: philosophizing is so far a kind of atavism of the highest
order. The wonderful family resemblance of all Indian, Greek, and
German philosophizing is easily enough explained. In fact, where
there is affinity of language, owing to the common philosophy of
grammar--I mean owing to the unconscious domination and guidance
of similar grammatical functions--it cannot but be that
everything is prepared at the outset for a similar development
and succession of philosophical systems, just as the way seems
barred against certain other possibilities of world-
interpretation. It is highly probable that philosophers within
the domain of the Ural-Altaic languages (where the conception of
the subject is least developed) look otherwise "into the world,"
and will be found on paths of thought different from those of the
Indo-Germans and Mussulmans, the spell of certain grammatical
functions is ultimately also the spell of PHYSIOLOGICAL
valuations and racial conditions.--So much by way of rejecting
Locke's superficiality with regard to the origin of ideas.

21. The CAUSA SUI is the best self-contradiction that has yet
been conceived, it is a sort of logical violation and
unnaturalness; but the extravagant pride of man has managed to
entangle itself profoundly and frightfully with this very folly.
The desire for "freedom of will" in the superlative, metaphysical
sense, such as still holds sway, unfortunately, in the minds of
the half-educated, the desire to bear the entire and ultimate
responsibility for one's actions oneself, and to absolve God, the
world, ancestors, chance, and society therefrom, involves nothing
less than to be precisely this CAUSA SUI, and, with more than
Munchausen daring, to pull oneself up into existence by the hair,
out of the slough of nothingness. If any one should find out in
this manner the crass stupidity of the celebrated conception of
"free will" and put it out of his head altogether, I beg of him
to carry his "enlightenment" a step further, and also put out of
his head the contrary of this monstrous conception of "free
will": I mean "non-free will," which is tantamount to a misuse of
cause and effect. One should not wrongly MATERIALISE "cause" and
"effect," as the natural philosophers do (and whoever like them
naturalize in thinking at present), according to the prevailing
mechanical doltishness which makes the cause press and push until
it "effects" its end; one should use "cause" and "effect" only as
pure CONCEPTIONS, that is to say, as conventional fictions for
the purpose of designation and mutual understanding,--NOT for
explanation. In "being-in-itself" there is nothing of "casual-
connection," of "necessity," or of "psychological non-freedom";
there the effect does NOT follow the cause, there "law" does not
obtain. It is WE alone who have devised cause, sequence,
reciprocity, relativity, constraint, number, law, freedom,
motive, and purpose; and when we interpret and intermix this
symbol-world, as "being-in-itself," with things, we act once more
as we have always acted--MYTHOLOGICALLY. The "non-free will" is
mythology; in real life it is only a question of STRONG and WEAK
wills.--It is almost always a symptom of what is lacking in
himself, when a thinker, in every "causal-connection" and
"psychological necessity," manifests something of compulsion,
indigence, obsequiousness, oppression, and non-freedom; it is
suspicious to have such feelings--the person betrays himself. And
in general, if I have observed correctly, the "non-freedom of the
will" is regarded as a problem from two entirely opposite
standpoints, but always in a profoundly PERSONAL manner: some
will not give up their "responsibility," their belief in
THEMSELVES, the personal right to THEIR merits, at any price (the
vain races belong to this class); others on the contrary, do not
wish to be answerable for anything, or blamed for anything, and
owing to an inward self-contempt, seek to GET OUT OF THE
BUSINESS, no matter how. The latter, when they write books, are
in the habit at present of taking the side of criminals; a sort
of socialistic sympathy is their favourite disguise. And as a
matter of fact, the fatalism of the weak-willed embellishes
itself surprisingly when it can pose as "la religion de la
souffrance humaine"; that is ITS "good taste."

22. Let me be pardoned, as an old philologist who cannot desist
from the mischief of putting his finger on bad modes of
interpretation, but "Nature's conformity to law," of which you
physicists talk so proudly, as though--why, it exists only owing
to your interpretation and bad "philology." It is no matter of
fact, no "text," but rather just a naively humanitarian
adjustment and perversion of meaning, with which you make
abundant concessions to the democratic instincts of the modern
soul! "Everywhere equality before the law--Nature is not
different in that respect, nor better than we": a fine instance
of secret motive, in which the vulgar antagonism to everything
privileged and autocratic--likewise a second and more refined
atheism--is once more disguised. "Ni dieu, ni maitre"--that,
also, is what you want; and therefore "Cheers for natural law!"--
is it not so? But, as has been said, that is interpretation, not
text; and somebody might come along, who, with opposite
intentions and modes of interpretation, could read out of the
same "Nature," and with regard to the same phenomena, just the
tyrannically inconsiderate and relentless enforcement of the
claims of power--an interpreter who should so place the
unexceptionalness and unconditionalness of all "Will to Power"
before your eyes, that almost every word, and the word "tyranny"
itself, would eventually seem unsuitable, or like a weakening and
softening metaphor--as being too human; and who should,
nevertheless, end by asserting the same about this world as you
do, namely, that it has a "necessary" and "calculable" course,
NOT, however, because laws obtain in it, but because they are
absolutely LACKING, and every power effects its ultimate
consequences every moment. Granted that this also is only
interpretation--and you will be eager enough to make this
objection?--well, so much the better.

23. All psychology hitherto has run aground on moral prejudices
and timidities, it has not dared to launch out into the depths.
In so far as it is allowable to recognize in that which has
hitherto been written, evidence of that which has hitherto been
kept silent, it seems as if nobody had yet harboured the notion
of psychology as the Morphology and DEVELOPMENT-DOCTRINE OF THE
WILL TO POWER, as I conceive of it. The power of moral prejudices
has penetrated deeply into the most intellectual world, the world
apparently most indifferent and unprejudiced, and has obviously
operated in an injurious, obstructive, blinding, and distorting
manner. A proper physio-psychology has to contend with
unconscious antagonism in the heart of the investigator, it has
"the heart" against it even a doctrine of the reciprocal
conditionalness of the "good" and the "bad" impulses, causes (as
refined immorality) distress and aversion in a still strong and
manly conscience--still more so, a doctrine of the derivation of
all good impulses from bad ones. If, however, a person should
regard even the emotions of hatred, envy, covetousness, and
imperiousness as life-conditioning emotions, as factors which
must be present, fundamentally and essentially, in the general
economy of life (which must, therefore, be further developed if
life is to be further developed), he will suffer from such a view
of things as from sea-sickness. And yet this hypothesis is far
from being the strangest and most painful in this immense and
almost new domain of dangerous knowledge, and there are in fact a
hundred good reasons why every one should keep away from it who
CAN do so! On the other hand, if one has once drifted hither with
one's bark, well! very good! now let us set our teeth firmly! let
us open our eyes and keep our hand fast on the helm! We sail away
right OVER morality, we crush out, we destroy perhaps the remains
of our own morality by daring to make our voyage thither--but
what do WE matter. Never yet did a PROFOUNDER world of insight
reveal itself to daring travelers and adventurers, and the
psychologist who thus "makes a sacrifice"--it is not the
sacrifizio dell' intelletto, on the contrary!--will at least be
entitled to demand in return that psychology shall once more be
recognized as the queen of the sciences, for whose service and
equipment the other sciences exist. For psychology is once more
the path to the fundamental problems.



