The Will to Power, An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: The Will to Power, An Attempted Transvaluation of all Va

Postby admin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:11 pm

Part 2 of 2


War upon great men justified on economic grounds. Great men are dangerous; they are accidents, exceptions, tempests, which are strong enough to question things which it has taken time to build and establish. Explosive material must not only be discharged harmlessly, but, if possible, its discharge must be prevented altogether, this is the fundamental instinct of all civilised society.


He who thinks over the question of how the type man may be elevated to its highest glory and power, will realise from the start that he must place himself beyond morality; for morality was directed in its essentials at the opposite goal—that is to say, its aim was to arrest and to annihilate that glorious development wherever it was in process of accomplishment. For, as a matter of fact, development of that sort implies that such an enormous number of men must be subservient to it, that a counter-movement is only too natural: the weaker, more delicate, more mediocre existences, find it necessary to take up sides against that glory of life and power; and for that purpose they must get a new valuation of themselves by means of which they are able to condemn, and if possible to destroy, life in this high degree of plenitude. Morality is therefore essentially the expression of hostility to life, in so far as it would overcome vital types.


The strong of the future.—To what extent necessity on the one hand and accident on the other have attained to conditions from which a stronger species may be reared: this we are now able to understand and to bring about consciously; we can now create those conditions under which such an elevation is possible.

Hitherto education has always aimed at the utility of society: not the greatest possible utility for the future, but the utility of the society actually extant. What people required were "instruments" for this purpose. Provided the wealth of forces were greater, it would be possible to think of a draft being made upon them, the aim of which would not be the utility of society, but some future utility.

The more people grasped to what extent the present form of society was in such a state of transition as sooner or later to be no longer able to exist for its own sake, but only as a means in the hands of a stronger race, the more this task would have to be brought forward.

The increasing belittlement of man is precisely the impelling power which leads one to think of the cultivation of a stronger race: a race which would have a surplus precisely there where the dwarfed species was weak and growing weaker (will, responsibility, self-reliance, the ability to postulate aims for one's self).

The means would be those which history teaches: isolation by means of preservative interests which would be the reverse of those generally accepted; exercise in transvalued valuations; distance as pathos; a clean conscience in what to-day is most despised and most prohibited.

The levelling of the mankind of Europe is the great process which should not be arrested; it should even be accelerated. The necessity of cleaving gulfs, of distance, of the order of rank, is therefore imperative; but not the necessity of retarding the process above mentioned.

This levelled-down species requires justification as soon as it is attained: its justification is that it exists for the service of a higher and sovereign race which stands upon it and can only be elevated upon its shoulders to the task which it is destined to perform. Not only a ruling race whose task would be consummated in ruling alone: but a race with vital spheres of its own, with an overflow of energy for beauty, bravery, culture, and manners, even for the most abstract thought; a yea-saying race which would be able to allow itself every kind of great luxury—strong enough to be able to dispense with the tyranny of the imperatives of virtue, rich enough to be in no need of economy or pedantry; beyond good and evil; a forcing-house for rare and exceptional plants.


Our psychologists, whose glance dwells involuntarily upon the symptoms of decadence, lead us to mistrust intellect ever more and more. People persist in seeing only the weakening, pampering, and sickening effects of intellect, but there are now going to appear:—

New barbarians Cynics The union of intellectual
Experimentalists superiority with well-being
Conquerors and an overflow of strength.


I point to something new: certainly for such a democratic community there is a danger of barbarians; but these are sought only down below. There is also another kind of barbarians who come from the heights: a kind of conquering and ruling natures, which are in search of material that they can mould. Prometheus was a barbarian of this stamp.


Principal standpoint: one should not suppose the mission of a higher species to be the leading of inferior men (as Comte does, for instance); but the inferior should be regarded as the foundation upon which a higher species may live their higher life—upon which alone they can stand. The conditions under which a strong, noble species maintains itself (in the matter of intellectual discipline) are precisely the reverse of those under which the industrial masses—the tea-grocers à la Spencer—subsist. Those qualities which are within the grasp only of the strongest and most terrible natures, and which make their existence possible leisure, adventure, disbelief, and even dissipation—would necessarily ruin mediocre natures —and does do so—when they possess them. In the case of the latter industry, regularity, moderation, and strong "conviction" are in their proper place—in short, all "gregarious virtues": under their influence these mediocre men become perfect.


Concerning the ruling types. The shepherd as opposed to the "lord" (the former is only a means to the maintenance of the herd; the latter, the purpose for which the herd exists).


The temporary preponderance of social valuations is both comprehensible and useful; it is a matter of building a foundation upon which a stronger species will ultimately be made possible. The standard of strength: to be able to live under the transvalued valuations, and to desire them for all eternity. State and society regarded as a sub-structure: economic point of view, education conceived as breeding.


A consideration which "free spirits" lack: that the same discipline which makes a strong nature still stronger, and enables it to go in for big undertakings, breaks up and withers the mediocre: doubt —la largeur de cœur—experiment—independence.


The hammer. How should men who must value in the opposite way be constituted?—Men who possess all the qualities of the modern soul, but are strong enough to convert them into real health? The means to their task.


The strong man, who is mighty in the instincts of a strong and healthy organisation, digests his deeds just as well as he digests his meals; he even gets over the effects of heavy fare: in the main, however, he is led by an inviolable and severe instinct which prevents his doing anything which goes against his grain, just as he never does anything against his taste.


Can we foresee the favourable circumstances under which creatures of the highest value might arise? It is a thousand times too complicated, and the probabilities of failure are very great: on that account we cannot be inspired by the thought of striving after them! Scepticism.—To oppose this we can enhance courage, insight, hardness, independence, and the feeling of responsibility; we can also subtilise and learn to forestall the delicacy of the scales, so that favourable accidents may be enlisted on our side.


Before we can even think of acting, an enormous amount of work requires to be done. In the main, however, a cautious exploitation of the present conditions would be our best and most advisable course of action. The actual creation of conditions such as those which occur by accident, presupposes the existence of iron men such as have not yet lived. Our first task must be to make the personal ideal prevail and become realised! He who has understood the nature of man and the origin of mankind's greatest specimens, shudders before man and takes flight from all action: this is the result of inherited valuations!!

My consolation is, that the nature of man is evil, and this guarantees his strength!


The typical forms of self-development, or the eight principal questions:—

1. Do we want to be more multifarious or more simple than we are?

2. Do we want to be happier than we are, or more indifferent to both happiness and unhappiness?

3. Do we want to be more satisfied with ourselves, or more exacting and more inexorable?

4. Do we want to be softer, more yielding, and more human than we are, or more inhuman?

5. Do we want to be more prudent than we are, or more daring?

6. Do we want to attain a goal, or do we want to avoid all goals (like the philosopher, for instance, who scents a boundary, a cul-de-sac, a prison, a piece of foolishness in every goal)?

7. Do we want to become more respected, or more feared, or more despised?

8. Do we want to become tyrants, and seducers, or do we want to become shepherds and gregarious animals?


The type of my disciples.—To such men as concern vie in any way I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities of all kinds. I wish them to be acquainted with profound self-contempt, with the martyrdom of self-distrust, with the misery of the defeated: I have no pity for them; because I wish them to have the only thing which to-day proves whether a man has any value or not, namely, the capacity of sticking to his guns.


The happiness and self-contentedness of the lazzaroni, or the blessedness of "beautiful souls," or the consumptive love of Puritan pietists, proves nothing in regard to the order of rank among men. As a great educator one ought inexorably to thrash a race of such blissful creatures into unhappiness. The danger of belittlement and of a slackening of powers follows immediately I am opposed to happiness à la Spinoza or à la Epicurus, and to all the relaxation of contemplative states. But when virtue is the means to such happiness, well then, one must master even virtue.


I cannot see how any one can make up for having missed going to a good school at the proper time. Such a person does not know himself; he walks through life without ever having learned to walk. His soft muscles betray themselves at every step. Occasionally life itself is merciful enough to make a man recover this lost and severe schooling: by means of periods of sickness, perhaps, which exact the utmost will-power and self-control; or by means of a sudden state of poverty, which threatens his wife and child, and which may force a man to such activity as will restore energy to his slackened tendons, and a tough spirit to his will to life. The most desirable thing of all, however, is, under all circumstances to have severe discipline at the right time, i.e. at that age when it makes us proud that people should expect great things from us. For this is what distinguishes hard schooling, as good schooling, from every other schooling, namely, that a good deal is demanded, that a good deal is severely exacted; that goodness, nay even excellence itself, is required as if it were normal; that praise is scanty, that leniency is non-existent; that blame is sharp, practical, and without reprieve, and has no regard to talent and antecedents. We are in every way in need of such a school: and this holds good of corporeal as well as of spiritual things; it would be fatal to draw distinctions here! The same discipline makes the soldier and the scholar efficient; and, looked at more closely, there is no true scholar who has not the instincts of a true soldier in his veins. To be able to command and to be able to obey in a proud fashion; to keep one's place in rank and file, and yet to be ready at any moment to lead; to prefer danger to comfort; not to weigh what is permitted and what is forbidden in a tradesman's balance; to be more hostile to pettiness, slyness, and parasitism than to wickedness. What is it that one learns in a hard school?—to obey and to command.


We should repudiate merit—and do only that which stands above all praise and above all understanding.


The new forms of morality:—

Faithful vows concerning that which one wishes to do or to leave undone; complete and definite abstention from many things. Tests as to whether one is ripe for such discipline.


It is my desire to naturalise asceticism: I would substitute the old intention of asceticism, "self-denial," by my own intention, self-strengthening: a gymnastic of the will; a period of abstinence and occasional fasting of every kind, even in things intellectual; a casuistry in deeds, in regard to the opinions which we derive from our powers; we should try our hand at adventure and at deliberate dangers. (Dîners chez Magny: all intellectual gourmets with spoilt stomachs.) Tests ought also to be devised for discovering a man's power in keeping his word.


The things which have become spoilt through having been abused by the Church:—

(1) Asceticism.—People have scarcely got the courage yet to bring to light the natural utility and necessity of asceticism for the purpose of the education of the will. Our ridiculous world of education, before whose eyes the useful State official hovers as an ideal to be striven for, believes that it has completed its duty when it has instructed or trained the brain; it never even suspects that something else is first of all necessary —the education of will-power; tests are devised for everything except for the most important thing of all: whether a man can will, whether he can promise; the young man completes his education without a question or an inquiry having been made concerning the problem of the highest value of his nature.

(2) Fasting:—In every sense—even as a means of maintaining the capacity for taking pleasure in all good things (for instance, to give up reading for a while, to hear no music for a while, to cease from being amiable for a while: one ought also to have fast days for one's virtues).

(3) The monastery.—Temporary isolation with severe seclusion from all letters, for instance; a kind of profound introspection and self-recovery, which does not go out of the way of "temptations," but out of the way of "duties"; a stepping out of the daily round of one's environment; a detachment from the tyranny of stimuli and external influences, which condemns us to expend our power only in reactions, and does not allow it to gather volume until it bursts into spontaneous activity (let anybody examine our scholars closely: they only think reflexively, i.e. they must first read before they can think).

(4) Feasts.—A man must be very coarse in order not to feel the presence of Christians and Christian values as oppressive, so oppressive as to send all festive moods to the devil. By feasts we understand: pride, high-spirits, exuberance; scorn of all kinds of seriousness and Philistinism; a divine saying of Yea to one's self, as the result of physical plenitude and perfection—all states to which the Christian cannot honestly say Yea. A feast is a pagan thing par excellence.

(5) The courage of ones own nature: dressing-up in morality,—To be able to call one's passions good without the help of a moral formula: this is the standard which measures the extent to which a man is able to say Yea to his own nature, namely, how much or how little he has to have recourse to morality.

(6) Death.—The foolish physiological fact must be converted into a moral necessity. One should live in such a way that one may have the will to die at the right time!


To feel ones self stronger or, expressed otherwise: happiness always presupposes a comparison (not necessarily with others, but with one's self, in the midst of a state of growth, and without being conscious that one is comparing).

Artificial accentuation: whether by means of exciting chemicals or exciting errors ("hallucinations.")

Take, for instance, the Christian's feeling of security; he feels himself strong in his confidence, in his patience, and his resignation: this artificial accentuation he owes to the fancy that he is protected by a God. Take the feeling of superiority, for instance: as when the Caliph of Morocco sees only globes on which his three united kingdoms cover four-fifths of the space. Take the feeling of uniqueness, for instance: as when the European imagines that culture belongs to Europe alone, and when he regards himself as a sort of abridged cosmic process; or, as when the Christian makes all existence revolve round the "Salvation of man."

The question is, where does one begin to feel the pressure of constraint: it is thus that different degrees are ascertained. A philosopher for instance, in the midst of the coolest and most transmontane feats of abstraction feels like a fish that enters its element: while colours and tones oppress him; not to speak of those dumb desires—of that which others call "the ideal."


A healthy and vigorous little boy will look up sarcastically if he be asked: "Wilt thou become virtuous?"—but he immediately becomes eager if he be asked: "Wilt thou become stronger than thy comrades?"


How does one become stronger?—By deciding slowly; and by holding firmly to the decision once it is made. Everything else follows of itself. Spontaneous and changeable natures: both species of the weak. We must not confound ourselves with them; we must feel distance—betimes!

