Why I am a Destiny :: Nietzsche


I know my fate. One day there will be associated with my name the recollection of something frightful — of a crisis like no other before on earth, of the profoundest collision of conscience, of a decision evoked against everything that until then had been believed in, demanded, sanctified. I am not a man, I am dynamite. — And with all that there is nothing in me of a founder of a religion — religions are affairs of the rabble, I have need of washing my hands after contact with religious people . . . I do not want ‘believers’, I think I am too malicious to believe in myself, I never speak to masses . . . I have a terrible fear I shall one day be pronounced holy: one will guess why I bring out this book beforehand; it is intended to prevent people from making mischief with me . . . I do not want to be a saint, rather even a buffoon . . . And none the less, or rather not none the less — for there has hitherto been nothing more mendacious than saints — the truth speaks out of me. — But my truth is dreadful: for hitherto the lie has been called the truth. — Revaluation of all values: this is my formula for an act of supreme coming-to-oneself on the part of mankind which in me has become flesh and genius. It is my fate to have to be the first decent human being, to know myself in opposition to the mendaciousness of millennia . . . I was the first to discover the truth, in that I was the first to sense — smell — the lie as lie . . . My genius is in my nostrils . . . I contradict as has never been contradicted and am none the less the opposite of a negative spirit. I am a bringer of good tidings such as there has never been, I know tasks from such a height that any conception of them has hitherto been lacking; only after me is it possible to hope again. With all that I am necessarily a man of fatality. For when truth steps into battle with the lie of millennia we shall have convulsions, an earthquake spasm, a transposition of valley and mountain such as has never been dreamed of . . .


Does  one want a formula for a destiny that has become man. It stands in my Zarathustra.

— and he who wants to be a creator in good and evil has first to be a destroyer and break values.
Thus the greatest evil belongs with the greatest good: this, however, is the creative good.

I am by far the most terrible human being there has ever been; this does not mean I shall not be the most beneficient. I know joy in destruction to a degree corresponding to my strength for destruction — in both I obey my dionysian nature, which does not know how to separate No-doing from Yes-saying. I am the first immoralist: I am therewith the destroyer par excellence. —

[From Ecce Homo, translated by R. J. Hollingdale]

9 thoughts on “Why I am a Destiny :: Nietzsche

  1. Nietzsche was a good man. Speaking of morality, he was among the most moral of mankind. Kaufmann did him an injustice.

    Speaking of destroying. I think we need people to reflect on what we Christians teach. I think most of us are not aware of what we are saying when we refer to God, sin, love, faith, etc. I am basically a poet (a conservative Christian) who loves words. Too often we use connotations rather than denotations, and the result is we talk past each other and do not understand what each other is saying. Nietzsche helps us examine what we say.

    Zarathustra came down from the mountain crying: “God is dead, and the church is his tomb” (my interpretation). What he meant was that we so often speak of God, but in reality we live as atheists, as if God is not involved in our lives. That man had much to teach us Christians.

  2. Deliver me from people who believe they alone possess the truth!
    Nietzche’s truth is not my truth. In fact, I don’t own truth, nor do I wish to.
    I only desire to chase after it , to get as close as possible and let it fly.

    • You have not read Nietzsche, apparently. Even in this short passage, he makes note of that fact that he does not want believers; he just wants to expose the mendacious nature of all truths hitherto his time and let people decide on their own. This theme is something that is carried throughout most of his other works, especially Thus Spoke Zarathustra. If I recall correctly, at the end Zarathustra says something like “I have believers; but what good are all believers?”

  3. Nietzsche was a god in himself and I a god to me, and so it has always been; and any God other than those like these are gods to no one.

  4. Gerald, your ignorance of Nietzsche’s philosophy is shining through. Nietzsche did not view the church as “the tomb of god”, rather, he viewed the entirety of Christianity and monotheism as the greatest scourge to ever befall mankind. If you’re sincerely interested, read one of Nietzsche’s final works, “The Anti-Christian”, and you will understand why you are gravely mistaken in your assessment of his philosophy. I think the simplest way to think of his philosophy is that without god, we must all become gods; that is, masters of ourselves in terms of ethics, engagement on a quest for well-being, and ultimately to dissipate our collective strength to empower and move forward the human race.

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