24. O sancta simplicitiatas! In what strange simplification and
falsification man lives! One can never cease wondering when once
one has got eyes for beholding this marvel! How we have made
everything around us clear and free and easy and simple! how we
have been able to give our senses a passport to everything
superficial, our thoughts a godlike desire for wanton pranks and
wrong inferences!--how from the beginning, we have contrived to
retain our ignorance in order to enjoy an almost inconceivable
freedom, thoughtlessness, imprudence, heartiness, and gaiety--in
order to enjoy life! And only on this solidified, granitelike
foundation of ignorance could knowledge rear itself hitherto, the
will to knowledge on the foundation of a far more powerful will,
the will to ignorance, to the uncertain, to the untrue! Not as
its opposite, but--as its refinement! It is to be hoped, indeed,
that LANGUAGE, here as elsewhere, will not get over its
awkwardness, and that it will continue to talk of opposites where
there are only degrees and many refinements of gradation; it is
equally to be hoped that the incarnated Tartuffery of morals,
which now belongs to our unconquerable "flesh and blood," will
turn the words round in the mouths of us discerning ones. Here
and there we understand it, and laugh at the way in which
precisely the best knowledge seeks most to retain us in this
SIMPLIFIED, thoroughly artificial, suitably imagined, and
suitably falsified world: at the way in which, whether it will or
not, it loves error, because, as living itself, it loves life!

25. After such a cheerful commencement, a serious word would fain
be heard; it appeals to the most serious minds. Take care, ye
philosophers and friends of knowledge, and beware of martyrdom!
Of suffering "for the truth's sake"! even in your own defense! It
spoils all the innocence and fine neutrality of your conscience;
it makes you headstrong against objections and red rags; it
stupefies, animalizes, and brutalizes, when in the struggle with
danger, slander, suspicion, expulsion, and even worse
consequences of enmity, ye have at last to play your last card as
protectors of truth upon earth--as though "the Truth" were such
an innocent and incompetent creature as to require protectors!
and you of all people, ye knights of the sorrowful countenance,
Messrs Loafers and Cobweb-spinners of the spirit! Finally, ye
know sufficiently well that it cannot be of any consequence if YE
just carry your point; ye know that hitherto no philosopher has
carried his point, and that there might be a more laudable
truthfulness in every little interrogative mark which you place
after your special words and favourite doctrines (and
occasionally after yourselves) than in all the solemn pantomime
and trumping games before accusers and law-courts! Rather go out
of the way! Flee into concealment! And have your masks and your
ruses, that ye may be mistaken for what you are, or somewhat
feared! And pray, don't forget the garden, the garden with golden
trellis-work! And have people around you who are as a garden--or
as music on the waters at eventide, when already the day becomes
a memory. Choose the GOOD solitude, the free, wanton, lightsome
solitude, which also gives you the right still to remain good in
any sense whatsoever! How poisonous, how crafty, how bad, does
every long war make one, which cannot be waged openly by means of
force! How PERSONAL does a long fear make one, a long watching of
enemies, of possible enemies! These pariahs of society, these
long-pursued, badly-persecuted ones--also the compulsory
recluses, the Spinozas or Giordano Brunos--always become in the
end, even under the most intellectual masquerade, and perhaps
without being themselves aware of it, refined vengeance-seekers
and poison-Brewers (just lay bare the foundation of Spinoza's
ethics and theology!), not to speak of the stupidity of moral
indignation, which is the unfailing sign in a philosopher that
the sense of philosophical humour has left him. The martyrdom of
the philosopher, his "sacrifice for the sake of truth," forces
into the light whatever of the agitator and actor lurks in him;
and if one has hitherto contemplated him only with artistic
curiosity, with regard to many a philosopher it is easy to
understand the dangerous desire to see him also in his
deterioration (deteriorated into a "martyr," into a stage-and-
tribune-bawler). Only, that it is necessary with such a desire to
be clear WHAT spectacle one will see in any case--merely a
satyric play, merely an epilogue farce, merely the continued
proof that the long, real tragedy IS AT AN END, supposing that
every philosophy has been a long tragedy in its origin.

26. Every select man strives instinctively for a citadel and a
privacy, where he is FREE from the crowd, the many, the majority--
where he may forget "men who are the rule," as their exception;--
exclusive only of the case in which he is pushed straight to
such men by a still stronger instinct, as a discerner in the
great and exceptional sense. Whoever, in intercourse with men,
does not occasionally glisten in all the green and grey colours
of distress, owing to disgust, satiety, sympathy, gloominess, and
solitariness, is assuredly not a man of elevated tastes;
supposing, however, that he does not voluntarily take all this
burden and disgust upon himself, that he persistently avoids it,
and remains, as I said, quietly and proudly hidden in his
citadel, one thing is then certain: he was not made, he was not
predestined for knowledge. For as such, he would one day have to
say to himself: "The devil take my good taste! but 'the rule' is
more interesting than the exception--than myself, the exception!"
And he would go DOWN, and above all, he would go "inside." The
long and serious study of the AVERAGE man--and consequently much
disguise, self-overcoming, familiarity, and bad intercourse (all
intercourse is bad intercourse except with one's equals):--that
constitutes a necessary part of the life-history of every
philosopher; perhaps the most disagreeable, odious, and
disappointing part. If he is fortunate, however, as a favourite
child of knowledge should be, he will meet with suitable
auxiliaries who will shorten and lighten his task; I mean so-
called cynics, those who simply recognize the animal, the
commonplace and "the rule" in themselves, and at the same time
have so much spirituality and ticklishness as to make them talk
of themselves and their like BEFORE WITNESSES--sometimes they
wallow, even in books, as on their own dung-hill. Cynicism is the
only form in which base souls approach what is called honesty;
and the higher man must open his ears to all the coarser or finer
cynicism, and congratulate himself when the clown becomes
shameless right before him, or the scientific satyr speaks out.
There are even cases where enchantment mixes with the disgust--
namely, where by a freak of nature, genius is bound to some such
indiscreet billy-goat and ape, as in the case of the Abbe
Galiani, the profoundest, acutest, and perhaps also filthiest man
of his century--he was far profounder than Voltaire, and
consequently also, a good deal more silent. It happens more
frequently, as has been hinted, that a scientific head is placed
on an ape's body, a fine exceptional understanding in a base
soul, an occurrence by no means rare, especially among doctors
and moral physiologists. And whenever anyone speaks without
bitterness, or rather quite innocently, of man as a belly with
two requirements, and a head with one; whenever any one sees,
seeks, and WANTS to see only hunger, sexual instinct, and vanity
as the real and only motives of human actions; in short, when any
one speaks "badly"--and not even "ill"--of man, then ought the
lover of knowledge to hearken attentively and diligently; he
ought, in general, to have an open ear wherever there is talk
without indignation. For the indignant man, and he who
perpetually tears and lacerates himself with his own teeth (or,
in place of himself, the world, God, or society), may indeed,
morally speaking, stand higher than the laughing and self-
satisfied satyr, but in every other sense he is the more
ordinary, more indifferent, and less instructive case. And no one
is such a LIAR as the indignant man.

27. It is difficult to be understood, especially when one thinks
and lives gangasrotogati [Footnote: Like the river Ganges:
presto.] among those only who think and live otherwise--namely,
kurmagati [Footnote: Like the tortoise: lento.], or at best
"froglike," mandeikagati [Footnote: Like the frog: staccato.] (I
do everything to be "difficultly understood" myself!)--and one
should be heartily grateful for the good will to some refinement
of interpretation. As regards "the good friends," however, who
are always too easy-going, and think that as friends they have a
right to ease, one does well at the very first to grant them a
play-ground and romping-place for misunderstanding--one can thus
laugh still; or get rid of them altogether, these good friends--
and laugh then also!