Beware of good-natured people!. Dealings with them make one torpid. All environment is good which makes one exercise those defensive and; aggressive powers which are instinctive in man. All one's inventiveness should apply itself to putting one's power of will to the test.... Here the determining factor must be recognised as something which is not knowledge, astuteness, or wit.

One must learn to command betimes,—likewise to obey. A man must learn modesty and tact in modesty: he must learn to distinguish and to honour where modesty is displayed; he must likewise distinguish and honour wherever he bestows his confidence.

What does one repent most? One's modesty; the fact that one has not lent an ear to one's most individual needs; the fact that one has mistaken one's self; the fact that one has esteemed one's self low; the fact that one has lost all delicacy of hearing in regard to one's instincts.—This want of reverence in regard to one's self is avenged by all sorts of losses: in health, friendship, well-being, pride, cheerfulness, freedom, determination, courage. A man never forgives himself, later on, for this want of genuine egoism: he regards it as an objection and as a cause of doubt concerning his real ego.


I should like man to begin by respecting himself: everything else follows of itself. Naturally a man ceases from being anything to others in this way: for this is precisely what they are least likely to forgive. "What? a man who respects himself?"[4] This is something quite different from the blind instinct to love one's self. Nothing is more common in the love of the sexes or in that duality which is called ego, than a certain contempt for that which is loved the fatalism of love.

[4] Cf. Disraeli in Tancred: "Self-respect, too, is a superstition of past ages.... It is not suited to these times; it is much too arrogant, too self-conceited, too egoistical. No one is important enough to have self-respect nowadays" (book iii. chap. v.).—Tr.


"I will have this or that"; "I would that this or that were so"; "I know that this or that is so the degrees of power: the man of will, the man of desire, the man of fate.


The means by which a strong species maintains itself:—

It grants itself the right of exceptional actions, as a test of the power of self-control and of freedom.

It abandons itself to states in which a man is not allowed to be anything else than a barbarian.

It tries to acquire strength of will by every kind of asceticism.

It is not expansive, it practises silence; it is cautious in regard to all charms.

It learns to obey in such a way that obedience provides a test of self-maintenance. Casuistry is carried to its highest pitch in regard to points of honour.

It never argues, "What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,"—but conversely! it regards reward, and the ability to repay, as a privilege, as a distinction.

It does not covet other people's virtues.


The way in which one has to treat raw savages and the impossibility of dispensing with barbarous methods, becomes obvious, in practice, when one is transplanted, with all one's European pampering, to a spot such as the Congo, or anywhere else where it is necessary to maintain one's mastery over barbarians.


Warlike and peaceful people.—Art thou a man who has the instincts of a warrior in thy blood? If this be so, another question must be put. Do thy instincts impel thee to attack or to defend? The rest of mankind, all those whose instincts are not warlike, desire peace, concord, freedom, "equal rights": these things are but names and steps for one and the same thing. Such men only wish to go where it is not necessary for them to defend themselves,—such men become discontented with themselves when they are obliged to offer resistance: they would fain create circumstances in which war is no longer necessary. If the worst came to the worst, they would resign themselves, obey, and submit: all these things are better than waging war—thus does the Christian's instinct, for instance, whisper to him. In the born warrior's character there is something of armour, likewise in the choice of his circumstances and in the development of every one of his qualities, weapons are best evolved by the latter type, shields are best devised by the former.

What expedients and what virtues do the unarmed and the undefended require in order to survive—and even to conquer?


What will become of a man who no longer has any reasons for either defence or attack? What will remain of his passions when he has lost those which form his defence and his weapons?


A marginal note to a niaiserie anglaise: "Do not to others that which you would not that they should do unto you." This stands for wisdom; this stands for prudence; this stands as the very basis of morality as "a golden maxim." John Stuart Mill believes in it (and what Englishman does not?).... But the maxim does not bear investigation. The argument, Do not as you would not be done by, forbids action which produce harmful results; the thought behind always is that an action is invariably requited. What if some one came forward with the "Principe" in his hands, and said: "We must do those actions alone which enable us to steal a march on others,—and which deprive others of the power of doing the same to us"?—On the other hand, let us remember the Corsican who pledges his honour to vendetta. He too does not desire to have a bullet through him; but the prospect of one, the probability of getting one, does not deter him from vindicating his honour.... And in all really decent actions are we not intentionally indifferent as to what result they will bring? To avoid an action which might have harmful results,—that would be tantamount to forbidding all decent actions in general.

Apart from this, the above maxim is valuable because it betrays a certain type of man: it is the instinct of the herd which formulates itself through him,—we are equal, we regard each other as equal: as I am to thee so art thou to me.—In this community equivalence of actions is really believed in—an equivalence which never under any circumstances manifests itself in real conditions. It is impossible to requite every action: among real individuals equal actions do not exist, consequently there can be no such thing as "requital." ... When I do anything, I am very far from thinking that any man is able to do anything at all like it: the action belongs to me.... Nobody can pay me back for anything I do; the most that can be done is to make me the victim of another action.


Against John Stuart Mill.—I abhor the man's vulgarity when he says: "What is right for one man is right for another"; "Do not to others that which you would not that they should do unto you. Such principles would fain establish the whole of human traffic upon mutual services, so that every action would appear to be a cash payment for something done to us. The hypothesis here is ignoble to the last degree: it is taken for granted that there is some sort of equivalence in value between my actions and thine; the most personal value Of an action is simply cancelled in this manner (that part of an action which has no equivalent and which cannot be remunerated). "Reciprocity" is a piece of egregious vulgarity; the mere fact that what I do cannot and may not be done by another, that there is no such thing as equivalence (except in those very select circles where one actually has one's equal, inter pares), that in a really profound sense a man never requites because he is something unique in himself and can only do unique things,—this fundamental conviction contains the cause of aristocratic aloofness from the mob, because the latter believes in equality, and consequently in the feasibility of equivalence and "reciprocity."


The suburban Philistinism of moral valuations and of its concepts "useful" and "harmful" is well founded; it is the necessary point of view of a community which is only able to see and survey immediate and proximate consequences. The State and the political man are already in need of a more super-moral attitude of mind: because they have to calculate concerning a much more complicated tissue of consequences. An economic policy for the whole world should be possible which could look at things in such broad perspective that all its isolated demands would seem for the moment not only unjust, but arbitrary.


"Should one follow one's feelings?"—To set one's life at stake on the impulse of the moment, and actuated by a generous feeling, has little worth, and does not even distinguish one. Everybody is alike in being capable of this—and in behaving in this way with determination, the criminal, the bandit, and the Corsican certainly outstrip the honest man.

A higher degree of excellence would be to overcome this impulse, and to refrain from performing an heroic deed at its bidding—and to remain cold, raisonnable, free from the tempestuous surging of concomitant sensations of delight.... The same holds good of pity: it must first be sifted through reason; without this it becomes just as dangerous as any other passion.

The blind yielding to a passion, whether it be generosity, pity, or hostility, is the cause of the greatest evil. Greatness of character does not consist in not possessing these passions—on the contrary, a man should possess them to a terrible degree: but he should lead them by the bridle.. and even this he should not do out of love of control, but merely because....


"To give up one's life for a cause"—very effective. But there are many things for which one gives up one's life: the passions, one and all, will be gratified. Whether one's life be pledged to pity, to anger, or to revenge—it matters not from the point of view of value. How many have not sacrificed their lives for pretty girls—and even what is worse, their health! When one has temperament, one instinctively chooses the most dangerous things: if one is a philosopher, for instance, one chooses the adventures of speculation; if one is virtuous, one chooses immorality. One kind of man will risk nothing, another kind will risk everything. Are we despisers of life? On the contrary, what we seek is life raised to a higher power, life in danger.... But, let me repeat, we do not, on that account, wish to be more virtuous than others, Pascal, for instance, wished to risk nothing, and remained a Christian. That perhaps was virtuous.——A man always sacrifices something.


How many advantages does not a man sacrifice! To how small an extent does he seek his own profit! All his emotions and passions wish to assert their rights, and how remote a passion is From that cautious utility which consists in personal profit!

A man does not strive after "happiness"; one must be an Englishman to be able to believe that a man is always seeking his own advantage. Our desires long to violate things with passion—their overflowing strength seeks obstacles.


All passions are generally useful, some directly, others indirectly; in regard to utility it is absolutely impossible to fix upon any gradation of values,—however certainly the forces of nature in general may be regarded as good (i.e. useful), from an economic point of view, they are still the sources of much that is terrible and much that is fatally irrevocable. The most one might say would be, that the mightiest passions are the most valuable: seeing that no stronger sources of power exist.


All well-meaning, helpful, good-natured attitudes of mind have not come to be honoured on account of their usefulness: but because they are the conditions peculiar to rich souls who are able to bestow and whose value consists in their vital exuberance. Look into the eyes of the benevolent man! In them you will see the exact reverse of self-denial, of hatred of self, of Pascalism.


In short, what we require is to dominate the passions and not to weaken or to extirpate them!—The greater the dominating power of the will, the greater the freedom that may be given to the passions.

The "great man" is so, owing to the free scope which he gives to his desires, and to the still greater power which knows how to enlist these magnificent monsters into its service.

The "good man" in every stage of civilisation is at one and the same time the least dangerous and the most useful: a sort of medium; the idea formed of such a man by the common mind is that he is some one whom one has no reason to fear, but whom one must not therefore despise.

Education: essentially a means of ruining exceptions in favour of the rule. Culture: essentially the means of directing taste against the exceptions in favour of the mediocre.

Only when a culture can dispose of an overflow of force, is it capable of being a hothouse for the luxurious culture of the exception, of the experiment, of the danger, of the nuance: this is the tendency of every aristocratic culture.


All questions of strength: to what extent ought one to try and prevail against the preservative measures of society and the latter's prejudices?—to what extent ought one to unfetter one's terrible qualities, through which so many go to the dogs?—to what extent ought one to run counter to truth, and take up sides with its most questionable aspects?—to what extent ought one to oppose suffering, self-contempt, pity, disease, vice, when it is always open to question whether one can ever master them (what does not kill us makes us stronger....)?—and, finally, to what extent ought one to acknowledge the rights of the rule, of the common-place, of the petty, of the good, of the upright, in fact of the average man, without thereby allowing one's self to become vulgar? ... The strongest test of character is to resist being ruined by the seductiveness of goodness. Goodness must be regarded as a luxury, as a refinement, as a vice.
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Re: The Will to Power, An Attempted Transvaluation of all Va

Postby admin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:12 pm

3. The Noble Man.


Type. real goodness, nobility, greatness of soul, as the result of vital wealth: which does not give in order to receive—and which has no desire to elevate itself by being good, squandering is typical of genuine goodness, vital personal wealth is its prerequisite.


Aristocracy.—Gregarious ideals at present culminating in the highest standard of value for society. It has been attempted to give them a cosmic, yea, and even a metaphysical, value.—I defend aristocracy against them.

Any society which would of itself preserve a feeling of respect and délicatesse in regard to freedom, must consider itself as an exception, and have a force against it from which it distinguishes itself, and upon which it looks down with hostility.

The more rights I surrender and the more I level myself down to others, the more deeply do I sink into the average and ultimately into the greatest number. The first condition which an aristocratic society must have in order to maintain a high degree of freedom among its members, is that extreme tension which arises from the presence of the most antagonistic instincts in all its units: from their will to dominate....

If ye would fain do away with strong contrasts and differences of rank, ye will also abolish, strong love, lofty attitudes of mind, and the feeling of individuality.


Concerning the actual psychology of societies based upon freedom and equality.—What is it that tends to diminish in such a society?

The will to be responsible for ones self (the loss of this is a sign of the decline of autonomy); the ability to defend and to attack, even in spiritual matters; the power of command; the sense of reverence, of subservience, the ability to be silent, great passion, great achievements, tragedy and cheerfulness.


In 1814 Augustin Thierry read what Montlosier had said in his work, De la Monarchie française: he answered with a cry of indignation, and set himself to his task. That emigrant had said:

"Race d'affranchis, race d'esclaves arrachés de nos mains, peuple tributaire, peuple nouveau, licence vous fut octroyée d'être libres, et non pas à nous d'être nobles; pour nous tout est de droit, pour vous tout est de grâce, nous ne sommes point de votre communauté; nous sommes un tout par nous mêmes."


How constantly the aristocratic world shears and weakens itself ever more and more! By means of its noble instincts it abandons its privileges, and owing to its refined and excessive culture, it takes an interest in the people, the weak, the poor, and the poetry of the lowly, etc.


There is such a thing as a noble and dangerous form of carelessness, which allows of profound conclusions and insight: the carelessness of the self-reliant and over-rich soul, which has never troubled itself about friends, but which knows only hospitality and knows how to practise it; whose heart and house are open to all who will enter—beggar, cripple, or king. This is genuine sociability: he who is capable of it has hundreds of "friends," but probably not one friend.


The teaching μηδὲν ἄγαν applies to men with overflowing strength,—not to the mediocre, ἐγκράτεια and ἄσκησις are only steps to higher things. Above them stands "golden Nature."

"Thou shalt"—unconditional obedience in Stoics, in Christian and Arabian Orders, in Kant's philosophy (it is immaterial whether this obedience is shown to a superior or to a concept).

Higher than "Thou shalt" stands "I will" (the heroes); higher than "I will" stands "I am" (the gods of the Greeks).

Barbarian gods express nothing of the pleasure of restraint,—they are neither simple, nor light-hearted, nor moderate.


