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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Will to Power
By Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)
 
From ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’: Translation of Thomas Common

ONLY where there is life, is there also will: not, however, Will to Life, but—so teach I thee—Will to Power!  1
  Much is reckoned higher than life itself by the living one; but out of the very reckoning speaketh—the Will to Power!  2
  Thus did Life once teach me: and thereby, ye wisest ones, do I solve you the riddle of your hearts.  3
  Verily, I say unto you: good and evil which would be everlasting—it doth not exist! Of its own accord must it ever surpass itself anew.  4
  With your values and formulas of good and evil, ye exercise power, ye valuing ones: and that is your secret love, and the sparkling, trembling, and overflowing of your souls.  5
  But a stronger power groweth out of your values, and a new surpassing: by it breaketh egg and egg-shell.  6
  And he who hath to be a creator in good and evil—verily, he hath first to be a destroyer, and break values in pieces.  7
  Thus doth the greatest evil pertain to the greatest good: that, however, is the creating good.—  8
  Let us speak thereof, ye wisest ones, even though it be bad. To be silent is worse; all suppressed truths become poisonous.  9
  And let everything break up which can break up by our truths! Many a house is still to be built!—  10
  Thus spake Zarathustra.
*        *        *        *        *
  11
  Whether they be servile before Gods and divine spurnings, or before men and stupid human opinions: at all kinds of slaves doth it spit, this blessed selfishness!  12
  Bad: thus doth it call all that is spirit-broken, and sordidly servile—constrained, blinking eyes, depressed hearts, and the false submissive style, which kisseth with broad cowardly lips.  13
  And spurious wisdom: so doth it call all the wit that slaves, and hoary-headed and weary ones affect; and especially all the cunning, spurious-witted, curious-witted foolishness of priests!  14
  The spurious wise, however, all the priests, the world-weary, and those whose souls are of feminine and servile nature—oh, how hath their game all along abused selfishness!  15
  And precisely that was to be virtue and was to be called virtue—to abuse selfishness! And “selfless”—so did they wish themselves with good reason, all those world-weary cowards and cross-spiders!  16
  But to all those cometh now the day, the change, the sword of judgment, the great noontide: then shall many things be revealed!  17
  And he who proclaimeth the ego wholesome and holy, and selfishness blessed, verily, he, the prognosticator, speaketh also what he knoweth: “Behold, it cometh, it is nigh, the great noontide!”
*        *        *        *        *
  18
  O my brethren! With whom lieth the greatest danger to the whole human future? Is it not with the good and just?—  19
  —As those who say and feel in their hearts: “We already know what is good and just, we possess it also; woe to those who still seek thereafter!”  20
  And whatever harm the wicked may do, the harm of the good is the harmfulest harm!  21
  And whatever harm the world-maligners may do, the harm of the good is the harmfulest harm!  22
  O my brethren, into the hearts of the good and just looked someone once on a time, who said: “They are the Pharisees.” But people did not understand him.  23
  The good and just themselves were not free to understand him; their spirit was imprisoned in their good conscience. The stupidity of the good is unfathomably wise.  24
  It is the truth, however, that the good must be Pharisees—they have no choice!  25
  The good must crucify him who deviseth his own virtue! That is the truth!  26
  The second one, however, who discovered their country—the country, heart and soil of the good and just,—it was he who asked: “Whom do they hate most?”  27
  The creator, hate they most, him who breaketh the tables and old values, the breaker,—him they call the law-breaker.  28
  For the good—they cannot create; they are always the beginning of the end:—  29
  —They crucify him who writeth new values on new tables, they sacrifice unto themselves the future—they crucify the whole human future!  30
  The good—they have always been the beginning of the end.—  31
 
 
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