28. What is most difficult to render from one language into
another is the TEMPO of its style, which has its basis in the
character of the race, or to speak more physiologically, in the
average TEMPO of the assimilation of its nutriment. There are
honestly meant translations, which, as involuntary
vulgarizations, are almost falsifications of the original, merely
because its lively and merry TEMPO (which overleaps and obviates
all dangers in word and expression) could not also be rendered. A
German is almost incapacitated for PRESTO in his language;
consequently also, as may be reasonably inferred, for many of the
most delightful and daring NUANCES of free, free-spirited
thought. And just as the buffoon and satyr are foreign to him in
body and conscience, so Aristophanes and Petronius are
untranslatable for him. Everything ponderous, viscous, and
pompously clumsy, all long-winded and wearying species of style,
are developed in profuse variety among Germans--pardon me for
stating the fact that even Goethe's prose, in its mixture of
stiffness and elegance, is no exception, as a reflection of the
"good old time" to which it belongs, and as an expression of
German taste at a time when there was still a "German taste,"
which was a rococo-taste in moribus et artibus. Lessing is an
exception, owing to his histrionic nature, which understood much,
and was versed in many things; he who was not the translator of
Bayle to no purpose, who took refuge willingly in the shadow of
Diderot and Voltaire, and still more willingly among the Roman
comedy-writers--Lessing loved also free-spiritism in the TEMPO,
and flight out of Germany. But how could the German language,
even in the prose of Lessing, imitate the TEMPO of Machiavelli,
who in his "Principe" makes us breathe the dry, fine air of
Florence, and cannot help presenting the most serious events in a
boisterous allegrissimo, perhaps not without a malicious artistic
sense of the contrast he ventures to present--long, heavy,
difficult, dangerous thoughts, and a TEMPO of the gallop, and of
the best, wantonest humour? Finally, who would venture on a
German translation of Petronius, who, more than any great
musician hitherto, was a master of PRESTO in invention, ideas,
and words? What matter in the end about the swamps of the sick,
evil world, or of the "ancient world," when like him, one has the
feet of a wind, the rush, the breath, the emancipating scorn of a
wind, which makes everything healthy, by making everything RUN!
And with regard to Aristophanes--that transfiguring,
complementary genius, for whose sake one PARDONS all Hellenism
for having existed, provided one has understood in its full
profundity ALL that there requires pardon and transfiguration;
there is nothing that has caused me to meditate more on PLATO'S
secrecy and sphinx-like nature, than the happily preserved petit
fait that under the pillow of his death-bed there was found no
"Bible," nor anything Egyptian, Pythagorean, or Platonic--but a
book of Aristophanes. How could even Plato have endured life--a
Greek life which he repudiated--without an Aristophanes!

29. It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a
privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, even with the
best right, but without being OBLIGED to do so, proves that he is
probably not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. He
enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers
which life in itself already brings with it; not the least of
which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way,
becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of
conscience. Supposing such a one comes to grief, it is so far
from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it, nor
sympathize with it. And he cannot any longer go back! He cannot
even go back again to the sympathy of men!

30. Our deepest insights must--and should--appear as follies, and
under certain circumstances as crimes, when they come
unauthorizedly to the ears of those who are not disposed and
predestined for them. The exoteric and the esoteric, as they were
formerly distinguished by philosophers--among the Indians, as
among the Greeks, Persians, and Mussulmans, in short, wherever
people believed in gradations of rank and NOT in equality and
equal rights--are not so much in contradistinction to one another
in respect to the exoteric class, standing without, and viewing,
estimating, measuring, and judging from the outside, and not from
the inside; the more essential distinction is that the class in
question views things from below upwards--while the esoteric
class views things FROM ABOVE DOWNWARDS. There are heights of the
soul from which tragedy itself no longer appears to operate
tragically; and if all the woe in the world were taken together,
who would dare to decide whether the sight of it would
NECESSARILY seduce and constrain to sympathy, and thus to a
doubling of the woe? . . . That which serves the higher class of
men for nourishment or refreshment, must be almost poison to an
entirely different and lower order of human beings. The virtues
of the common man would perhaps mean vice and weakness in a
philosopher; it might be possible for a highly developed man,
supposing him to degenerate and go to ruin, to acquire qualities
thereby alone, for the sake of which he would have to be honoured
as a saint in the lower world into which he had sunk. There are
books which have an inverse value for the soul and the health
according as the inferior soul and the lower vitality, or the
higher and more powerful, make use of them. In the former case
they are dangerous, disturbing, unsettling books, in the latter
case they are herald-calls which summon the bravest to THEIR
bravery. Books for the general reader are always ill-smelling
books, the odour of paltry people clings to them. Where the
populace eat and drink, and even where they reverence, it is
accustomed to stink. One should not go into churches if one
wishes to breathe PURE air.

31. In our youthful years we still venerate and despise without
the art of NUANCE, which is the best gain of life, and we have
rightly to do hard penance for having fallen upon men and things
with Yea and Nay. Everything is so arranged that the worst of all
tastes, THE TASTE FOR THE UNCONDITIONAL, is cruelly befooled and
abused, until a man learns to introduce a little art into his
sentiments, and prefers to try conclusions with the artificial,
as do the real artists of life. The angry and reverent spirit
peculiar to youth appears to allow itself no peace, until it has
suitably falsified men and things, to be able to vent its passion
upon them: youth in itself even, is something falsifying and
deceptive. Later on, when the young soul, tortured by continual
disillusions, finally turns suspiciously against itself--still
ardent and savage even in its suspicion and remorse of
conscience: how it upbraids itself, how impatiently it tears
itself, how it revenges itself for its long self-blinding, as
though it had been a voluntary blindness! In this transition one
punishes oneself by distrust of one's sentiments; one tortures
one's enthusiasm with doubt, one feels even the good conscience
to be a danger, as if it were the self-concealment and lassitude
of a more refined uprightness; and above all, one espouses upon
principle the cause AGAINST "youth."--A decade later, and one
comprehends that all this was also still--youth!

32. Throughout the longest period of human history--one calls it
the prehistoric period--the value or non-value of an action was
inferred from its CONSEQUENCES; the action in itself was not
taken into consideration, any more than its origin; but pretty
much as in China at present, where the distinction or disgrace of
a child redounds to its parents, the retro-operating power of
success or failure was what induced men to think well or ill of
an action. Let us call this period the PRE-MORAL period of
mankind; the imperative, "Know thyself!" was then still unknown.
--In the last ten thousand years, on the other hand, on certain
large portions of the earth, one has gradually got so far, that
one no longer lets the consequences of an action, but its origin,
decide with regard to its worth: a great achievement as a whole,
an important refinement of vision and of criterion, the
unconscious effect of the supremacy of aristocratic values and of
the belief in "origin," the mark of a period which may be
designated in the narrower sense as the MORAL one: the first
attempt at self-knowledge is thereby made. Instead of the
consequences, the origin--what an inversion of perspective! And
assuredly an inversion effected only after long struggle and
wavering! To be sure, an ominous new superstition, a peculiar
narrowness of interpretation, attained supremacy precisely
thereby: the origin of an action was interpreted in the most
definite sense possible, as origin out of an INTENTION; people
were agreed in the belief that the value of an action lay in the
value of its intention. The intention as the sole origin and
antecedent history of an action: under the influence of this
prejudice moral praise and blame have been bestowed, and men have
judged and even philosophized almost up to the present day.--Is
it not possible, however, that the necessity may now have arisen
of again making up our minds with regard to the reversing and
fundamental shifting of values, owing to a new self-consciousness
and acuteness in man--is it not possible that we may be standing
on the threshold of a period which to begin with, would be
distinguished negatively as ULTRA-MORAL: nowadays when, at least
among us immoralists, the suspicion arises that the decisive
value of an action lies precisely in that which is NOT
INTENTIONAL, and that all its intentionalness, all that is seen,
sensible, or "sensed" in it, belongs to its surface or skin--
which, like every skin, betrays something, but CONCEALS still
more? In short, we believe that the intention is only a sign or
symptom, which first requires an explanation--a sign, moreover,
which has too many interpretations, and consequently hardly any
meaning in itself alone: that morality, in the sense in which it
has been understood hitherto, as intention-morality, has been a
prejudice, perhaps a prematureness or preliminariness, probably
something of the same rank as astrology and alchemy, but in any
case something which must be surmounted. The surmounting of
morality, in a certain sense even the self-mounting of morality--
let that be the name for the long-secret labour which has been
reserved for the most refined, the most upright, and also the
most wicked consciences of today, as the living touchstones of
the soul.