The essence of our gardens and palaces (and to the same extent the essence of all yearning after riches) is the desire to rid the eye of disorder and vulgarity, and to build a home for our soul's nobility.

The majority of people certainly believe that they will develop higher natures when those beautiful and peaceful things have operated upon them: hence the exodus to Italy, hence all travelling, etc., and all reading and visits to theatres. People want to be formed—that is the kernel of their labours for culture! But the strong, the mighty, would themselves have a hand in the forming, and would fain have nothing strange about them!

It is for this reason, too, that men go to open Nature, not to find themselves, but to lose themselves and to forget themselves. The desire "to get away from one's self" is proper to all weaklings, and to all those who are discontented with themselves.


The only nobility is that of birth and blood. (I do not refer here to the prefix "Lord" and L'almanac de Gotha: this is a parenthesis for donkeys.) Wherever people speak of the "aristocracy of intellect," reasons are generally not lacking for concealing something, it is known to be a password among ambitious Jews. Intellect alone does not ennoble; on the contrary, something is always needed to ennoble intellect.—What then is needed?—Blood.


What is noble?

—External punctiliousness; because this punctiliousness hedges a man about, keeps him at a distance, saves him from being confounded with somebody else.

A frivolous appearance in word, clothing, and bearing, with which stoical hardness and self-control protect themselves from all prying inquisitiveness or curiosity.

—A slow step and a slow glance. There are not too many valuable things on earth: and these come and wish to come of themselves to him who has value. We are not quick to admire.

—We know how to bear poverty, want, and even illness.

—We avoid small honours owing to our mistrust of all who are over-ready to praise: for the man who praises believes he understands what he praises: but to understand—Balzac, that typical man of ambition, betrayed the fact comprendre c'est égaler.

—Our doubt concerning the communicativeness of our hearts goes very deep; to us, loneliness is not a matter of choice, it is imposed upon us.

—We are convinced that we only have duties to our equals, to others we do as we think best: we know that justice is only to be expected among equals (alas! this will not be realised for some time to come),

—We are ironical towards the "gifted"; we hold the belief that no morality is possible without good birth.

—We always feel as if we were those who had to dispense honours: while he is not found too frequently who would be worthy of honouring us.

—We are always disguised: the higher a man's nature the more is he in need of remaining incognito. If there be a God, then out of sheer decency He ought only to show Himself on earth in the form of a man.

—We are capable of otium, of the unconditional conviction that although a handicraft does not shame one in any sense, it certainly reduces one's rank. However much we may respect "industry," and know how to give it its due, we do not appreciate it in a bourgeois sense, or after the manner of those insatiable and cackling artists who, like hens, cackle and lay eggs, and cackle again.

—We protect artists and poets and any one who happens to be a master in something; but as creatures of a higher order than those, who only know how to do something, who are only "productive men," we do not confound ourselves with them.

—We find joy in all forms and ceremonies; we would fain foster everything formal, and we are convinced that courtesy is one of the greatest virtues; we feel suspicious of every kind of laisser aller, including the freedom of the press and of thought; because, under such conditions, the intellect grows easy-going and coarse, and stretches its limbs.

—We take pleasure in women as in a perhaps daintier, more delicate, and more ethereal kind of creature. What a treat it is to meet creatures who have only dancing and nonsense and finery in their minds! They have always been the delight of every tense and profound male soul, whose life is burdened with heavy responsibilities.

—We take pleasure in princes and in priests, because in big things, as in small, they actually uphold the belief in the difference of human values, even in the estimation of the past, and at least symbolically.

—We are able to keep silence i but we do not breathe a word of this in the presence of listeners.

—We are able to endure long enmities: we lack the power of easy reconciliations.

—We have a loathing of demagogism, of enlightenment, of amiability, and plebeian familiarity.

—We collect precious things, the needs of higher and fastidious souls; we wish to possess nothing in common. We want to have our own books, our own landscapes.

—We protest against evil and fine experiences, and take care not to generalise too quickly. The individual case: how ironically we regard it when it has the bad taste to put on the airs of a rule!

—We love that which is naïf, and naïf people, but as spectators and higher creatures; we think Faust is just as simple as his Margaret.

—We have a low estimation of good people, because they are gregarious animals: we know how often an invaluable golden drop of goodness lies concealed beneath the most evil, the most malicious, and the hardest exterior, and that this single grain outweighs all the mere goody-goodiness of milk-and-watery souls.

—We don't regard a man of our kind as refuted by his vices, nor by his tomfooleries. We are well aware that we are not recognised with ease, and that we have every reason to make our foreground very prominent.


What is noble?—The fact that one is constantly forced to be playing a part. That one is constantly searching for situations in which one is forced to put on airs. That one leaves happiness to the greatest number: the happiness which consists of inner peacefulness, of virtue, of comfort, and of Anglo-angelic-back-parlour-smugness, à la Spencer. That one instinctively seeks for heavy responsibilities. That one knows how to create enemies everywhere, at a pinch even in one's self. That one contradicts the greatest number, not in words at all, but by continually behaving differently from them.


Virtue (for instance, truthfulness) is our most noble and most dangerous luxury. We must not decline the disadvantages which it brings in its train.


We refuse to be praised: we do what serves our purpose, what gives us pleasure, or what we are obliged to do.


What is chastity in a man? It means that his taste in sex has remained noble; that in eroticis he likes neither the brutal, the morbid, nor the clever.


The concept of honour is founded upon the belief in select society, in knightly excellences, in the obligation of having continually to play a part. In essentials it means that one does not take one's life too seriously, that one adheres unconditionally to the most dignified manners in one's dealings with everybody (at least in so far as they do not belong to "us"); that one is neither familiar, nor good-natured, nor hearty, nor modest, except inter pares; that one is always playing a part.


The fact that one sets one's life, one's health, and one's honour at stake, is the result of high spirits and of an overflowing and spendthrift will: it is not the result of philanthropy, but of the fact that every danger kindles our curiosity concerning the measure of our strength, and provokes our courage.


Eagles swoop down straight nobility of soul is best revealed by the magnificent and proud foolishness with which it makes its attacks.


War should be made against all namby-pamby ideas of nobility!—A certain modicum of brutality cannot be dispensed with: no more than we can do without a certain approximation to criminality. "Self-satisfaction" must not be allowed; a man should look upon himself with an adventurous spirit; he should experiment with himself and run risks with himself—no beautiful soul-quackery should be tolerated. I want to give a more robust ideal a chance of prevailing.


"Paradise is under the shadow of a swordsman"—this is also a symbol and a test-word by which souls with noble and warrior-like origin betray and discover themselves.


The two paths.—There comes a period when man has a surplus amount of power at his disposal. Science aims at establishing the slavery of nature.

Then man acquires the leisure in which to develop himself into something new and more lofty. A new aristocracy. It is then that a large number of virtues which are now conditions of existence are superseded.—Qualities which are no longer needed are on that account lost. We no longer need virtues: consequently we are losing them (likewise the morality of "one thing is needful," of the salvation of the soul, and of immortality: these were means wherewith to make man capable of enormous self-tyranny, through the emotion of great fear!!!).

The different kinds of needs by means of whose discipline man is formed: need teaches work, thought, and self-control.


Physiological purification and strengthening. The new aristocracy is in need of an opposing body which it may combat: it must be driven to extremities in order to maintain itself.

The two futures of mankind: (1) the consequence of a levelling-down to mediocrity, (2) conscious aloofness and self-development.

A doctrine which would cleave a gulf: it maintains the highest and the lowest species (it destroys the intermediate).

The aristocracies, both spiritual and temporal, which have existed hitherto prove nothing against the necessity of a new aristocracy.
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Re: The Will to Power, An Attempted Transvaluation of all Va

Postby admin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:13 pm

4. The Lords of the Earth.


A certain question constantly recurs to us; it is perhaps a seductive and evil question; may it be whispered into the ears of those who have a right to such doubtful problems—those strong souls of to-day whose dominion over themselves is unswerving: is it not high time, now that the type "gregarious animal" is developing ever more and more in Europe, to set about rearing, thoroughly, artificially, and consciously, an opposite type, and to attempt to establish the latter's virtues? And would not the democratic movement itself find for the first time a sort of goal, salvation, and justification, if some one appeared who availed himself of it—so that at last, beside its new and sublime product, slavery (for this must be the end of European democracy), that higher species of ruling and Cæsarian spirits might also be produced, which would stand upon it, hold to it, and would elevate themselves through it? This new race would climb aloft to new and hitherto impossible things, to a broader vision, and to its task on earth.


The aspect of the European of to-day makes me very hopeful. A daring and ruling race is here building itself up upon the foundation of an extremely intelligent, gregarious mass. It is obvious that the educational movements for the latter are not alone prominent nowadays.


The same conditions which go to develop the gregarious animal also force the development of the leaders.


The question, and at the same time the task, is approaching with hesitation, terrible as Fate, but nevertheless inevitable: how shall the earth as a whole be ruled? And to what end shall man as a whole—no longer as a people or as a race—be reared and trained?

Legislative moralities are the principal means by which one can form mankind, according to the fancy of a creative and profound will: provided, of course, that such an artistic will of the first order gets the power into its own hands, and can make its creative will prevail over long periods in the form of legislation, religions, and morals. At present, and probably for some time to come, one will seek such colossally creative men, such really great men, as I understand them, in vain: they will be lacking, until, after many disappointments, we are forced to begin to understand why it is they are lacking, and that nothing bars with greater hostility their rise and development, at present and for some time to come, than that which is now called the morality in Europe. Just as if there were no other kind of morality, and could be no other kind, than the one we have already characterised as herd-morality. It is this morality which is now striving with all its power to attain to that green-meadow happiness on earth, which consists in security, absence of danger, ease, facilities for livelihood, and, last but not least, "if all goes well," even hopes to dispense with all kinds of shepherds and bell-wethers. The two doctrines which it preaches most universally are "equality of rights" and "pity for all sufferers"—and it even regards suffering itself as something which must be got rid of absolutely. That such ideas may be modern leads one to think very poorly of modernity. He, however, who has reflected deeply concerning the question, how and where the plant man has hitherto grown most vigorously, is forced to believe that this has always taken place under the opposite conditions; that to this end the danger of the situation has to increase enormously, his inventive faculty and dissembling powers have to fight their way up under long oppression and compulsion, and his will to life has to be increased to the unconditioned will to power, to over-power: he believes that danger, severity, violence, peril in the street and in the heart, inequality of rights, secrecy, stoicism, seductive art, and devilry of every kind—in short, the opposite of all gregarious desiderata—are necessary for the elevation of man. Such a morality with opposite designs, which would rear man upwards instead of to comfort and mediocrity; such a morality, with the intention of producing a ruling caste—the future lords of the earth—must, in order to be taught at all, introduce itself as if it were in some way correlated to the prevailing moral law, and must come forward under the cover of the latter's words and forms. But seeing that, to this end, a host of transitionary and deceptive measures must be discovered, and that the life of a single individual stands for almost nothing in view of the accomplishment of such lengthy tasks and aims, the first thing that must be done is to rear a new kind of man in whom the duration of the necessary will and the necessary instincts is guaranteed for many generations. This must be a new kind of ruling species and caste—this ought to be quite as clear as the somewhat lengthy and not easily expressed consequences of this thought. The aim should be to prepare a transvaluation of values for a particularly strong kind of man, most highly gifted in intellect and will, and, to this end, slowly and cautiously to liberate in him a whole host of slandered instincts hitherto held in check: whoever meditates about this problem belongs to us, the free spirits—certainly not to that kind of "free spirit" which has existed hitherto: for these desired practically the reverse. To this order, it seems to me, belong, above all, the pessimists of Europe, the poets and thinkers of a revolted idealism, in so far as their discontent with existence in general must consistently at least have led them to be dissatisfied with the man of the present; the same applies to certain insatiably ambitious artists who courageously and unconditionally fight against the gregarious animal for the special rights of higher men, and subdue all herd-instincts and precautions of more exceptional minds by their seductive art. Thirdly and lastly, we should include in this group all those critics and historians by whom the discovery of the Old World, which has begun so happily—this was the work of the new Columbus, of German intellect—will be courageously continued (for we still stand in the very first stages of this conquest). For in the Old World, as a matter of fact, a different and more lordly morality ruled than that of to-day; and the man of antiquity, under the educational ban of his morality, was a stronger and deeper man than the man of to-day—up to the present he has been the only well-constituted man. The temptation, however, which from antiquity to the present day has always exercised its power on such lucky strokes of Nature, i.e. on strong and enterprising souls, is, even at the present day, the most subtle and most effective of anti-democratic and anti-Christian powers, just as it was in the time of the Renaissance.


I am writing for a race of men which does not yet exist: for "the lords of the earth."

In Plato's Theages the following passage will be found: "Every one of us would like if possible to be master of mankind; if possible, a God!" This attitude of mind must be reinstated in our midst.

Englishmen, Americans, and Russians.


That primeval forest-plant Man always appears where the struggle for power has been waged longest. Great men.

Primeval forest creatures, the Romans.


