The world's most misunderstood philosopher
15th September 2011
The 'kingdom of Heaven' is a condition of the heart — not something that comes 'upon the Earth' or 'after death'. [. . .] The kingdom of God is not something one waits for; it has no yesterday or tomorrow, it does not come 'in a thousand years' — it is an experience within a heart; it is everywhere, it is nowhere . . . —&hnbsp; Nietzsche, 1888
for Jon Carter
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (nee-chee) (1844-1900) is the most vilified philosopher of all time. Why? Because he reduced the holy dogma of the faithful into a puddle of pitiful drool, and has suffered their slanders ever since.
Nietzsche packs a punch that is too tough for most Christians to deal with honestly.
Best known for such controversial assertions as 'God is Dead', 'the Oversoul' and 'the Will to Power', Nietzsche's razor sharp perceptions make clear the unhealthy aspects of a fabricated belief system that has enslaved the world with its diseases of pity, guilt and revenge.
"Have I been understood?" Nietzsche asked late in his life. "What defines me, what sets me apart from all the rest of mankind, is that I have unmasked Christian morality."
Nietzsche's real beef? "It is the lack of nature, it is the utterly ghastly fact that anti-nature itself has received the highest honors as morality, and has hung over mankind as law, as categorical imperative!"
"That contempt has been taught for the primary instincts of life; that a 'soul', a 'spirit' has been lyingly invented in order to destroy the body; that one teaches that there is something unclean in the precondition of life, sexuality [. . .] denies the very foundations of life."
"The unmasking of Christian morality is an event without equal, a real catastrophe [. . .] He who unmasks morality has therewith unmasked the valuelessness of all values which are or have been believed in [. . .]
• The concept 'the Beyond', 'real world' invented so as to deprive of value the only world which exists . . .
• The concept 'soul', 'spirit', finally even 'immortal soul', invented so as to despise the body, so as to make it sick — 'holy' — so as to bring to all the things in life life which deserve serious attention — the questions of nutriment, residence, cleanliness, weather — (it makes them all a) horrifying frivolity! Instead of health (you get) 'salvation of the soul' . . .
• The concept of 'sin' invented together with the instrument of torture that goes with it.
• The concept of 'free will', so as to confuse the instincts, so as to make mistrust of the instincts . . . second nature . . . no longer being able to discover where one's advantage lies, self destruction made the sign of value in general, made 'duty', 'holiness', the 'divine' in man.
And all this was believed as morality." Nietzsche cringes.
A scholastic prodigy who was named full professor of philology at the University of Basel at age 23, Nietzsche "suspected that human intellect and its spiritual products — culture, morality, religion — are ultimately governed by biological imperatives. Religious beliefs, far from forming a true picture of some higher world, are self-deceptions that feed on visceral fears and cravings. God, truth, free will — the very foundations of our self-assessment as higher creatures — are fictions," according to biographer Philip Novak.
Between 1876 and 1888, Nietzsche wrote a dozen books, few of which were read by the general public. In the intervening years, however, titles such as "Thus Spake Zarathustra", "On the Genealogy of Morals", "Twilight of the Idols", and "The Anti-Christ" have become mandatory reading for philosophy students all over the world.
His utter demolition of Christianity is best left to his own words.
To call the taming of an animal its 'improvement' is in our ears almost a joke. Whoever knows what goes on in zoos is doubtful whether the beasts in them are 'improved'. They are weakened, they are made less harmful, they become sicklybeasts through the depressive emotion of fear, through pain, through injuries, through hunger. It is no different with the tamed human being whom the priest has 'improved'. In the early Middle Ages, when the church was in fact above all a zoo, one . . . improved, for example, the noble Teutons. But what did such a Teuton afterwards look like when he had been 'improved' and led into a monastery? Like a caricature of a human being, like an abortion: he had become a sinner; he was in a cage; one had imprisoned him behind nothing but sheer terrifying concepts . . . . There he lay now, sick, miserable, filled with ill-will towards himself, full of hatred for the impulses toward life, full of suspicion of all that was still strong and happy. In short, [he was] a Christian [. . .]