33. It cannot be helped: the sentiment of surrender, of sacrifice
for one's neighbour, and all self-renunciation-morality, must be
mercilessly called to account, and brought to judgment; just as
the aesthetics of "disinterested contemplation," under which the
emasculation of art nowadays seeks insidiously enough to create
itself a good conscience. There is far too much witchery and
sugar in the sentiments "for others" and "NOT for myself," for
one not needing to be doubly distrustful here, and for one asking
promptly: "Are they not perhaps--DECEPTIONS?"--That they PLEASE--
him who has them, and him who enjoys their fruit, and also the
mere spectator--that is still no argument in their FAVOUR, but
just calls for caution. Let us therefore be cautious!

34. At whatever standpoint of philosophy one may place oneself
nowadays, seen from every position, the ERRONEOUSNESS of the
world in which we think we live is the surest and most certain
thing our eyes can light upon: we find proof after proof thereof,
which would fain allure us into surmises concerning a deceptive
principle in the "nature of things." He, however, who makes
thinking itself, and consequently "the spirit," responsible for
the falseness of the world--an honourable exit, which every
conscious or unconscious advocatus dei avails himself of--he who
regards this world, including space, time, form, and movement, as
falsely DEDUCED, would have at least good reason in the end to
become distrustful also of all thinking; has it not hitherto been
playing upon us the worst of scurvy tricks? and what guarantee
would it give that it would not continue to do what it has always
been doing? In all seriousness, the innocence of thinkers has
something touching and respect-inspiring in it, which even
nowadays permits them to wait upon consciousness with the request
that it will give them HONEST answers: for example, whether it be
"real" or not, and why it keeps the outer world so resolutely at
a distance, and other questions of the same description. The
belief in "immediate certainties" is a MORAL NAIVETE which does
honour to us philosophers; but--we have now to cease being
"MERELY moral" men! Apart from morality, such belief is a folly
which does little honour to us! If in middle-class life an ever-
ready distrust is regarded as the sign of a "bad character," and
consequently as an imprudence, here among us, beyond the middle-
class world and its Yeas and Nays, what should prevent our being
imprudent and saying: the philosopher has at length a RIGHT to
"bad character," as the being who has hitherto been most befooled
on earth--he is now under OBLIGATION to distrustfulness, to the
wickedest squinting out of every abyss of suspicion.--Forgive me
the joke of this gloomy grimace and turn of expression; for I
myself have long ago learned to think and estimate differently
with regard to deceiving and being deceived, and I keep at least
a couple of pokes in the ribs ready for the blind rage with which
philosophers struggle against being deceived. Why NOT? It is
nothing more than a moral prejudice that truth is worth more than
semblance; it is, in fact, the worst proved supposition in the
world. So much must be conceded: there could have been no life at
all except upon the basis of perspective estimates and
semblances; and if, with the virtuous enthusiasm and stupidity of
many philosophers, one wished to do away altogether with the
"seeming world"--well, granted that YOU could do that,--at least
nothing of your "truth" would thereby remain! Indeed, what is it
that forces us in general to the supposition that there is an
essential opposition of "true" and "false"? Is it not enough to
suppose degrees of seemingness, and as it were lighter and darker
shades and tones of semblance--different valeurs, as the painters
say? Why might not the world WHICH CONCERNS US--be a fiction? And
to any one who suggested: "But to a fiction belongs an
originator?"--might it not be bluntly replied: WHY? May not this
"belong" also belong to the fiction? Is it not at length
permitted to be a little ironical towards the subject, just as
towards the predicate and object? Might not the philosopher
elevate himself above faith in grammar? All respect to
governesses, but is it not time that philosophy should renounce

35. O Voltaire! O humanity! O idiocy! There is something ticklish
in "the truth," and in the SEARCH for the truth; and if man goes
about it too humanely--"il ne cherche le vrai que pour faire le
bien"--I wager he finds nothing!

36. Supposing that nothing else is "given" as real but our world
of desires and passions, that we cannot sink or rise to any other
"reality" but just that of our impulses--for thinking is only a
relation of these impulses to one another:--are we not permitted
to make the attempt and to ask the question whether this which is
"given" does not SUFFICE, by means of our counterparts, for the
understanding even of the so-called mechanical (or "material")
world? I do not mean as an illusion, a "semblance," a
"representation" (in the Berkeleyan and Schopenhauerian sense),
but as possessing the same degree of reality as our emotions
themselves--as a more primitive form of the world of emotions, in
which everything still lies locked in a mighty unity, which
afterwards branches off and develops itself in organic processes
(naturally also, refines and debilitates)--as a kind of
instinctive life in which all organic functions, including self-
regulation, assimilation, nutrition, secretion, and change of
matter, are still synthetically united with one another--as a
PRIMARY FORM of life?--In the end, it is not only permitted to
make this attempt, it is commanded by the conscience of LOGICAL
METHOD. Not to assume several kinds of causality, so long as the
attempt to get along with a single one has not been pushed to its
furthest extent (to absurdity, if I may be allowed to say so):
that is a morality of method which one may not repudiate
nowadays--it follows "from its definition," as mathematicians
say. The question is ultimately whether we really recognize the
will as OPERATING, whether we believe in the causality of the
will; if we do so--and fundamentally our belief IN THIS is just
our belief in causality itself--we MUST make the attempt to posit
hypothetically the causality of the will as the only causality.
"Will" can naturally only operate on "will"--and not on "matter"
(not on "nerves," for instance): in short, the hypothesis must be
hazarded, whether will does not operate on will wherever
"effects" are recognized--and whether all mechanical action,
inasmuch as a power operates therein, is not just the power of
will, the effect of will. Granted, finally, that we succeeded in
explaining our entire instinctive life as the development and
ramification of one fundamental form of will--namely, the Will to
Power, as my thesis puts it; granted that all organic functions
could be traced back to this Will to Power, and that the solution
of the problem of generation and nutrition--it is one problem--
could also be found therein: one would thus have acquired the
right to define ALL active force unequivocally as WILL TO POWER.
The world seen from within, the world defined and designated
according to its "intelligible character"--it would simply be
"Will to Power," and nothing else.

37. "What? Does not that mean in popular language: God is
disproved, but not the devil?"--On the contrary! On the contrary,
my friends! And who the devil also compels you to speak

38. As happened finally in all the enlightenment of modern times
with the French Revolution (that terrible farce, quite
superfluous when judged close at hand, into which, however, the
noble and visionary spectators of all Europe have interpreted
from a distance their own indignation and enthusiasm so long and
INTERPRETATION), so a noble posterity might once more
misunderstand the whole of the past, and perhaps only thereby
make ITS aspect endurable.--Or rather, has not this already
happened? Have not we ourselves been--that "noble posterity"?
And, in so far as we now comprehend this, is it not--thereby
already past?