From now henceforward there will be such favourable first conditions for greater ruling powers as have never yet been found on earth. And this is by no means the most important point. The establishment has been made possible of international race unions which will set themselves the task of rearing a ruling race, the future "lords of the earth"—a new, vast aristocracy based upon the most severe self-discipline, in which the will of philosophical men of power and artist-tyrants will be stamped upon thousands of years: a higher species of men which, thanks to their preponderance of will, knowledge, riches, and influence, will avail themselves of democratic Europe as the most suitable and supple instrument they can have for taking the fate of the earth into their own hands, and working as artists upon man himself. Enough! The time is coming for us to transform all our views on politics.
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Re: The Will to Power, An Attempted Transvaluation of all Va

Postby admin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:14 pm

5. The Great Man.


I will endeavour to see at which periods in history great men arise. The significance of despotic moralities that have lasted a long time: they strain the bow, provided they do not break it.


A great man,—a man whom Nature has built up and invented in a grand style,—What is such a man? First, in his general course of action his consistency is so broad that owing to its very breadth it can be surveyed only with difficulty, and consequently misleads; he possesses the capacity of extending his will over great stretches of his life, and of despising and rejecting all small things, whatever most beautiful and "divine" things of the world there may be among them. Secondly, he is colder, harder, less cautious and more free from the fear of "public opinion"; he does not possess the virtues which are compatible with respectability and with being respected, nor any of those things which are counted among the "virtues of the herd." If he is unable to lead, he walks alone; he may then perchance grunt at many things which he meets on his way. Thirdly, he asks for no "compassionate" heart, but servants, instruments; in his dealings with men his one aim is to make something out of them. He knows that he cannot reveal himself to anybody: he thinks it bad taste to become familiar; and as a rule he is not familiar when people think he is. When he is not talking to his soul, he wears a mask. He would rather lie than tell the truth, because lying requires more spirit and will. There is a loneliness within his heart which neither praise nor blame can reach, because he is his own judge from whom is no appeal.


The great man is necessarily a sceptic (I do not mean to say by this that he must appear to be one), provided that greatness consists in this: to will something great, together with the means thereto. Freedom from any kind of conviction is a factor in his strength of will. And thus it is in keeping with that "enlightened form of despotism" which every great passion exercises. Such a passion enlists intellect in its service; it even has the courage for unholy means; it creates without hesitation; it allows itself convictions, it even uses them, but it never submits to them. The need of faith and of anything unconditionally negative or affirmative is a proof of weakness; all weakness is weakness of will. The man of faith, the believer, is necessarily an inferior species of man. From this it follows that "all freedom of spirit," i.e. instinctive scepticism, is the prerequisite of greatness.


The great man is conscious of his power over a people, and of the fact that he coincides temporarily with a people or with a century—this magnifying of his self-consciousness as causa and voluntas is misunderstood as "altruism": he feels driven to means of communication: all great men are inventive in such means. They want to form great communities in their own image; they would fain give multiformity and disorder definite shape; it stimulates them to behold chaos.

The misunderstanding of love. There is a slavish love which subordinates itself and gives itself away—which idealises and deceives itself; there is a divine species of love which despises and loves at the same time, and which remodels and elevates the thing it loves.

The object is to attain that enormous energy of greatness which can model the man of the future by means of discipline and also by means of the annihilation of millions of the bungled and botched, and which can yet avoid going to ruin at the sight of the suffering created thereby, the like of which has never been seen before.


The revolution, confusion, and distress of whole peoples is in my opinion of less importance than the misfortunes which attend great individuals in their development. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived: the many misfortunes of all these small folk do not together constitute a sum-total, except in the feelings of mighty men.—To think of one's self in moments of great danger, and to draw ones own advantage from the calamities of thousands in the case of the man who differs very much from the common ruck—may be a sign of a great character which is able to master its feeling of pity and justice.


In contradistinction to the animal, man has developed such a host of antagonistic instincts and impulses in himself, that he has become master of the earth by means of this synthesis.—Moralities are only the expression of local and limited orders of rank in this multifarious world of instincts which prevent man from perishing through their antagonism. Thus a masterful instinct so weakens and subtilises the instinct which opposes it that it becomes an impulse which provides the stimulus for the activity of the principal instinct.

The highest man would have the greatest multifariousness in his instincts, and he would possess these in the relatively strongest degree in which he is able to endure them. As a matter of fact, wherever the plant, man, is found strong, mighty instincts are to be found opposing each other (e.g. Shakespeare), but they are subdued.


Would one not be justified in reckoning all great men among the wicked? This is not so easy to demonstrate in the case of individuals. They are so frequently capable of masterly dissimulation that they very often assume the airs and forms of great virtues. Often, too, they seriously reverence virtues, and in such a way as to be passionately hard towards themselves; but as the result of cruelty. Seen from a distance such things are liable to deceive. Many, on the other hand, misunderstand themselves; not infrequently, too, a great mission will call forth great qualities, e.g. justice. The essential fact is: the greatest men may also perhaps have great virtues, but then they also have the opposites of these virtues. I believe that it is precisely out of the presence of these opposites and of the feelings they suscitate, that the great man arises,—for the great man is the broad arch which spans two banks lying far apart.


In great men we find the specific qualities of life in their highest manifestation: injustice, falsehood, exploitation. But inasmuch as their effect has always been overwhelming, their essential nature has been most thoroughly misunderstood, and interpreted as goodness. The type of such an interpreter would be Carlyle.[5]

[5] This not only refers to Heroes and Hero-Worship, but doubtless to Carlyle's prodigious misunderstanding of Goethe a misunderstanding which still requires to be put right by a critic untainted by Puritanism.—Tr.


Generally speaking, everything is worth no more and no less than one has paid for it. This of course does not hold good in the case of an isolated individual; the great capacities of the individual have no relation whatsoever to that which he has done, sacrificed, and suffered for them. But if one should examine the previous history of his race one would be sure to find the record of an extraordinary storing up and capitalising of power by means of all kinds of abstinence, struggle, industry, and determination. It is because the great man has cost so much, and not because he stands there as a miracle, as a gift from heaven, or as an accident, that he became great: "Heredity" is a false notion. A man's ancestors have always paid the price of what he is.


The danger of modesty. To adapt ourselves too early to duties, societies, and daily schemes of work in which accident may have placed us, at a time when neither our powers nor our aim in life has stepped peremptorily into our consciousness; the premature certainty of conscience and feeling of relief and of sociability which is acquired by this precocious, modest attitude, and which appears to our minds as a deliverance from those inner and outer disturbances of our feelings—all this pampers and keeps a man down in the most dangerous fashion imaginable. To learn to respect things which people about us respect, as if we had no standard or right of our own to determine values; the strain of appraising things as others appraise them, counter to the whisperings of our inner taste, which also has a conscience of its own, becomes a terribly subtle kind of constraint: and if in the end no explosion takes place which bursts all the bonds of love and morality at once, then such a spirit becomes withered, dwarfed, feminine, and objective. The reverse of this is bad enough, but still it is better than the foregoing: to suffer from one's environment, from its praise just as much as from its blame; to be wounded by it and to fester inwardly without betraying the fact; to defend one's self involuntarily and suspiciously against its love; to learn to be silent, and perchance to conceal this by talking; to create nooks and safe, lonely hiding-places where one can go and take breath for a moment, or shed tears of sublime comfort—until at last one has grown strong enough to say: "What on earth have I to do with you?" and to go one's way alone.


Those men who are in themselves destinies, and whose advent is the advent of fate, the whole race of heroic bearers of burdens: oh! how heartily and gladly would they have respite from themselves for once in a while!—how they crave after stout hearts and shoulders, that they might free themselves, were it but for an hour or two, from that which oppresses them! And how fruitlessly they crave! ... They wait; they observe all that passes before their eyes: no man even cometh nigh to them with a thousandth part of their suffering and passion, no man guesseth to what end they have waited.... At last, at last, they learn the first lesson of their life: to wait no longer; and forthwith they learn their second lesson: to be affable, to be modest; and from that time onwards to endure everybody and every kind of thing—in short, to endure still a little more than they had endured theretofore.
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Re: The Will to Power, An Attempted Transvaluation of all Va

Postby admin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:16 pm

6. The Highest Man as Lawgiver of the Future.


The lawgivers of the future.—After having tried for a long time in vain to attach a particular meaning to the word "philosopher,"—for I found many antagonistic traits, I recognised that we can distinguish between two kinds of philosophers:—

(1) Those who desire to establish any large system of values (logical or moral);

(2) Those who are the lawgivers of such valuations.

The former try to seize upon the world of the present or the past, by embodying or abbreviating the multifarious phenomena by means of signs: their object is to make it possible for us to survey, to reflect upon, to comprehend, and to utilise everything that has happened hitherto—they serve the purpose of man by using all past things to the benefit of his future.

The second class, however, are commanders; they say: "Thus shall it be!" They alone determine the "whither" and the "wherefore," and that which will be useful and beneficial to man; they have command over the previous work of scientific men, and all knowledge is to them only a means to their creations. This second kind of philosopher seldom appears; and as a matter of fact their situation and their danger is appalling. How often have they not intentionally blindfolded their eyes in order to shut out the sight of the small strip of ground which separates them from the abyss and from utter destruction. Plato, for instance, when he persuaded himself that "the good," as he wanted it, was not Plato's good, but "the good in itself," the eternal treasure which a certain man of the name of Plato had chanced to find on his way! This same will to blindness prevails in a much coarser form in the case of the founders of religion; their "Thou shalt" must on no account sound to their ears like "I will,"—they only dare to pursue their task as if under the command of God; their legislation of values can only be a burden they can bear if they regard it as "revelation," in this way their conscience is not crushed by the responsibility.

As soon as those two comforting expedients—that of Plato and that of Muhammed—have been overthrown, and no thinker can any longer relieve his conscience with the hypothesis "God" or "eternal values," the claim of the lawgiver to determine new values rises to an awfulness which has not yet been experienced. Now those elect, on whom the faint light of such a duty is beginning to dawn, try and see whether they cannot escape it—as their greatest danger—by means of a timely side-spring: for instance, they try to persuade themselves that their task is already accomplished, or that it defies accomplishment, or that their shoulders are not broad enough for such burdens, or that they are already taken up with burdens closer to hand, or even that this new and remote duty is a temptation and a seduction, drawing them away from all other duties; a disease, a kind of madness. Many, as a matter of fact, do succeed in evading the path appointed to them: throughout the whole of history we can see the traces of such deserters and their guilty consciences. In most cases,, however, there comes to such men of destiny that hour of delivery, that autumnal season of maturity, in which they are forced to do that which they did not even "wish to do": and that deed before which in the past they have trembled most, falls easily and unsought from the tree, as an involuntary deed, almost as a present.


The human horizon.—Philosophers may be conceived as men who make the greatest efforts to discover to what extent man can elevate himself—this holds good more particularly of Plato: how far man's power can extend. But they do this as individuals; perhaps the instinct of Cæsars and of all founders of states, etc., was greater, for it preoccupied itself with the question how far man could be urged forward in development under "favourable circumstances." What they did not sufficiently understand, however, was the nature of favourable circumstances. The great question: "Where has the plant 'man' grown most magnificently heretofore? In order to answer this, a comparative study of history is necessary.


Every fact and every work exercises a fresh persuasion over every age and every new species of man. History always enunciates new truths.


To remain objective, severe, firm, and hard while making a thought prevail is perhaps the best forte of artists; but if for this purpose any one have to work upon human material (as teachers, statesmen, have to do, etc.), then the repose, the coldness, and the hardness soon vanish. In natures like Cæsar and Napoleon we are able to divine something of the nature of "disinterestedness" in their work on their marble, whatever be the number of men that are sacrificed in the process. In this direction the future of higher men lies: to bear the greatest responsibilities and not to go to rack and ruin through them.—Hitherto the deceptions of inspiration have almost always been necessary for a man not to lose faith in his own hand, and in his right to his task.


The reason why philosophers are mostly failures. Because among the conditions which determine them there are qualities which generally ruin other men:—

(1) A philosopher must have an enormous multiplicity of qualities; he must be a sort of abbreviation of man and have all man's high and base desires: the danger of the contrast within him, and of the possibility of his loathing himself;

(2) He must be inquisitive in an extraordinary number of ways: the danger of versatility;

(3) He must be just and honest in the highest sense, but profound both in love and hate (and in injustice);

(4) He must not only be a spectator but a lawgiver: a judge and defendant (in so far as he is an abbreviation of the world);

(5) He must be extremely multiform and yet firm and hard. He must be supple.


The really regal calling of the philosopher (according to the expression of Alcuin the Anglo-Saxon): "Prava corrigere, et recta corroborare, et sancta sublimare."


The new philosopher can only arise in conjunction with a ruling class, as the highest spiritualisation of the latter. Great politics, the rule of the earth, as a proximate contingency, the total lack of principles necessary thereto.


Fundamental concept: the new values must first be created—this remains our duty! The philosopher must be our lawgiver. New species. (How the greatest species hitherto [for instance, the Greeks] were reared: this kind of accident must now be consciously striven for.)


Supposing one thinks of the philosopher as an educator who, looking down from his lonely elevation, is powerful enough to draw long chains of generations up to him: then he must be granted the most terrible privileges of a great educator. An educator never says what he himself thinks; but only that which he thinks it is good for those whom he is educating to hear upon any subject. This dissimulation on his part must not be found out; it is part of his masterliness that people should believe in his honesty, he must be capable of all the means of discipline and education: there are some natures which he will only be able to raise by means of lashing them with his scorn; others who are lazy, irresolute, cowardly, and vain, he will be able to affect only with exaggerated praise. Such a teacher stands beyond good and evil, but nobody must know that he does.


