Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil 2

“Wherever the religious neurosis has appeared on the earth so far, we find it connected with three dangerous prescriptions as to regimen: solitude, fasting, and sexual abstinence.”

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

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

“The distance, and as it were the space around man, grows with the strength of his intellectual vision and insight: his world becomes profounder; new stars, new enigmas, and notions are ever coming into view.”

“To love mankind for God’s sake—this has so far been the noblest and remotest sentiment to which mankind has attained.”

“…Religion itself may be used as a means for obtaining peace from the noise and trouble of managing grosser affairs, and for securing immunity from the unavoidable filth of all political agitation.”

“There is perhaps nothing so admirable in Christianity and Buddhism as their art of teaching even the lowest to elevate themselves by piety to a seemingly higher order of things, and thereby to retain their satisfaction with the actual world in which they find it difficult enough to live—this very difficulty being necessary.”

“—the cost is always excessive and terrible when religions do not operate as an educational and disciplinary medium in the hands of the philosopher, but rule voluntarily and paramountly, when they wish to be the final end…”

“What, then, is the attitude of the two greatest religions above-mentioned to the surplus of failures in life? They endeavor to preserve and keep alive whatever can be preserved; in fact, as the religions for sufferers, they take the part of these upon principle; they are always in favor of those who suffer from life as from a disease, and they would fain treat every other experience of life as false and impossible.”

“…Such men, with their “equality before God,” have hitherto swayed the destiny of Europe; until at last a dwarfed, almost ludicrous species has been produced, a gregarious animal, something obliging, sickly, mediocre, the European of the present day.”

“The charm of knowledge would be small, were it not so much shame has to be overcome on the way to it.”

““I did that,” says my memory. “I could not have done that,” says my pride, and remains inexorable. Eventually—the memory yields.”

“He who despises himself, nevertheless esteems himself thereby, as a despiser.”

“It is terrible to die of thirst at sea. Is it necessary that you should so salt your truth that it will no longer—quench thirst?”

“Woman learns how to hate in proportion as she—forgets how to charm.”

“One begins to distrust very clever persons when they become embarrassed.”

“Heavy, melancholy men turn lighter, and come temporarily to their surface, precisely by that which makes others heavy—by hatred and love.”

“What? A great man? I always see merely the play-actor of his own ideal.”

“The great epochs of our life are at the points when we gain courage to rebaptize our badness as the best in us.”

“A nation is a detour of nature to arrive at six or seven great men.—Yes, and then to get round them.”

“In revenge and in love woman is more barbarous than man.”

“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”

“Where there is the tree of knowledge, there is always Paradise”: so say the most ancient and the most modern serpents.”

“What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.”

“Insanity in individuals is something rare—but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”

“One loves ultimately one’s desires, not the thing desired.”

More to come…

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