39. Nobody will very readily regard a doctrine as true merely
because it makes people happy or virtuous--excepting, perhaps,
the amiable "Idealists," who are enthusiastic about the good,
true, and beautiful, and let all kinds of motley, coarse, and
good-natured desirabilities swim about promiscuously in their
pond. Happiness and virtue are no arguments. It is willingly
forgotten, however, even on the part of thoughtful minds, that to
make unhappy and to make bad are just as little counter-
arguments. A thing could be TRUE, although it were in the highest
degree injurious and dangerous; indeed, the fundamental
constitution of existence might be such that one succumbed by a
full knowledge of it--so that the strength of a mind might be
measured by the amount of "truth" it could endure--or to speak
more plainly, by the extent to which it REQUIRED truth
attenuated, veiled, sweetened, damped, and falsified. But there
is no doubt that for the discovery of certain PORTIONS of truth
the wicked and unfortunate are more favourably situated and have
a greater likelihood of success; not to speak of the wicked who
are happy--a species about whom moralists are silent. Perhaps
severity and craft are more favourable conditions for the
development of strong, independent spirits and philosophers than
the gentle, refined, yielding good-nature, and habit of taking
things easily, which are prized, and rightly prized in a learned
man. Presupposing always, to begin with, that the term
"philosopher" be not confined to the philosopher who writes
books, or even introduces HIS philosophy into books!--Stendhal
furnishes a last feature of the portrait of the free-spirited
philosopher, which for the sake of German taste I will not omit
to underline--for it is OPPOSED to German taste. "Pour etre bon
philosophe," says this last great psychologist, "il faut etre
sec, clair, sans illusion. Un banquier, qui a fait fortune, a une
partie du caractere requis pour faire des decouvertes en
philosophie, c'est-a-dire pour voir clair dans ce qui est."

40. Everything that is profound loves the mask: the profoundest
things have a hatred even of figure and likeness. Should not the
CONTRARY only be the right disguise for the shame of a God to go
about in? A question worth asking!--it would be strange if some
mystic has not already ventured on the same kind of thing. There
are proceedings of such a delicate nature that it is well to
overwhelm them with coarseness and make them unrecognizable;
there are actions of love and of an extravagant magnanimity after
which nothing can be wiser than to take a stick and thrash the
witness soundly: one thereby obscures his recollection. Many a
one is able to obscure and abuse his own memory, in order at
least to have vengeance on this sole party in the secret: shame
is inventive. They are not the worst things of which one is most
ashamed: there is not only deceit behind a mask--there is so much
goodness in craft. I could imagine that a man with something
costly and fragile to conceal, would roll through life clumsily
and rotundly like an old, green, heavily-hooped wine-cask: the
refinement of his shame requiring it to be so. A man who has
depths in his shame meets his destiny and his delicate decisions
upon paths which few ever reach, and with regard to the existence
of which his nearest and most intimate friends may be ignorant;
his mortal danger conceals itself from their eyes, and equally so
his regained security. Such a hidden nature, which instinctively
employs speech for silence and concealment, and is inexhaustible
in evasion of communication, DESIRES and insists that a mask of
himself shall occupy his place in the hearts and heads of his
friends; and supposing he does not desire it, his eyes will some
day be opened to the fact that there is nevertheless a mask of
him there--and that it is well to be so. Every profound spirit
needs a mask; nay, more, around every profound spirit there
continually grows a mask, owing to the constantly false, that is
to say, SUPERFICIAL interpretation of every word he utters, every
step he takes, every sign of life he manifests.

41. One must subject oneself to one's own tests that one is
destined for independence and command, and do so at the right
time. One must not avoid one's tests, although they constitute
perhaps the most dangerous game one can play, and are in the end
tests made only before ourselves and before no other judge. Not
to cleave to any person, be it even the dearest--every person is
a prison and also a recess. Not to cleave to a fatherland, be it
even the most suffering and necessitous--it is even less
difficult to detach one's heart from a victorious fatherland. Not
to cleave to a sympathy, be it even for higher men, into whose
peculiar torture and helplessness chance has given us an insight.
Not to cleave to a science, though it tempt one with the most
valuable discoveries, apparently specially reserved for us. Not
to cleave to one's own liberation, to the voluptuous distance and
remoteness of the bird, which always flies further aloft in order
always to see more under it--the danger of the flier. Not to
cleave to our own virtues, nor become as a whole a victim to any
of our specialties, to our "hospitality" for instance, which is
the danger of dangers for highly developed and wealthy souls, who
deal prodigally, almost indifferently with themselves, and push
the virtue of liberality so far that it becomes a vice. One must
know how TO CONSERVE ONESELF--the best test of independence.

42. A new order of philosophers is appearing; I shall venture to
baptize them by a name not without danger. As far as I understand
them, as far as they allow themselves to be understood--for it is
their nature to WISH to remain something of a puzzle--these
philosophers of the future might rightly, perhaps also wrongly,
claim to be designated as "tempters." This name itself is after
all only an attempt, or, if it be preferred, a temptation.

43. Will they be new friends of "truth," these coming
philosophers? Very probably, for all philosophers hitherto have
loved their truths. But assuredly they will not be dogmatists. It
must be contrary to their pride, and also contrary to their
taste, that their truth should still be truth for every one--that
which has hitherto been the secret wish and ultimate purpose of
all dogmatic efforts. "My opinion is MY opinion: another person
has not easily a right to it"--such a philosopher of the future
will say, perhaps. One must renounce the bad taste of wishing to
agree with many people. "Good" is no longer good when one's
neighbour takes it into his mouth. And how could there be a
"common good"! The expression contradicts itself; that which can
be common is always of small value. In the end things must be as
they are and have always been--the great things remain for the
great, the abysses for the profound, the delicacies and thrills
for the refined, and, to sum up shortly, everything rare for the