We must not make men "better," we must not talk to them about morality in any form as if "morality in itself," or an ideal kind of man in general, could be taken for granted; but we must create circumstances in which stronger men are necessary, such as for their part will require a morality (or, better still: a bodily and spiritual discipline) which makes men strong, and upon which they will consequently insist! As they will need one so badly, they will have it.

We must not let ourselves be seduced by blue eyes and heaving breasts: greatness of soul has absolutely nothing romantic about it. And unfortunately nothing whatever amiable either.


From warriors we must learn: (1) to associate death with those interests for which we are fighting—that makes us venerable; (2) we must learn to sacrifice numbers, and to take our cause sufficiently seriously not to spare men; (3) we must practise inexorable discipline, and allow ourselves violence and cunning in war.


The education which rears those ruling virtues that allow a man to become master of his benevolence and his pity: the great disciplinary virtues ("Forgive thine enemies" is mere child's play beside them), and the passions of the creator, must be elevated to the heights—we must cease from carving marble! The exceptional and powerful position of those creatures (compared with that of all princes hitherto): the Roman Cæsar with Christ's soul.


We must not separate greatness of soul from intellectual greatness. For the former involves independence; but without intellectual greatness independence should not be allowed; all it does is to create disasters even in its lust of well-doing and of practising "justice." Inferior spirits must obey, consequently they cannot be possessed of greatness.


The more lofty philosophical man who is surrounded by loneliness, not because he wishes to be alone, but because he is what he is, and cannot find his equal: what a number of dangers and torments are reserved for him, precisely at the present time, when we have lost our belief in the order of rank, and consequently no longer know how to understand or honour this isolation! Formerly the sage almost sanctified himself in the consciences of the mob by going aside in this way; to-day the anchorite sees himself as though enveloped in a cloud of gloomy doubt and suspicions. And not alone by the envious and the wretched: in every well-meant act that he experiences he is bound to discover misunderstanding, neglect, and superficiality. He knows the crafty tricks of foolish pity which makes these people feel so good and holy when they attempt to save him from his own destiny, by giving him more comfortable situations and more decent and reliable society. Yes, he will even get to admire the unconscious lust of destruction with which all mediocre spirits stand up and oppose him, believing all the while that they have a holy right to do so! For men of such incomprehensible loneliness it is necessary to put a good stretch of country between them and the officiousness of their fellows: this is part of their prudence. For such a man to maintain himself uppermost to-day amid the dangerous maelstroms of the age which threaten to draw him under, even cunning and disguise will be necessary. Every attempt he makes to order his life in the present and with the present, every time he draws near to these men and their modern desires, he will have to expiate as if it were an actual sin: and withal he may look with wonder at the concealed wisdom of his nature, which after every one of these attempts immediately leads him back to himself by means of illnesses and painful accidents.


"Maledetto colui
che contrista, un spirto immortal!"
MANZONI (Conte di Carmagnola, Act II.)


The most difficult and the highest form which man can attain is the most seldom successful: thus the history of philosophy reveals a superabundance of bungled and unhappy cases of manhood, and its march is an extremely slow one; whole centuries intervene and suppress what has been achieved: and in this way the connecting-link is always made to fail. It is an appalling history, this history of the highest men, of the sages.—What is most often damaged is precisely the recollection of great men, for the semi-successful and botched cases of mankind misunderstand them and overcome them by their "successes." Whenever an "effect" is noticeable, the masses gather in a crowd round it; to hear the inferior and the poor in spirit having their say is a terrible ear-splitting torment for him who knows and trembles at the thought, that the fate of man depends upon the success of its highest types. From the days of my childhood I have reflected upon the sage's conditions of existence, and I will not conceal my happy conviction that in Europe he has once more become possible—perhaps only for a short time.


These new philosophers begin with a description of a systematic order of rank and difference of value among men,—what they desire is, alas precisely the reverse of an assimilation and equalisation of man: they teach estrangement in every sense, they cleave gulfs such as have never yet existed, and they would fain have man become more evil than he ever was. For the present they live concealed and estranged even from each other. For many reasons they will find it necessary to be anchorites and to wear masks—they will therefore be of little use in the matter of seeking for their equals. They will live alone, and probably know the torments of all the loneliest forms of loneliness. Should they, however, thanks to any accident, meet each other on the road, I wager that they would not know each other, or that they would deceive each other in a number of ways.


"Les philosophes ne sont pas faits pour s'aimer. Les aigles ne volent point en compagnie. Il faut laisser cela aux perdrix, aux étourneaux ... Planer au-dessus et avoir des griffes, voila le lot des grands génies."—GALIANI.


I forgot to say that such philosophers are cheerful, and that they like to sit in the abyss of a perfectly clear sky: they are in need of different means for enduring life than other men; for they suffer in a different way (that is to say, just as much from the depth of their contempt of man as from their love of man).—The animal which suffered most on earth discovered for itself —laughter.


Concerning the misunderstanding of "cheerfulness." —It is a temporary relief from long tension; it is the wantonness, the Saturnalia of a spirit, which is consecrating and preparing itself for long and terrible resolutions. The "fool" in the form of "science."


The new order of rank among spirits; tragic natures no longer in the van.


It is a comfort to me to know that over the smoke and filth of human baseness there is a higher and brighter mankind, which, judging from their number, must be a small race (for everything that is in any way distinguished is ipso facto rare). A man does not belong to this race because he happens to be more gifted, more virtuous, more heroic, or more loving than the men below, but because he is colder, brighter, more far-sighted, and more lonely; because he endures, prefers, and even insists upon, loneliness as the joy, the privilege, yea, even the condition of existence; because he lives amid clouds and lightnings as among his equals, and likewise among sunrays, dewdrops, snowflakes, and all that which must needs come from the heights, and which in its course moves ever from heaven to earth. The desire to look aloft is not our desire.—Heroes, martyrs, geniuses, and enthusiasts of all kinds, are not quiet, patient, subtle, cold, or slow enough for us.


The absolute conviction that valuations above and below are different; that innumerable experiences are wanting to the latter: that when looking upwards from below misunderstandings are necessary.


How do men attain to great power and to great tasks? All the virtues and proficiences of the body and the soul are little by little laboriously acquired, through great industry, self-control, and keeping one's self within narrow bounds, through a frequent, energetic, and genuine repetition of the same work and of the same hardships; but there are men who are the heirs and masters of this slowly acquired and manifold treasure of virtues and proficiences because, owing to happy and reasonable marriages and also to lucky accidents, the acquired and accumulated forces of many generations, instead of being squandered and subdivided, have been assembled together by means of steadfast struggling and willing. And thus, in the end, a man appears who is such a monster of strength, that he craves for a monstrous task. For it is our power which has command of us: and the wretched intellectual play of aims and intentions and motivations lies only in the foreground—however much weak eyes may recognise the principal factors in these things.


The sublime man has the highest value, even when he is most delicate and fragile, because an abundance of very difficult and rare things have been reared through many generations and united in him.


I teach that there are higher and lower men, and that a single individual may under certain circumstances justify whole millenniums of existence —that is to say, a wealthier, more gifted, greater, and more complete man, as compared with innumerable imperfect and fragmentary men.


Away from rulers and rid of all bonds, live the highest men: and in the rulers they have their instruments.


The order of rank: he who determines values and leads the will of millenniums, and does this by leading the highest natures—he is the highest man.


I fancy I have divined some of the things that lie hidden in the soul of the highest man; perhaps every man who has divined so much must go to ruin: but he who has seen the highest man must do all he can to make him possible. Fundamental thought: we must make the future the standard of all our valuations—and not seek the laws for our conduct behind us.


Not "mankind," but Superman is the goal!


"Come l'uom s'eterna...."—Inf. xv. 85.
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Re: The Will to Power, An Attempted Transvaluation of all Va

Postby admin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:20 pm



To him who is one of Nature's lucky strokes, to, him unto whom my heart goes out, to him who is carved from one integral block, which is hard, sweet, and fragrant—to him from whom even my nose can derive some pleasure—let this book be dedicated.

He enjoys that which is beneficial to him.

His pleasure in anything ceases when the limits of what is beneficial to him are overstepped.

He divines the remedies for partial injuries; his illnesses are the great stimulants of his existence.

He understands how to exploit his serious accidents.

He grows stronger under the misfortunes which threaten to annihilate him.

He instinctively gathers from all he sees, hears, and experiences, the materials for what concerns him most,—he pursues a selective principle,—he rejects a good deal.

He reacts with that tardiness which long caution and deliberate pride have bred in him,—he tests the stimulus: whence does it come? whither does it lead? He does not submit.

He is always in his own company, whether his intercourse be with books, with men, or with Nature.

He honours anything by choosing it, by conceding to it, by trusting it.


We should attain to such a height, to such a lofty eagle's ledge, in our observation, as to be able to understand that everything happens, just as it ought to happen: and that all "imperfection," and the pain it brings, belong to all that which is most eminently desirable.


Towards 1876 I experienced a fright; for I saw that everything I had most wished for up to that time was being compromised. I realised this when I perceived what Wagner was actually driving at: and I was bound very fast to him—by all the bonds of a profound similarity of needs, by gratitude, by the thought that he could not be replaced, and by the absolute void which I saw facing me.

Just about this time I believed myself to be inextricably entangled in my philology and my professorship—in the accident and last shift of my life: I did not know how to get out of it, and was tired, used up, and on my last legs.

At about the same time I realised that what my instincts most desired to attain was precisely the reverse of what Schopenhauer's instincts wanted—that is to say, a justification of life, even where it was most terrible, most equivocal, and most false: to this end, I had the formula "Dionysian" in my hand.

Schopenhauer's interpretation of the "absolute" as will was certainly a step towards that concept of the "absolute" which supposed it to be necessarily good, blessed, true, and integral, but Schopenhauer did not understand how to deify this will: he remained suspended in the moral-Christian ideal. Indeed, he was still so very much under the dominion of Christian values, that, once he could no longer regard the absolute as God, he had to conceive it as evil, foolish, utterly reprehensible. He did not realise that there is an infinite number of ways of being different, and even of being God.


Hitherto, moral values have been the highest values: does anybody doubt this? If we bring down the values from their pedestal, we thereby alter all values; the principle of their order of rank which has prevailed hitherto is thus overthrown.


Transvalue values—what does this mean? It implies that all spontaneous motives, all new, future, and stronger motives, are still extant; but that they now appear under false names and false valuations, and have not yet become conscious of themselves.

We ought to have the courage to become, conscious, and to affirm all that which has been attained—to get rid of the humdrum character of old valuations, which makes us unworthy of the best and strongest things that we have achieved.


Any doctrine would be superfluous for which everything is not already prepared in the way of accumulated forces and explosive material. A transvaluation of values can only be accomplished when there is a tension of new needs, and a new set of needy people who feel all old values as painful,—although they are not conscious of what is wrong.


The standpoint from which my values are determined: is abundance or desire active? ... Is one a mere spectator, or is one's own shoulder at the wheel—is one looking away or is one turning aside? ... Is one acting spontaneously, as the result of accumulated strength, or is one merely reacting to a goad or to a stimulus? ... Is one simply acting as the result of a paucity of elements, or of such an overwhelming dominion over a host of elements that this power enlists the latter into its service if it requires them? ... Is one a problem one's self or is one a solution already? ... Is one perfect through the smallness of the task, or imperfect owing to the extraordinary character of the aim? ... Is one genuine or only an actor; is one genuine as an actor, or only the bad copy of an actor? is one a representative or the creature represented? Is one a personality or merely a rendezvous of personalities? ... Is one ill from a disease or from surplus health? Does one lead as a shepherd, or as an "exception" (third alternative: as a fugitive)? Is one in need of dignity, or can one play the clown? Is one in search of resistance, or is one evading it? Is one imperfect owing to one's precocity or to one's tardiness? Is it one's nature to say yea, or no, or is one a peacock's tail of garish parts? Is one proud enough not to feel ashamed even of one's vanity? Is one still able to feel a bite of conscience (this species is becoming rare; formerly conscience had to bite too often: it is as if it now no longer had enough teeth to do so)? Is one still capable of a "duty"? (there are some people who would lose the whole joy of their lives if they were deprived of their duty—this holds good especially of feminine creatures, who are born subjects).


Supposing our common comprehension of the universe were a misunderstanding, would it be possible to conceive of a form of perfection, within the limits of which even such a misunderstanding as this could be sanctioned?

The concept of a new form of perfection: that which does not correspond to our logic, to our "beauty," to our "good," to our "truth," might be perfect in a higher sense even than our ideal is.


Our most important limitation: we must not deify the unknown; we are just beginning to know so little. The false and wasted endeavours.

Our "new world": we must ascertain to what extent we are the creators of our valuations—we will thus be able to put "sense" into history.

This belief in truth is reaching its final logical conclusion in us—ye know how it reads: that if there is anything at all that must be worshipped it is appearance; that falsehood and not truth is—divine.


He who urges rational thought forward, thereby also drives its antagonistic power—mysticism and foolery of every kind—to new feats of strength.

We should recognise that every movement is (1) partly the manifestation of fatigue resulting from a previous movement (satiety after it, the malice of weakness towards it, and disease); and (2) partly a newly awakened accumulation of long slumbering forces, and therefore wanton, violent, healthy.