— Twilight of the Idols 2
[ . . .] I call an animal, a species or an individual depraved when it loses its instincts, when it chooses, when it prefers, what is harmful to it. A history of the 'higher feelings', of the 'ideals of mankind' [. . .] would almost also constitute an explanation of why man is so depraved. I consider life itself instinct for growth, for continuance, for accumulation of forces, for power: where the will to power is lacking, there is decline. My assertion is that this will is lacking in all the supreme values of mankind — that values of decline, nihilistic values, hold sway under the holiest names.
— The Anti-Christ 6
I do not want to be confused with these preachers of equality, nor taken for one of them. For justice says to me: 'men are not equal.'
— Thus Spake Zarathustra II Of the Tarantulas
In reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the cross.
— The Anti-Christ 39
'Who killed him? who was his natural enemy? — this question came like a flash of lightning. Answer: ruling Judaism, it's upper class.
— The Anti-Christ 40
The subtlest artifice which Christianity has over the other religions is a word: it spoke of love. [. . .] There is in the word love something so ambiguous and suggestive, something which speaks to the memory and to future hope, that even the meanest intelligence and the coldest heart still feels something of the luster of this word. The shrewdest woman and the commonest man think when they hear it of the relatively least selfish moments of their whole life, even if Eros has only paid them a passing visit; and those countless numbers who never experience love [. . . ] have made their find in Christianity.
— Assorted opinions and maxims 95
The Christian conception of God [. . .] is one of the most corrupt conceptions of God arrived at on earth [ . . .] God degenerated to the contradiction of life, instead of being its transfiguration and eternal Yes! In God a declaration of hostility towards life, nature, and the will to life! God the formula for every calumny of 'this world,' for every lie about 'the next world'. In God nothingness deified, the will to nothingness sanctified!
— The Anti-Christ 18
. . . we find that which has been reverenced as God not 'godlike' but pitiable, absurd, harmful, not merely an error but a crime against life.
— The Anti-Christ 47
I condemn Christianity, I bring against the Christian Church the most terrible charge any prosecutor has ever uttered. To me it is the extremest thinkable form of corruption [. . .] The Christian Church has left nothing untouched by its depravity, it has made of every value a disvalue, of every truth a lie, of every kind of integrity a vileness of soul. People still dare talk to me of its 'humanitarian' blessings! [. . .] These are the blessings of Christianity! Parasitism as the sole practice of the church . . . of 'holiness' draining away all blood, all love, all hope for life; the Beyond as the will to deny reality of every kind; the Cross as a badge of recognition for the most subterranean conspiracy there has ever been — a conspiracy against health, beauty, well-constitutedness, bravery, intellect, benevolence of soul, against life itself . . .
Wherever there are walls I shall inscribe this eternal accusation against Christianity upon them — I can write in letters which make even the blind see . . . call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct for revenge for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, petty — I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind . . .
— The Anti-Christ 62
And one more.
As long as men have existed, man has enjoyed himself too little; that alone, my brothers, is our original sin!
— Thus Spake Zarathustra II Of the Compassionate
Nietzsche more or less retired from public life in 1888 and lived in seclusion first with his sister and then with his mother until his death. Rumors said he went insane from syphilis, but it would be fair to say, given his penetrating perceptions, that the world around him went insane and he just gave up and went home.
Now . . . if you think crabby old Fred was tough on Christians, you should hear what he had to say about Jews, the slave rebellion, the inversion of values and all that; it was much worse . . . but that's a story for another time.
The aforementioned Nietzsche quotes were extracted from "The Vision of Nietzsche," introduced and edited by Philip Novak, Vega Books Spirit of Philosophy Series: London 2001 which begins with this quote from Meister Eckhart:
"Man's last and highest parting is when, for God's sake, he takes leave of God."