44. Need I say expressly after all this that they will be free,
VERY free spirits, these philosophers of the future--as certainly
also they will not be merely free spirits, but something more,
higher, greater, and fundamentally different, which does not wish
to be misunderstood and mistaken? But while I say this, I feel
under OBLIGATION almost as much to them as to ourselves (we free
spirits who are their heralds and forerunners), to sweep away
from ourselves altogether a stupid old prejudice and
misunderstanding, which, like a fog, has too long made the
conception of "free spirit" obscure. In every country of Europe,
and the same in America, there is at present something which
makes an abuse of this name a very narrow, prepossessed,
enchained class of spirits, who desire almost the opposite of
what our intentions and instincts prompt--not to mention that in
respect to the NEW philosophers who are appearing, they must
still more be closed windows and bolted doors. Briefly and
regrettably, they belong to the LEVELLERS, these wrongly named
"free spirits"--as glib-tongued and scribe-fingered slaves of the
democratic taste and its "modern ideas" all of them men without
solitude, without personal solitude, blunt honest fellows to whom
neither courage nor honourable conduct ought to be denied, only,
they are not free, and are ludicrously superficial, especially in
their innate partiality for seeing the cause of almost ALL human
misery and failure in the old forms in which society has hitherto
existed--a notion which happily inverts the truth entirely! What
they would fain attain with all their strength, is the universal,
green-meadow happiness of the herd, together with security,
safety, comfort, and alleviation of life for every one, their two
most frequently chanted songs and doctrines are called "Equality
of Rights" and "Sympathy with All Sufferers"--and suffering
itself is looked upon by them as something which must be DONE
AWAY WITH. We opposite ones, however, who have opened our eye and
conscience to the question how and where the plant "man" has
hitherto grown most vigorously, believe that this has always
taken place under the opposite conditions, that for this end the
dangerousness of his situation had to be increased enormously,
his inventive faculty and dissembling power (his "spirit") had to
develop into subtlety and daring under long oppression and
compulsion, and his Will to Life had to be increased to the
unconditioned Will to Power--we believe that severity, violence,
slavery, danger in the street and in the heart, secrecy,
stoicism, tempter's art and devilry of every kind,--that
everything wicked, terrible, tyrannical, predatory, and
serpentine in man, serves as well for the elevation of the human
species as its opposite--we do not even say enough when we only
say THIS MUCH, and in any case we find ourselves here, both with
our speech and our silence, at the OTHER extreme of all modern
ideology and gregarious desirability, as their anti-podes
perhaps? What wonder that we "free spirits" are not exactly the
most communicative spirits? that we do not wish to betray in
every respect WHAT a spirit can free itself from, and WHERE
perhaps it will then be driven? And as to the import of the
dangerous formula, "Beyond Good and Evil," with which we at least
avoid confusion, we ARE something else than "libres-penseurs,"
"liben pensatori" "free-thinkers," and whatever these honest
advocates of "modern ideas" like to call themselves. Having been
at home, or at least guests, in many realms of the spirit, having
escaped again and again from the gloomy, agreeable nooks in which
preferences and prejudices, youth, origin, the accident of men
and books, or even the weariness of travel seemed to confine us,
full of malice against the seductions of dependency which he
concealed in honours, money, positions, or exaltation of the
senses, grateful even for distress and the vicissitudes of
illness, because they always free us from some rule, and its
"prejudice," grateful to the God, devil, sheep, and worm in us,
inquisitive to a fault, investigators to the point of cruelty,
with unhesitating fingers for the intangible, with teeth and
stomachs for the most indigestible, ready for any business that
requires sagacity and acute senses, ready for every adventure,
owing to an excess of "free will", with anterior and posterior
souls, into the ultimate intentions of which it is difficult to
pry, with foregrounds and backgrounds to the end of which no foot
may run, hidden ones under the mantles of light, appropriators,
although we resemble heirs and spendthrifts, arrangers and
collectors from morning till night, misers of our wealth and our
full-crammed drawers, economical in learning and forgetting,
inventive in scheming, sometimes proud of tables of categories,
sometimes pedants, sometimes night-owls of work even in full day,
yea, if necessary, even scarecrows--and it is necessary nowadays,
that is to say, inasmuch as we are the born, sworn, jealous
friends of SOLITUDE, of our own profoundest midnight and midday
solitude--such kind of men are we, we free spirits! And perhaps
ye are also something of the same kind, ye coming ones? ye NEW



45. The human soul and its limits, the range of man's inner
experiences hitherto attained, the heights, depths, and distances
of these experiences, the entire history of the soul UP TO THE
PRESENT TIME, and its still unexhausted possibilities: this is
the preordained hunting-domain for a born psychologist and lover
of a "big hunt". But how often must he say despairingly to
himself: "A single individual! alas, only a single individual!
and this great forest, this virgin forest!" So he would like to
have some hundreds of hunting assistants, and fine trained
hounds, that he could send into the history of the human soul, to
drive HIS game together. In vain: again and again he experiences,
profoundly and bitterly, how difficult it is to find assistants
and dogs for all the things that directly excite his curiosity.
The evil of sending scholars into new and dangerous hunting-
domains, where courage, sagacity, and subtlety in every sense are
required, is that they are no longer serviceable just when the
"BIG hunt," and also the great danger commences,--it is precisely
then that they lose their keen eye and nose. In order, for
instance, to divine and determine what sort of history the
problem of KNOWLEDGE AND CONSCIENCE has hitherto had in the souls
of homines religiosi, a person would perhaps himself have to
possess as profound, as bruised, as immense an experience as the
intellectual conscience of Pascal; and then he would still
require that wide-spread heaven of clear, wicked spirituality,
which, from above, would be able to oversee, arrange, and
effectively formulize this mass of dangerous and painful
experiences.--But who could do me this service! And who would
have time to wait for such servants!--they evidently appear too
rarely, they are so improbable at all times! Eventually one must
do everything ONESELF in order to know something; which means
that one has MUCH to do!--But a curiosity like mine is once for
all the most agreeable of vices--pardon me! I mean to say that
the love of truth has its reward in heaven, and already upon

46. Faith, such as early Christianity desired, and not
infrequently achieved in the midst of a skeptical and southernly
free-spirited world, which had centuries of struggle between
philosophical schools behind it and in it, counting besides the
education in tolerance which the Imperium Romanum gave--this
faith is NOT that sincere, austere slave-faith by which perhaps a
Luther or a Cromwell, or some other northern barbarian of the
spirit remained attached to his God and Christianity, it is much
rather the faith of Pascal, which resembles in a terrible manner
a continuous suicide of reason--a tough, long-lived, worm-like
reason, which is not to be slain at once and with a single blow.
The Christian faith from the beginning, is sacrifice the
sacrifice of all freedom, all pride, all self-confidence of
spirit, it is at the same time subjection, self-derision, and
self-mutilation. There is cruelty and religious Phoenicianism in
this faith, which is adapted to a tender, many-sided, and very
fastidious conscience, it takes for granted that the subjection
of the spirit is indescribably PAINFUL, that all the past and all
the habits of such a spirit resist the absurdissimum, in the form
of which "faith" comes to it. Modern men, with their obtuseness
as regards all Christian nomenclature, have no longer the sense
for the terribly superlative conception which was implied to an
antique taste by the paradox of the formula, "God on the Cross".
Hitherto there had never and nowhere been such boldness in
inversion, nor anything at once so dreadful, questioning, and
questionable as this formula: it promised a transvaluation of all
ancient values--It was the Orient, the PROFOUND Orient, it was
the Oriental slave who thus took revenge on Rome and its noble,
light-minded toleration, on the Roman "Catholicism" of non-faith,
and it was always not the faith, but the freedom from the faith,
the half-stoical and smiling indifference to the seriousness of
the faith, which made the slaves indignant at their masters and
revolt against them. "Enlightenment" causes revolt, for the slave
desires the unconditioned, he understands nothing but the
tyrannous, even in morals, he loves as he hates, without NUANCE,
to the very depths, to the point of pain, to the point of
sickness--his many HIDDEN sufferings make him revolt against the
noble taste which seems to DENY suffering. The skepticism with
regard to suffering, fundamentally only an attitude of
aristocratic morality, was not the least of the causes, also, of
the last great slave-insurrection which began with the French