Health and morbidness: let us be careful! The standard is the bloom of the body, the agility, courage, and cheerfulness of the mind—but also, of course, how much morbidness a man can bear and overcome,—and convert into health. That which would send more delicate natures to the dogs, belongs to the stimulating means of great health.


It is only a question of power: to have all the morbid traits of the century, but to balance them I by means of overflowing, plastic, and rejuvenating power. The strong man.


Concerning the strength of the nineteenth century.—We are more mediæval than the eighteenth century; not only more inquisitive or more susceptible to the strange and to the rare. We have revolted against the Revolution, ... We have freed ourselves from the fear of reason, which was the spectre of the eighteenth century: we once more dare to be childish, lyrical, absurd, in a word, we are musicians. And we are just as little frightened of the ridiculous as of the absurd. The devil finds that he is tolerated even by God:[6] better still, he has become interesting as one who has been misunderstood and slandered for ages,—we are the saviours of the devil's honour.

We no longer separate the great from the terrible. We reconcile good things, in all their complexity, with the very worst things; we have overcome the desideratum of the past (which wanted goodness to grow without the increase of evil). The cowardice towards the ideal, peculiar to the Renaissance, has diminished—we even dare to aspire to the latter's morality. Intolerance towards priests and the Church has at the same time come to an end; "It is immoral to believe in God"—but this is precisely what we regard as the best possible justification of this belief.

On all these things we have conferred the civic rights of our minds. We do not tremble before the back side of "good things" (we even look for it, we are brave and inquisitive enough for that), of Greek antiquity, of morality, of reason, of good taste, for instance (we reckon up the losses which we incur with all this treasure: we almost reduce ourselves to poverty with such a treasure). Neither do we conceal the back side of "evil things" from ourselves.

[6] This is reminiscent of Goethe's Faust, See "Prologue in Heaven."—Tr.


That which does us honour.—If anything does us honour, it is this: we have transferred our seriousness to other things; all those things which have been despised and laid aside as base by all ages, we regard as important—on the other hand, we surrender "fine feelings" at a cheap rate.

Could any aberration be more dangerous than the contempt of the body? As if all intellectuality were not thereby condemned to become morbid, and to take refuge in the vapeurs of "idealism"!

Nothing that has been thought out by Christians and idealists holds water: we are more radical. We have discovered the "smallest world" everywhere as the most decisive.

The paving-stones in the streets, good air in our rooms, food understood according to its worth: we value all the necessaries of life seriously, and despise all "beautiful soulfulness" as a form of "levity and frivolity." That which has been most despised hitherto, is now pressed into the front rank.


In the place of Rousseau's "man of Nature," the nineteenth century has discovered a much more genuine image of "Man,"—it had the courage to do this.... On the whole, the Christian concept of man has in a way been reinstalled. What we have not had the courage to do, was to call precisely this "man par excellence," good, and to see the future of mankind guaranteed in him. In the same way, we did not dare to regard the growth in the terrible side of man's character as an accompanying feature of every advance in culture; in this sense we are still under the influence of the Christian ideal, and side with it against paganism, and likewise against the Renaissance concept of virtù. But the key of culture is not to be found in this way: and in praxi we still have the forgeries of history in favour of the "good man" (as if he alone constituted the progress of humanity) and the socialistic ideal (i.e. the residue of Christianity and of Rousseau in the de-Christianised world).

The fight against the eighteenth century: it meets with its greatest conquerors in Goethe and Napoleon. Schopenhauer, too, fights against the eighteenth century; but he returns involuntarily to the seventeenth—he is a modern Pascal, with Pascalian valuations, without Christianity. Schopenhauer was not strong enough to invent a new yea.

Napoleon: we see the necessary relationship between the higher and the terrible man. "Man" reinstalled, and her due of contempt and fear restored to woman. Highest activity and health are the signs of the great man; the straight line and grand style rediscovered in action; the mightiest of all instincts, that of life itself,—the lust of dominion,—heartily welcomed.


(Revue des deux mondes, 15th February 1887. Taine concerning Napoleon) "Suddenly the master faculty reveals itself: the artist, which was latent in the politician, comes forth from his scabbard; he creates dans l'idéal et l'impossible. He is once more recognised as that which he is: the posthumous brother of Dante and of Michelangelo; and verily, in view of the definite contours of his vision, the intensity, the coherence, and inner consistency of his dream, the depth of his meditations, the superhuman greatness of his conception, he is their equal: son génie a la même taille et la même structure; il est un des trois esprits souverains de la renaissance italienne."

Nota bene. Dante, Michelangelo, Napoleon.


Concerning the pessimism of strength. In the internal economy of the primitive man's soul, the fear of evil preponderates. What is evil! Three kinds of things: accident, uncertainty, the unexpected. How does primitive man combat evil?—He conceives it as a thing of reason, of power, even as a person. By this means he is enabled to make treaties with it, and generally to operate upon it in advance—to forestall it.

—Another expedient is to declare its evil and harmful character to be but apparent: the consequences of accidental occurrences, and of uncertainty and the unexpected, are interpreted as well-meant, as reasonable.

—A third means is to interpret evil, above all, as merited: evil is thus justified as a punishment.

—In short, man submits to in all religious and moral interpretations are but forms of submission to evil.—The belief that a good purpose lies behind all evil, implies the renunciation of any desire to combat it.

Now, the history of every culture shows a diminution of this fear of the accidental, of the uncertain, and of the unexpected. Culture means precisely, to learn to reckon, to discover causes, to acquire the power of forestalling events, to acquire a belief in necessity. With the growth of culture, man is able to dispense with that primitive form of submission to evil (called religion or morality), and that "justification of evil." Now he wages war against "evil,"—he gets rid of it. Yes, a state of security, of belief in law and the possibility of calculation, is possible, in which consciousness regards these things with tedium,—in which the joy of the accidental, of the uncertain, and of the unexpected, actually becomes a spur.

Let us halt a moment before this symptom of highest culture, I call it the pessimism of strength. Man now no longer requires a "justification of evil"; justification is precisely what he abhors: he enjoys evil, pur, cru; he regards purposeless evil as the most interesting kind of evil. If he had required a God in the past, he now delights in cosmic disorder without a God, a world of accident, to the essence of which terror, ambiguity, and seductiveness belong.

In a state of this sort, it is precisely goodness which requires to be justified—that is to say, it must either have an evil and a dangerous basis, or else it must contain a vast amount of stupidity: in which case it still pleases. Animality no longer awakens terror now; a very intellectual and happy wanton spirit in favour of the animal in man, is, in such periods, the most triumphant form of spirituality. Man is now strong enough to be able to feel ashamed of a belief in God: he may now play the part of the devil's advocate afresh. If in practice he pretends to uphold virtue, it will be for those reasons which lead virtue to be associated with subtlety, cunning, lust of gain, and a form of the lust of power.

This pessimism of strength also ends in a theodicy, i.e. in an absolute saying of yea to the world—but the same arguments will be raised in favour of life which formerly were raised against it: and in this way, in a conception of this world as the highest ideal possible, which has been effectively attained.


The principal kinds of pessimism:—

The pessimism of sensitiveness (excessive irritability with a preponderance of the feelings of pain).

The pessimism of the will that is not free (otherwise expressed: the lack of resisting power against stimuli).

The pessimism of doubt (shyness in regard to everything fixed, in regard to all grasping and touching).

The psychological conditions which belong to these different kinds of pessimism, may all be observed in a lunatic asylum, even though they are there found in a slightly exaggerated form. The same applies to "Nihilism" (the penetrating feeling of nonentity).

What, however, is the nature of Pascal's moral pessimism, and the metaphysical pessimism of the Vedânta-Philosophy? What is the nature of the social pessimism of anarchists (as of Shelley), and of the pessimism of compassion (like that of Leo Tolstoy and of Alfred de Vigny)?

Are all these things not also the phenomena of decay and sickness?... And is not excessive seriousness in regard to moral values, or in regard to "other-world" fictions, or social calamities, or suffering in general, of the same order? All such exaggeration of a single and narrow standpoint is in itself a sign of sickness. The same applies to the preponderance of a negative over an affirmative attitude!

In this respect we must not confound with the above: the joy of saying and doing no, which is the result of the enormous power and tenseness of an affirmative attitude—peculiar to all rich and mighty men and ages. It is, as it were, a luxury, a form of courage too, which opposes the terrible, which has sympathy with the frightful and the questionable, because, among other things, one is terrible and questionable: the Dionysian in will, intellect, and taste.


My Five "Noes."

(1) My fight against the feeling of sin and the introduction of the notion of punishment into the physical and metaphysical world, likewise into psychology and the interpretation of history. The recognition of the fact that all philosophies and valuations hitherto have been saturated with morality.

(2) My identification and my discovery of the traditional ideal, of the Christian ideal, even where the dogmatic form of Christianity has been wrecked. The danger of the Christian ideal resides in its valuations, in that which can dispense with concrete expression: my struggle against latent Christianity (for instance, in music, in Socialism).

(3) My struggle against the eighteenth century of Rousseau, against his "Nature," against his "good man," his belief in the dominion of feeling—against the pampering, weakening, and moralising of man: an ideal born of the hatred of aristocratic culture, which in practice is the dominion of unbridled feelings of resentment, and invented as a standard for the purpose of war (the Christian morality of the feeling of sin, as well as the morality of resentment, is an attitude of the mob).

(4) My fight against Romanticism, in which the ideals of Christianity and of Rousseau converge, but which possesses at the same time a yearning for that antiquity which knew of sacerdotal and aristocratic culture, a yearning for virtù, and for the "strong man"—something extremely hybrid; a false and imitated kind of stronger humanity, which appreciates extreme conditions in general and sees the symptom of strength in them ("the cult of passion"; an imitation of the most expressive forms, furore espressivo, originating not out of plenitude, but out of want).—(In the nineteenth century there are some things which are born out of relative plenitude—i.e. out of well-being; cheerful music, etc.—among poets, for instance, Stifter and Gottfried Keller give signs of more strength and inner well-being than—. The great strides of engineering, of inventions, of the natural sciences and of history (?) are relative products of the strength and self-reliance of the nineteenth century.)

(5) My struggle against the predominance of gregarious instincts, now science makes common cause with them; against the profound hate with which every kind of order of rank and of aloofness is treated.


From the pressure of plenitude, from the tension of forces that are continually increasing within us and which cannot yet discharge themselves, a condition is produced which is very similar to that which precedes a storm: we—like Nature's sky—become overcast. I hat, too, is "pessimism.".. A teaching which puts an end to such a condition by the fact that it commands something: a transvaluation of values by means of which the accumulated forces are given a channel, a direction, so that they explode into deeds and flashes of lightning-does not in the least require to be a hedonistic teaching: in so far as it releases strength which was compressed to an agonising degree, it brings happiness.


Pleasure appears with the feeling of power.

Happiness means that the consciousness of power and triumph has begun to prevail.

Progress is the strengthening of the type, the ability to exercise great will-power, everything else is a misunderstanding and a danger.


There comes a time when the old masquerade and moral togging-up of the passions provokes repugnance: naked Nature; when the quanta of power are recognised as decidedly simple (as determining rank); when grand style appears again as the result of great passion.


The purpose of culture would have us enlist everything terrible, step by step and experimentally, into its service; but before it is strong enough for this it must combat, moderate, mask, and even curse everything terrible.

Wherever a culture points to anything as evil, it betrays its fear and therefore weakness.

Thesis: everything good is the evil of yore which has been rendered serviceable. Standard: the more terrible and the greater the passions may be which an age, a people, and an individual are at liberty to possess, because they are able to use them as a means, the higher is their culture: the more mediocre, weak, submissive, and cowardly a man may be, the more things he will regard as evil: according to him the kingdom of evil is the largest. The lowest man will see the kingdom of evil (i.e. that which is forbidden him and which is hostile to him) everywhere.


It is not a fact that "happiness follows virtue"—but it is the mighty man who first declares his happy state to be virtue.

Evil actions belong to the mighty and the virtuous: bad and base actions belong to the subjected.

The mightiest man, the creator, would have to be the most evil, inasmuch as he makes his ideal prevail over all men in opposition to their ideals, and remoulds them according to his own image.

Evil, in this respect, means hard, painful, enforced.

Such men as Napoleon must always return and always settle our belief in the self-glory of the individual afresh: he himself, however, was corrupted by the means he had to stoop to, and had lost noblesse of character. If he had had to prevail among another kind of men, he could have availed himself of other means; and thus it would not seem necessary that a Cæsar must become bad.


Man is a combination of the beast and the super-beast; higher man a combination of the monster and the superman:[7] these opposites belong to each other. With every degree of a man's growth towards greatness and loftiness, he also grows downwards into the depths and into the terrible: we should not desire the one without the other;—or, better still: the more fundamentally we desire the one, the more completely we shall achieve the other.

[7] The play on the German words: "Unthier" and "Überthier," "Unmensch" and "Übermensch," is unfortunately not translatable.—Tr.


Terribleness belongs to greatness: let us not deceive ourselves.


I have taught the knowledge of such terrible things, that all "Epicurean contentment" is impossible concerning them. Dionysian pleasure is the only adequate kind here: I was the first to discover the tragic. Thanks to their superficiality in ethics, the Greeks misunderstood it. Resignation is not the lesson of tragedy, but only the misunderstanding of it! The yearning for nonentity is the denial of tragic wisdom, its opposite!


A rich and powerful soul not only gets over painful and even terrible losses, deprivations, robberies, and insults: it actually leaves such dark infernos in possession of still greater plenitude and power; and, what is most important of all, in possession of an increased blissfulness in love. I believe that he who has divined something of the most fundamental conditions of love, will understand Dante for having written over the door of his Inferno: "I also am the creation of eternal love."


To have travelled over the whole circumference of the modern soul, and to have sat in all its corners—my ambition, my torment, and my happiness.

Veritably to have overcome pessimism, and, as the result thereof, to have acquired the eyes of a Goethe—full of love and goodwill.


The first question is by no means whether we are satisfied with ourselves; but whether we are satisfied with anything at all. Granting that we should say yea to any single moment, we have then affirmed not only ourselves, but the whole of existence. For nothing stands by itself, either in us or in other things: and if our soul has vibrated and rung with happiness, like a chord, once only and only once, then all eternity was necessary in order to bring about that one event,—and all eternity, in this single moment of our affirmation, was called good, was saved, justified, and blessed.


The passions which say yea. I ride, happiness, health, the love of the sexes, hostility and war, reverence, beautiful attitudes, manners, strong will, the discipline of lofty spirituality, the will to power, and gratitude to the Earth and to Life: all that is rich, that would fain bestow, and that refreshes, gilds, immortalises, and deifies Life—the whole power of the virtues that glorify—all declaring things good, saying yea, and doing yea.


We, many or few, who once more dare to live in a world purged of morality, we pagans in faith, we are probably also the first who understand what a pagan faith is: to be obliged to imagine higher creatures than man, but to imagine them beyond good and evil; to be compelled to value all higher existence as immoral existence. We believe in Olympus, and not in the "man on the cross."


The more modern man has exercised his idealising power in regard to a God mostly by moralising the latter ever more and more—what does that mean?—nothing good, a diminution in man's strength.

As a matter of fact, the reverse would be possible: and indications of this are not wanting. God imagined as emancipation from morality, comprising the whole of the abundant assembly of Life's contrasts, and saving and justifying them in a divine agony. God as the beyond, the superior elevation, to the wretched cul-de-sac morality of "Good and Evil."


A humanitarian God cannot be demonstrated from the world that is known to us: so much are ye driven and forced to conclude to-day. But what conclusion do ye draw from this? "He cannot be demonstrated to us": the scepticism of knowledge. You all fear the conclusion: "From the world that is known to us quite a different God would be demonstrable, such a one as would certainly not be humanitarian"—and, in a word, you cling fast to your God, and invent a world for Him which is unknown to us.


Let us banish the highest good from our concept of God: it is unworthy of a God. Let us likewise banish the highest wisdom: it is the vanity of philosophers who have perpetrated the absurdity of a God who is a monster of wisdom: the idea was to make Him as like them as possible. No! God as the highest power—that is sufficient!—Everything follows from that, even—"the world"!


And how many new Gods are not still possible! I, myself, in whom the religious—that is to say, the god-creating instinct occasionally becomes active at the most inappropriate moments: how very differently the divine has revealed itself every time to me! ... So many strange things have passed before me in those timeless moments, which fall into a man's life as if they came from the moon, and in which he absolutely no longer knows how old he is or how young he still may be! ... I would not doubt that there are several kinds of gods.... Some are not wanting which one could not possibly imagine without a certain halcyonic calm and levity.... Light feet perhaps belong to the concept "God". Is it necessary to explain that a God knows how to hold Himself preferably outside all Philistine and rationalist circles? also (between ourselves) beyond good and evil? His outlook is a free one—as Goethe would say.—And to invoke the authority of Zarathustra, which cannot be too highly appreciated in this regard: Zarathustra goes as far as to confess, "I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance ..."

Again I say: how many new Gods are not still possible! Certainly Zarathustra himself is merely an old atheist: he believes neither in old nor in new gods. Zarathustra says, "he would"—but Zarathustra will not.... Take care to understand him well.

The type God conceived according to the type of creative spirits, of "great men."


And how many new ideals are not, at bottom, still possible? Here is a little ideal that I seize upon every five weeks, while upon a wild and lonely walk, in the azure moment of a blasphemous joy. To spend one's life amid delicate and absurd things; a stranger to reality, half-artist, half-bird, half-metaphysician; without a yea or a nay for reality, save that from time to time one acknowledges it, after the manner of a good dancer, with the tips of one's toes; always tickled by some happy ray of sunlight; relieved and encouraged even by sorrow —for sorrow preserves the happy man; fixing a little tail of jokes even to the most holy thing: this, as is clear, is the ideal of a heavy spirit, a ton in weight of the spirit of gravity.


From the military-school of the soul. (Dedicated to the brave, the good-humoured, and the abstinent.)

I should not like to undervalue the amiable virtues; but greatness of soul is not compatible with them. Even in the arts, grand style excludes all merely pleasing qualities.


In times of painful tension and vulnerability, choose war. War hardens and develops muscle.


Those who have been deeply wounded have the Olympian laughter; a man only has what he needs.


It has now already lasted ten years: no sound any longer reaches me—a land without rain. A man must have a vast amount of humanity at his disposal in order not to pine away in such drought.[8]

[8] For the benefit of those readers who are not acquainted with the circumstances of Nietzsche's life, it would be as well to point out that this is a purely personal plaint, comprehensible enough in the mouth of one who, like Nietzsche, was for years a lonely anchorite.—Tr.


My new road to an affirmative attitude.—Philosophy, as I have understood it and lived it up to the present, is the voluntary quest of the repulsive and atrocious aspects of existence. From the long experience derived from such wandering over ice and desert, I learnt to regard quite differently everything that had been philosophised hitherto: the concealed history of philosophy, the psychology of its great names came into the light for me. "How much truth can a spirit endure; for how much truth is it daring enough?"—this for me was the real measure of value. Error is a piece of cowardice ... every victory on the part of knowledge, is the result of courage, of hardness towards one's self, of cleanliness towards one's self.... The kind of experimental philosophy which I am living, even anticipates the possibility of the most fundamental Nihilism, on principle: but by this I do not mean that it remains standing at a negation, at a no, or at a will to negation. It would rather attain to the very reverse—to a Dionysian affirmation of the world, as it is, without subtraction, exception, or choice—it would have eternal circular motion: the same things, the same reasoning, and the same illogical concatenation. The highest state to which a philosopher can attain: to maintain a Dionysian attitude to Life—my formula for this is amor fati.

To this end we must not only consider those aspects of life which have been denied hitherto, as: necessary, but as desirable, and not only desirable to those aspects which have been affirmed hitherto (as complements or first prerequisites, so to speak), but for their own sake, as the more powerful, more terrible, and more veritable aspects of life, in which the latter's will expresses itself most clearly.

To this end, we must also value that aspect of existence which alone has been affirmed until now; we must understand whence this valuation arises, and to how slight an extent it has to do with a Dionysian valuation of Life: I selected and understood that which in this respect says "yea" (on the one hand, the instinct of the sufferer; on the other, the gregarious instinct; and thirdly, the instinct of the greater number against the exceptions).

Thus I divined to what extent a stronger kind of man must necessarily imagine—the elevation and enhancement of man in another direction: higher creatures, beyond good and evil, beyond those values which bear the stamp of their origin in the sphere of suffering, of the herd, and of the greater number—I searched for the data of this topsy-turvy formation of ideals in history (the concepts "pagan," "classical," "noble," have been discovered afresh and brought forward).


We should demonstrate to what extent the religion of the Greeks was higher than Judæo-Christianity. The latter triumphed because the Greek religion was degenerate (and decadent).


It is not surprising that a couple of centuries have been necessary in order to link up again—a couple of centuries are very little indeed.


There must be some people who sanctify functions, not only eating and drinking, and not only in memory of them, or in harmony with them; but this world must be for ever glorified anew, and in a novel fashion.


The most intellectual men feel the ecstasy and charm of sensual things in a way which other men —those with "fleshy hearts"—cannot possibly imagine, and ought not to be able to imagine: they are sensualists with the best possible faith, because they grant the senses a more fundamental value than that fine sieve, that thinning and mincing machine, or whatever it is called, which in the language of the people is termed "spirit" The strength and power of the senses—this is the most essential thing in a sound man who is one of Nature's lucky strokes: the splendid beast must first be there—otherwise what is the value of all "humanisation"?


(1) We want to hold fast to our senses, and to the belief in them—and accept their logical conclusions! The hostility to the senses in the philosophy that has been written up to the present, has been man's greatest feat of nonsense.

(2) The world now extant, on which all earthly and living things have so built themselves, that it now appears as it does (enduring and proceeding slowly), we would fain continue building—not criticise it away as false!

(3) Our valuations help in the process of building; they emphasise and accentuate. What does it mean when whole religions say: "Everything is bad and false and evil"? This condemnation of the whole process can only be the judgment of the failures!

(4) True, the failures might be the greatest sufferers and therefore the most subtle! The contented might be worth little!

(5) We must understand the fundamental artistic phenomenon which is called "Life,"—the formative spirit, which constructs under the most unfavourable circumstances: and in the slowest manner possible——The proof of all its combinations must first be given afresh: it maintains itself.


Sexuality, lust of dominion, the pleasure derived from appearance and deception, great and joyful gratitude to Life and its typical conditions—these things are essential to all paganism, and it has a good conscience on its side.—That which is hostile to Nature (already in Greek antiquity) combats paganism in the form of morality and dialectics.


An anti-metaphysical view of the world—yes, but an artistic one.


Apollo's misapprehension: the eternity of beautiful forms, the aristocratic prescription, "Thus shall it ever be!"

Dionysus. Sensuality and cruelty. The perishable nature of existence might be interpreted as the joy of procreative and destructive force, as unremitting creation.


The word "Dionysian" expresses: a constraint to unity, a soaring above personality, the common-place, society, reality, and above the abyss of the ephemeral, the passionately painful sensation of superabundance, in darker, fuller, and more fluctuating conditions; an ecstatic saying of yea to the collective character of existence, as that which remains the same, and equally mighty and blissful throughout all change, the great pantheistic sympathy with pleasure and pain, which declares even the most terrible and most questionable qualities of existence good, and sanctifies them; the eternal will to procreation, to fruitfulness, and to recurrence; the feeling of unity in regard to the necessity of creating and annihilating.

The word "Apollonian" expresses: the constraint to be absolutely isolated, to the typical "individual," to everything that simplifies, distinguishes, and makes strong, salient, definite, and typical to freedom within the law.

The further development of art is just as necessarily bound up with the antagonism of these two natural art-forces, as the further development of mankind is bound up with the antagonism of the sexes. The plenitude of power and restraint, the highest form of self-affirmation in a cool, noble, and reserved kind of beauty: the Apollonianism of the Hellenic will.

This antagonism of the Dionysian and of the Apollonian in the Greek soul, is one of the great riddles which made me feel drawn to the essence of Hellenism. At bottom, I troubled about nothing save the solution of the question, why precisely Greek Apollonianism should have been forced to grow out of a Dionysian soil: the Dionysian Greek had need of being Apollonian; that is to say in order to break his will to the titanic, to the complex, to the uncertain, to the horrible by a will to measure, to simplicity, and to submission to rule and concept. Extravagance, wildness, and Asiatic tendencies lie at the root of the Greeks. Their courage consists in their struggle with their Asiatic nature: they were not given beauty, any more than they were given Logic and moral! naturalness: in them these things are victories, they are willed and fought for—they constitute the triumph of the Greeks.


It is clear that only the rarest and most lucky cases of humanity can attain to the highest and most sublime human joys in which Life celebrates its own glorification; and this only happens when these rare creatures themselves and their forbears have lived a long preparatory life leading to this goal, without, however, having done so consciously. It is then that an overflowing wealth of multifarious forces and the most agile power of "free will" and lordly command exist together in perfect concord in one man; then the intellect is just as much at ease, or at home, in the senses as the senses are at ease or at home in it; and everything that takes place in the latter must give rise to extraordinarily subtle joys in the former. And vice versâ: just think of this vice versâ for a moment in a man like Hafiz; even Goethe, though to a lesser degree, gives some idea of this process. It is probable that, in such perfect and well-constituted men, the most sensual functions are finally transfigured by a symbolic elatedness of the highest intellectuality; in themselves they feel a kind of deification of the body and are most remote from the ascetic philosophy of the principle "God is a Spirit": from this principle it is clear that the ascetic is the "botched man" who declares only that to be good and "God" which is absolute, and which judges and condemns.

From that height of joy in which man feels himself completely and utterly a deified form and self-justification of nature, down to the joy of healthy peasants and healthy semi-human beasts, the whole of this long and enormous gradation of the light and colour of happiness was called by the Greek—not without that grateful quivering of one who is initiated into secret, not without much caution and pious silence—by the godlike name: Dionysus. What then do all modern men—the children of a crumbling, multifarious, sick and strange age know of the compass of Greek happiness, how could they know anything about it! Whence would the slaves of "modern ideas" derive their right to Dionysian feasts!