47. Wherever the religious neurosis has appeared on the earth so
far, we find it connected with three dangerous prescriptions as
to regimen: solitude, fasting, and sexual abstinence--but without
its being possible to determine with certainty which is cause and
which is effect, or IF any relation at all of cause and effect
exists there. This latter doubt is justified by the fact that one
of the most regular symptoms among savage as well as among
civilized peoples is the most sudden and excessive sensuality,
which then with equal suddenness transforms into penitential
paroxysms, world-renunciation, and will-renunciation, both
symptoms perhaps explainable as disguised epilepsy? But nowhere
is it MORE obligatory to put aside explanations around no other
type has there grown such a mass of absurdity and superstition,
no other type seems to have been more interesting to men and even
to philosophers--perhaps it is time to become just a little
indifferent here, to learn caution, or, better still, to look
AWAY, TO GO AWAY--Yet in the background of the most recent
philosophy, that of Schopenhauer, we find almost as the problem
in itself, this terrible note of interrogation of the religious
crisis and awakening. How is the negation of will POSSIBLE? how
is the saint possible?--that seems to have been the very question
with which Schopenhauer made a start and became a philosopher.
And thus it was a genuine Schopenhauerian consequence, that his
most convinced adherent (perhaps also his last, as far as Germany
is concerned), namely, Richard Wagner, should bring his own life-
work to an end just here, and should finally put that terrible
and eternal type upon the stage as Kundry, type vecu, and as it
loved and lived, at the very time that the mad-doctors in almost
all European countries had an opportunity to study the type close
at hand, wherever the religious neurosis--or as I call it, "the
religious mood"--made its latest epidemical outbreak and display
as the "Salvation Army"--If it be a question, however, as to what
has been so extremely interesting to men of all sorts in all
ages, and even to philosophers, in the whole phenomenon of the
saint, it is undoubtedly the appearance of the miraculous
therein--namely, the immediate SUCCESSION OF OPPOSITES, of states
of the soul regarded as morally antithetical: it was believed
here to be self-evident that a "bad man" was all at once turned
into a "saint," a good man. The hitherto existing psychology was
wrecked at this point, is it not possible it may have happened
principally because psychology had placed itself under the
dominion of morals, because it BELIEVED in oppositions of moral
values, and saw, read, and INTERPRETED these oppositions into the
text and facts of the case? What? "Miracle" only an error of
interpretation? A lack of philology?

48. It seems that the Latin races are far more deeply attached to
their Catholicism than we Northerners are to Christianity
generally, and that consequently unbelief in Catholic countries
means something quite different from what it does among
Protestants--namely, a sort of revolt against the spirit of the
race, while with us it is rather a return to the spirit (or non-
spirit) of the race.

We Northerners undoubtedly derive our origin from barbarous
races, even as regards our talents for religion--we have POOR
talents for it. One may make an exception in the case of the
Celts, who have theretofore furnished also the best soil for
Christian infection in the North: the Christian ideal blossomed
forth in France as much as ever the pale sun of the north would
allow it. How strangely pious for our taste are still these later
French skeptics, whenever there is any Celtic blood in their
origin! How Catholic, how un-German does Auguste Comte's
Sociology seem to us, with the Roman logic of its instincts! How
Jesuitical, that amiable and shrewd cicerone of Port Royal,
Sainte-Beuve, in spite of all his hostility to Jesuits! And even
Ernest Renan: how inaccessible to us Northerners does the
language of such a Renan appear, in whom every instant the merest
touch of religious thrill throws his refined voluptuous and
comfortably couching soul off its balance! Let us repeat after
him these fine sentences--and what wickedness and haughtiness is
immediately aroused by way of answer in our probably less
beautiful but harder souls, that is to say, in our more German
LE MIEUX?" . . . These sentences are so extremely ANTIPODAL to my
ears and habits of thought, that in my first impulse of rage on
finding them, I wrote on the margin, "LA NIAISERIE RELIGIEUSE PAR
EXCELLENCE!"--until in my later rage I even took a fancy to them,
these sentences with their truth absolutely inverted! It is so
nice and such a distinction to have one's own antipodes!

49. That which is so astonishing in the religious life of the
ancient Greeks is the irrestrainable stream of GRATITUDE which it
pours forth--it is a very superior kind of man who takes SUCH an
attitude towards nature and life.--Later on, when the populace
got the upper hand in Greece, FEAR became rampant also in
religion; and Christianity was preparing itself.

50. The passion for God: there are churlish, honest-hearted, and
importunate kinds of it, like that of Luther--the whole of
Protestantism lacks the southern DELICATEZZA. There is an
Oriental exaltation of the mind in it, like that of an
undeservedly favoured or elevated slave, as in the case of St.
Augustine, for instance, who lacks in an offensive manner, all
nobility in bearing and desires. There is a feminine tenderness
and sensuality in it, which modestly and unconsciously longs for
a UNIO MYSTICA ET PHYSICA, as in the case of Madame de Guyon. In
many cases it appears, curiously enough, as the disguise of a
girl's or youth's puberty; here and there even as the hysteria of
an old maid, also as her last ambition. The Church has frequently
canonized the woman in such a case.

51. The mightiest men have hitherto always bowed reverently
before the saint, as the enigma of self-subjugation and utter
voluntary privation--why did they thus bow? They divined in him--
and as it were behind the questionableness of his frail and
wretched appearance--the superior force which wished to test
itself by such a subjugation; the strength of will, in which they
recognized their own strength and love of power, and knew how to
honour it: they honoured something in themselves when they
honoured the saint. In addition to this, the contemplation of the
saint suggested to them a suspicion: such an enormity of self-
negation and anti-naturalness will not have been coveted for
nothing--they have said, inquiringly. There is perhaps a reason
for it, some very great danger, about which the ascetic might
wish to be more accurately informed through his secret
interlocutors and visitors? In a word, the mighty ones of the
world learned to have a new fear before him, they divined a new
power, a strange, still unconquered enemy:--it was the "Will to
Power" which obliged them to halt before the saint. They had to
question him.

52. In the Jewish "Old Testament," the book of divine justice,
there are men, things, and sayings on such an immense scale, that
Greek and Indian literature has nothing to compare with it. One
stands with fear and reverence before those stupendous remains of
what man was formerly, and one has sad thoughts about old Asia
and its little out-pushed peninsula Europe, which would like, by
all means, to figure before Asia as the "Progress of Mankind." To
be sure, he who is himself only a slender, tame house-animal, and
knows only the wants of a house-animal (like our cultured people
of today, including the Christians of "cultured" Christianity),
need neither be amazed nor even sad amid those ruins--the taste
for the Old Testament is a touchstone with respect to "great" and
"small": perhaps he will find that the New Testament, the book of
grace, still appeals more to his heart (there is much of the
odour of the genuine, tender, stupid beadsman and petty soul in
it). To have bound up this New Testament (a kind of ROCOCO of
taste in every respect) along with the Old Testament into one
book, as the "Bible," as "The Book in Itself," is perhaps the
greatest audacity and "sin against the Spirit" which literary
Europe has upon its conscience.

53. Why Atheism nowadays? "The father" in God is thoroughly
refuted; equally so "the judge," "the rewarder." Also his "free
will": he does not hear--and even if he did, he would not know
how to help. The worst is that he seems incapable of
communicating himself clearly; is he uncertain?--This is what I
have made out (by questioning and listening at a variety of
conversations) to be the cause of the decline of European theism;
it appears to me that though the religious instinct is in
vigorous growth,--it rejects the theistic satisfaction with
profound distrust.

54. What does all modern philosophy mainly do? Since Descartes--
and indeed more in defiance of him than on the basis of his
procedure--an ATTENTAT has been made on the part of all
philosophers on the old conception of the soul, under the guise
of a criticism of the subject and predicate conception--that is
to say, an ATTENTAT on the fundamental presupposition of
Christian doctrine. Modern philosophy, as epistemological
skepticism, is secretly or openly ANTI-CHRISTIAN, although (for
keener ears, be it said) by no means anti-religious. Formerly, in
effect, one believed in "the soul" as one believed in grammar and
the grammatical subject: one said, "I" is the condition, "think"
is the predicate and is conditioned--to think is an activity for
which one MUST suppose a subject as cause. The attempt was then
made, with marvelous tenacity and subtlety, to see if one could
not get out of this net,--to see if the opposite was not perhaps
true: "think" the condition, and "I" the conditioned; "I,"
therefore, only a synthesis which has been MADE by thinking
itself. KANT really wished to prove that, starting from the
subject, the subject could not be proved--nor the object either:
the possibility of an APPARENT EXISTENCE of the subject, and
therefore of "the soul," may not always have been strange to
him,--the thought which once had an immense power on earth as the
Vedanta philosophy.