When the Greek body and soul were in full "bloom," and not, as it were, in states of morbid exaltation and madness, there arose the secret symbol of the loftiest affirmation and transfiguration of life and the world that has ever existed. There we have a standard beside which everything that has grown since must seem too short, too poor, too narrow: if we but pronounce the word "Dionysus" in the presence of the best of more recent names and things, in the presence of Goethe, for instance, or Beethoven, or Shakespeare, or Raphael, in a trice we realise that our best things and moments are condemned. Dionysus is a judge! Am I understood? There can be no doubt that the Greeks sought to interpret, by means of their Dionysian experiences, the final mysteries of the "destiny of the soul" and everything they knew concerning the education and the purification of man, and above all concerning the absolute hierarchy and inequality of value between man and man. There is the deepest experience of all Greeks, which they conceal beneath great silence,—we do not know the Greeks so long as this hidden and sub-terranean access to them remains obstructed. The indiscreet eyes of scholars will never perceive anything in these things, however much learned energy may still have to be expended in the service of this excavation—; even the noble zeal of such friends of antiquity as Goethe and Winckelmann, seems to savour somewhat of bad form and of arrogance, precisely in this respect. To wait and to prepare oneself; to await the appearance of new sources of knowledge; to prepare oneself in solitude for the sight of new faces and the sound of new voices; to cleanse one's soul ever more and more of the dust and noise, as of a country fair, which is peculiar to this age; to overcome everything Christian by something super-Christian, and not only to rid oneself of it,—for the Christian doctrine is the counter-doctrine to the Dionysian; to rediscover the South in oneself, and to stretch a clear, glittering, and mysterious southern sky above one; to reconquer the southern healthiness and concealed power of the soul, once more for oneself; to increase the compass of one's soul step by step, and to become more supernational, more European, more super-European, more Oriental, and finally more Hellenic—for Hellenism was, as a matter of fact, the first great union and synthesis of everything Oriental, and precisely on that account, the beginning of the European soul, the discovery of our "new world":—he who lives under such imperatives, who knows what he may not encounter some day? Possibly—a new dawn!


The two types; Dionysus and Christ on the Cross. We should ascertain whether the typically religious man is a decadent phenomenon (the great innovators are one and all morbid and epileptic); but do not let us forget to include that type of the religious man who is pagan. Is the pagan cult not a form of gratitude for, and affirmation of, Life? Ought not its most representative type to be an apology and deification of Life? The type of a well-constituted and ecstatically overflowing spirit! The type of a spirit which absorbs the contradictions and problems of existence, and which solves them!

At this point I set up the Dionysus of the Greeks: the religious affirmation of Life, of the whole of Life, not of denied and partial Life (it is typical that in this cult the sexual act awakens ideas of depth, mystery, and reverence).

Dionysus versus "Christ"; here you have the contrast. It is not a difference in regard to the martyrdom,—but the latter has a different meaning. Life itself—Life s eternal fruitfulness and recurrence caused anguish, destruction, and the will to annihilation. In the other case, the suffering of the "Christ as the Innocent One" stands as an objection against Life, it is the formula of Life's condemnation.—Readers will guess that the problem concerns the meaning of suffering; whether a Christian or a tragic meaning be given to it. In the first case it is the road to a holy mode of existence; in the second case existence itself is regarded as sufficiently holy to justify an enormous amount of suffering. The tragic man says yea even to the most excruciating suffering: he is sufficiently strong, rich, and capable of deifying, to be able to do this; the Christian denies even the happy lots on earth: he is weak, poor, and disinherited enough to suffer from life in any form. God on the Cross is a curse upon Life, a signpost directing people to deliver themselves from it;—Dionysus cut into pieces is a promise of Life: it will be for ever born anew, and rise afresh from destruction.
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Re: The Will to Power, An Attempted Transvaluation of all Va

Postby admin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:22 pm



My philosophy reveals the triumphant thought through which all other systems of thought must ultimately perish. It is the great disciplinary thought: those races that cannot bear it are doomed; those which regard it as the greatest blessing are destined to rule.


The greatest of all fights: for this purpose a new weapon is required.

A hammer: a terrible alternative must be created. Europe must be brought face to face with the logic of facts, and confronted with the question whether its will for ruin is really earnest.

General levelling down to mediocrity must be avoided. Rather than this it would be preferable to perish.


A pessimistic attitude of mind and a pessimistic doctrine and ecstatic Nihilism, may in certain circumstances even prove indispensable to the philosopher—that is to say, as a mighty form of pressure, or hammer, with which he can smash up degenerate, perishing races and put them out of existence; with which he can beat a track to a new order of life, or instil a longing for nonentity in those who are degenerate and who desire to perish.


I wish to teach the thought which gives unto many the right to cancel their existences—the great disciplinary thought.


Eternal Recurrence. A prophecy.

1. The exposition of the doctrine and its theoretical first principles and results.

2. The proof of the doctrine.

3. Probable results which will follow from its being believed. (It makes everything break open.)

(a) The means of enduring it.

(b) The means of ignoring it.

4. Its place in history is a means.

The period of greatest danger. The foundation of an oligarchy above peoples and their interests: education directed at establishing a political policy for humanity in general.

A counterpart of Jesuitism.


The two greatest philosophical points of view (both discovered by Germans).

(a) That of becoming and that of evolution.

(b) That based upon the values of existence (but the wretched form of German pessimism must first be overcome!)—

Both points of view reconciled by me in a decisive manner.

Everything becomes and returns for ever, escape is impossible!

Granted that we could appraise the value of existence, what would be the result of it? The thought of recurrence is a principle of selection in the service of power (and barbarity!).

The ripeness of man for this thought.


1. The thought of eternal recurrence: its first principles which must necessarily be true if it were true. What its result is.

2. It is the most oppressive thought: its probable results, provided it be not prevented, that is to say, provided all values be not transvalued.

3. The means of enduring it: the transvaluation of all values. Pleasure no longer to be found in certainty, but in uncertainty; no longer "cause and effect," but continual creativeness; no longer the will to self-preservation, but to power; no longer the modest expression "it is all only subjective," but "it is all our work! let us be proud of it."


In order to endure the thought of recurrence, freedom from morality is necessary; new means against the fact pain (pain regarded as the instrument, as the father of pleasure; there is no accretive consciousness of pain); pleasure derived from all kinds of uncertainty and tentativeness, as a counterpoise to extreme fatalism; suppression of the concept "necessity"; suppression of the "will"; suppression of "absolute knowledge."

Greatest elevation of man's consciousness of strength, as that which creates superman.


The two extremes of thought—the materialistic and the platonic—are reconciled in eternal recurrence: both are regarded as ideals.


If the universe had a goal, that goal would have been reached by now. If any sort of unforeseen final state existed, that state also would have! been reached. If it were capable of any halting or stability of any being, it would only have possessed this capability of becoming stable for one instant in its development; and again becoming would have been at an end for ages, and with it all thinking and all "spirit." The fact of "intellects" being in a state of development proves that the universe can have no goal, no final state, and is incapable of being. But the old habit of thinking of some purpose in regard to all phenomena, and of thinking of a directing and creating deity in regard to the universe, is so powerful, that the thinker has to go to great pains in order to avoid thinking of the very aimlessness of the world as intended. The idea that the universe intentionally evades a goal, and even knows artificial means wherewith it prevents itself from falling into a circular movement, must occur to all those who would fain attribute to the universe the capacity of eternally regenerating itself—that is to say, they would fain impose upon a finite, definite force which is invariable in quantity, like the universe, the miraculous gift of renewing its forms and its conditions for all eternity. Although the universe is no longer a God, it must still be capable of the divine power of creating and transforming; it must forbid itself to relapse into any one of its previous forms; it must not only have the intention, but also the means, of avoiding any sort of repetition, every second of its existence, even, it must control every single one of its movements, with the view of avoiding goals, final states, and repetitions and all the other results of such an unpardonable and insane method of thought and desire. All this is nothing more than the old religious mode of thought and desire, which, in spite of all, longs to believe that in some way or other the universe resembles the old, beloved, infinite, and infinitely-creative God—that in some way or other "the old God still lives"—that longing of Spinoza's which is expressed in the words "deus sive natura" (what he really felt was "natura sive deus"). Which, then, is the proposition and belief in which the decisive change, the present preponderance of the scientific spirit over the religious and god-fancying spirit, is best formulated? Ought it not to be: the universe, as force, must not be thought of as unlimited, because it cannot be thought of in this way,—we forbid ourselves the concept infinite force, because it is incompatible with the idea of force? Whence it follows that the universe lacks the power of eternal renewal.


The principle of the conservation of energy inevitably involves eternal recurrence.


That a state of equilibrium has never been reached, proves that it is impossible, but in infinite space it must have been reached. Likewise in spherical space. The form of space must be the cause of the eternal movement, and ultimately of all imperfection. That "energy" and "stability" and "immutability" are contradictory. The measure of energy (dimensionally) is fixed though it is essentially fluid.

"That which is timeless" must be refuted, any given moment of energy, the absolute conditions for a new distribution of all forces are present, it cannot remain stationary. Change is part of its essence, therefore time is as well; by this means, however, the necessity of change has only been established once more in theory.


A certain emperor always bore the fleeting nature of all things in his mind, in order not to value them too seriously, and to be able to live quietly in their midst. Conversely, everything seems to me much too important for it to be so fleeting, I seek an eternity for everything: ought one to pour the most precious salves and wines into the sea? My consolation is that everything that has been is eternal: the sea will wash it up again.


The new concept of the universe. The universe exists; it is nothing that grows into existence and that passes out of existence. Or, better still, it develops, it passes away, but it never began to develop, and has never ceased from passing away; it maintains itself in both states. It lives on itself, its excrements are its nourishment.

We need not concern ourselves for one instant with the hypothesis of a created world. The concept create is to-day utterly indefinable and unrealisable; it is but a word which hails from superstitious ages, nothing can be explained with a word. The last attempt that was made to conceive of a world that began occurred quite recently, in many cases with the help of logical reasoning,—generally, too, as you will guess, with an ulterior theological motive.

Several attempts have been made lately to show that the concept that "the universe has an infinite past (regressus in infinitum) is contradictory, it was even demonstrated, it is true, at the price of confounding the head with the tail. Nothing can prevent me from calculating backwards from this moment of time, and of saying: "I shall never reach the end"; just as I can calculate without end in a forward direction, from the same moment. It is only when I wish to commit the error—I shall be careful to avoid it—of reconciling this correct concept of a regressus in infinitum with the absolutely unrealisable concept of a finite progressus up to the present; only when I consider the direction (forwards or backwards) as logically indifferent, that I take hold of the head—this very moment—and think I hold the tail: this pleasure I leave to you, Mr. Dühring!...

I have come across this thought in other thinkers before me, and every time I found that it was determined by other ulterior motives (chiefly theological, in favour of a creator spiritus). If the universe were in any way able to congeal, to dry up, to perish; or if it were capable of attaining to a state of equilibrium; or if it had any kind of goal at all which a long lapse of time, immutability, and finality reserved for it (in short, to speak metaphysically, if becoming could resolve itself into being or into nonentity), this state ought already to have been reached.

But it has not been reached: it therefore follows.... This is the only certainty we can grasp, which can serve as a corrective to a host of cosmic hypotheses possible in themselves. If, for instance, materialism cannot consistently escape the conclusion of a finite state, which William Thomson has traced out for it, then materialism is thereby refuted.

If the universe may be conceived as a definite quantity of energy, as a definite number of centres of energy,—and every other concept remains indefinite and therefore useless,—it follows therefrom that the universe must go through a calculable number of combinations in the great game of chance which constitutes its existence. In infinity, at some moment or other, every possible combination must once have been realised; not only this, but it must have been realised an infinite number of times. And inasmuch as between every one of these combinations and its next recurrence every other possible combination would necessarily have been undergone, and since every one of these combinations would determine the whole series in the same order, a circular movement of absolutely identical series is thus demonstrated: the universe is thus shown to be a circular movement which has already repeated itself an infinite number of times, and which plays its game for all eternity.—This conception is not simply materialistic; for if it were this, it would not involve an infinite recurrence of identical cases, but a finite state. Owing to the fact that the universe has not reached this finite state, materialism shows itself to be but an imperfect and provisional hypothesis.


And do ye know what "the universe" is to my mind? Shall I show it to you in my mirror? This universe is a monster of energy, without beginning or end; a fixed and brazen quantity o; energy which grows neither bigger nor smaller, which does not consume itself, but only alters its face; as a whole its bulk is immutable, it is a household without either losses or gains, but likewise without increase and without sources of revenue, surrounded by nonentity as by a frontier, it is nothing vague or wasteful, it does not stretch into infinity; but it is a definite quantum of energy located in limited space, and not in space which would be anywhere empty. It is rather energy everywhere, the play of forces and force-waves, at the same time one and many, agglomerating here and diminishing there, a sea of forces storming and raging in itself, for ever changing, for ever rolling back over in calculable ages to recurrence, with an ebb and flow of its forms, producing the most complicated things out of the most simple structures; producing the most ardent, most savage, and most contradictory things out of the quietest, most rigid, and most frozen material, and then returning from multifariousness to uniformity, from the play of contradictions back into the delight of consonance, saying yea unto itself, even in this homogeneity of its courses and ages; for ever blessing itself as something which recurs for all eternity,—a becoming which knows not satiety, or disgust, or weariness:—this, my Dionysian world of eternal self-creation, of eternal self-destruction, this mysterious world of twofold voluptuousness; this, my "Beyond Good and Evil" without aim, unless there is an aim in the bliss of the circle, without will, unless a ring must by nature keep goodwill to itself,—would you have a name for my world? A solution of all your riddles? Do ye also want a light, ye most concealed, strongest and most undaunted men of the blackest midnight?—This world is the Will to Power—and nothing else! And even ye yourselves are this will to power—and nothing besides!
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