55. There is a great ladder of religious cruelty, with many
rounds; but three of these are the most important. Once on a time
men sacrificed human beings to their God, and perhaps just those
they loved the best--to this category belong the firstling
sacrifices of all primitive religions, and also the sacrifice of
the Emperor Tiberius in the Mithra-Grotto on the Island of Capri,
that most terrible of all Roman anachronisms. Then, during the
moral epoch of mankind, they sacrificed to their God the
strongest instincts they possessed, their "nature"; THIS festal
joy shines in the cruel glances of ascetics and "anti-natural"
fanatics. Finally, what still remained to be sacrificed? Was it
not necessary in the end for men to sacrifice everything
comforting, holy, healing, all hope, all faith in hidden
harmonies, in future blessedness and justice? Was it not
necessary to sacrifice God himself, and out of cruelty to
themselves to worship stone, stupidity, gravity, fate,
nothingness? To sacrifice God for nothingness--this paradoxical
mystery of the ultimate cruelty has been reserved for the rising
generation; we all know something thereof already.

56. Whoever, like myself, prompted by some enigmatical desire,
has long endeavoured to go to the bottom of the question of
pessimism and free it from the half-Christian, half-German
narrowness and stupidity in which it has finally presented itself
to this century, namely, in the form of Schopenhauer's
philosophy; whoever, with an Asiatic and super-Asiatic eye, has
actually looked inside, and into the most world-renouncing of all
possible modes of thought--beyond good and evil, and no longer
like Buddha and Schopenhauer, under the dominion and delusion of
morality,--whoever has done this, has perhaps just thereby,
without really desiring it, opened his eyes to behold the
opposite ideal: the ideal of the most world-approving, exuberant,
and vivacious man, who has not only learnt to compromise and
arrange with that which was and is, but wishes to have it again
AS IT WAS AND IS, for all eternity, insatiably calling out de
capo, not only to himself, but to the whole piece and play; and
not only the play, but actually to him who requires the play--and
makes it necessary; because he always requires himself anew--and
makes himself necessary.--What? And this would not be--circulus
vitiosus deus?

57. The distance, and as it were the space around man, grows with
the strength of his intellectual vision and insight: his world
becomes profounder; new stars, new enigmas, and notions are ever
coming into view. Perhaps everything on which the intellectual
eye has exercised its acuteness and profundity has just been an
occasion for its exercise, something of a game, something for
children and childish minds. Perhaps the most solemn conceptions
that have caused the most fighting and suffering, the conceptions
"God" and "sin," will one day seem to us of no more importance
than a child's plaything or a child's pain seems to an old man;--
and perhaps another plaything and another pain will then be
necessary once more for "the old man"--always childish enough, an
eternal child!

58. Has it been observed to what extent outward idleness, or
semi-idleness, is necessary to a real religious life (alike for
its favourite microscopic labour of self-examination, and for its
soft placidity called "prayer," the state of perpetual readiness
for the "coming of God"), I mean the idleness with a good
conscience, the idleness of olden times and of blood, to which
the aristocratic sentiment that work is DISHONOURING--that it
vulgarizes body and soul--is not quite unfamiliar? And that
consequently the modern, noisy, time-engrossing, conceited,
foolishly proud laboriousness educates and prepares for
"unbelief" more than anything else? Among these, for instance,
who are at present living apart from religion in Germany, I find
"free-thinkers" of diversified species and origin, but above all
a majority of those in whom laboriousness from generation to
generation has dissolved the religious instincts; so that they no
longer know what purpose religions serve, and only note their
existence in the world with a kind of dull astonishment. They
feel themselves already fully occupied, these good people, be it
by their business or by their pleasures, not to mention the
"Fatherland," and the newspapers, and their "family duties"; it
seems that they have no time whatever left for religion; and
above all, it is not obvious to them whether it is a question of
a new business or a new pleasure--for it is impossible, they say
to themselves, that people should go to church merely to spoil
their tempers. They are by no means enemies of religious customs;
should certain circumstances, State affairs perhaps, require
their participation in such customs, they do what is required, as
so many things are done--with a patient and unassuming
seriousness, and without much curiosity or discomfort;--they live
too much apart and outside to feel even the necessity for a FOR
or AGAINST in such matters. Among those indifferent persons may
be reckoned nowadays the majority of German Protestants of the
middle classes, especially in the great laborious centres of
trade and commerce; also the majority of laborious scholars, and
the entire University personnel (with the exception of the
theologians, whose existence and possibility there always gives
psychologists new and more subtle puzzles to solve). On the part
of pious, or merely church-going people, there is seldom any idea
of HOW MUCH good-will, one might say arbitrary will, is now
necessary for a German scholar to take the problem of religion
seriously; his whole profession (and as I have said, his whole
workmanlike laboriousness, to which he is compelled by his modern
conscience) inclines him to a lofty and almost charitable
serenity as regards religion, with which is occasionally mingled
a slight disdain for the "uncleanliness" of spirit which he takes
for granted wherever any one still professes to belong to the
Church. It is only with the help of history (NOT through his own
personal experience, therefore) that the scholar succeeds in
bringing himself to a respectful seriousness, and to a certain
timid deference in presence of religions; but even when his
sentiments have reached the stage of gratitude towards them, he
has not personally advanced one step nearer to that which still
maintains itself as Church or as piety; perhaps even the
contrary. The practical indifference to religious matters in the
midst of which he has been born and brought up, usually
sublimates itself in his case into circumspection and
cleanliness, which shuns contact with religious men and things;
and it may be just the depth of his tolerance and humanity which
prompts him to avoid the delicate trouble which tolerance itself
brings with it.--Every age has its own divine type of naivete,
for the discovery of which other ages may envy it: and how much
naivete--adorable, childlike, and boundlessly foolish naivete is
involved in this belief of the scholar in his superiority, in the
good conscience of his tolerance, in the unsuspecting, simple
certainty with which his instinct treats the religious man as a
lower and less valuable type, beyond, before, and ABOVE which he
himself has developed--he, the little arrogant dwarf and mob-man,
the sedulously alert, head-and-hand drudge of "ideas," of "modern

59. Whoever has seen deeply into the world has doubtless divined
what wisdom there is in the fact that men are superficial. It is
their preservative instinct which teaches them to be flighty,
lightsome, and false. Here and there one finds a passionate and
exaggerated adoration of "pure forms" in philosophers as well as
in artists: it is not to be doubted that whoever has NEED of the
cult of the superficial to that extent, has at one time or
another made an unlucky dive BENEATH it. Perhaps there is even an
order of rank with respect to those burnt children, the born
artists who find the enjoyment of life only in trying to FALSIFY
its image (as if taking wearisome revenge on it), one might guess
to what degree life has disgusted them, by the extent to which
they wish to see its image falsified, attenuated, ultrified, and
deified,--one might reckon the homines religiosi among the
artists, as their HIGHEST rank. It is the profound, suspicious
fear of an incurable pessimism which compels whole centuries to
fasten their teeth into a religious interpretation of existence:
the fear of the instinct which divines that truth might be
attained TOO soon, before man has become strong enough, hard
enough, artist enough. . . . Piety, the "Life in God," regarded in
this light, would appear as the most elaborate and ultimate
product of the FEAR of truth, as artist-adoration and artist-
intoxication in presence of the most logical of all
falsifications, as the will to the inversion of truth, to untruth
at any price. Perhaps there has hitherto been no more effective
means of beautifying man than piety, by means of it man can
become so artful, so superficial, so iridescent, and so good,
that his appearance no longer offends.

60. To love mankind FOR GOD'S SAKE--this has so far been the


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