The Anarchist

There is a perfect likeness between Christian and anarchist: their object, their instinct, points only toward destruction. Those holy anarchists made it a matter of “piety” to destroy “the world,”which is to say, the Imperium Romanum, so that in the end not a stone stood upon another — and even Germans and other such louts were able to become its masters. The Christian and the anarchist: both are decadents; both are incapable of any act that is not disintegrating, poisonous, degenerating, blood-sucking; both have an instinct of mortal hatred of everything that stands up, and is great, and has durability, and promises life a future.

These stealthy worms, which under the cover of night, mist and duplicity, crept upon every individual, sucking him dry of all earnest interest in real things, of all instinct for reality — this cowardly, effeminate and sugar-coated gang gradually alienated all “souls,” step by step, from that colossal edifice, turning against it all the meritorious, manly and noble natures that had found in the cause of Rome their own cause, their own serious purpose, their own pride. The sneakishness of hypocrisy, the secrecy of the conventicle, concepts as black as hell, such as the sacrifice of the innocent, the unio mystica in the drinking of blood, above all, the slowly rekindled fire of revenge, of Chandala revenge — all that sort of thing became master of Rome: the same kind of religion which, in a pre-existent form, Epicurus had combated.

One has but to read Lucretius to know what Epicurus made war upon — not paganism, but “Christianity,” which is to say, the corruption of souls by means of the concepts of guilt, punishment and immortality. He combated the subterranean cults, the whole of latent Christianity — to deny immortality was already a form of genuine salvation. Epicurus had triumphed, and every respectable intellect in Rome was Epicurean — when Paul appeared…

Paul, the Chandala hatred of Rome, of “the world,” in the flesh and inspired by genius — the eternal Jew par excellence. What he saw was how, with the aid of the small sectarian Christian movement that stood apart from Judaism, a “world conflagration” might be kindled; how, with the symbol of “God on the cross,” all secret seditions, all the fruits of anarchistic intrigues in the empire, might be amalgamated into one immense power.

The genius of Paul showed itself. His instinct was here so sure that, with reckless violence to the truth, he put the ideas which lent fascination to every sort of Chandala religion into the mouth of the “Saviour” as his own inventions, and not only into the mouth — he made out of him something that even a priest of Mithras could understand. This was his revelation at Damascus: he grasped the fact that he needed the belief in immortality in order to rob “the world” of its value, that the concept of “hell” would master Rome — that the notion of a “beyond” is the death of life.

Friedrich Nietzsche – The Antichrist

Die Welt ist meine Vorstellung

The world is my idea. This is a truth which holds good for everything that lives and knows, though man alone can bring it into reflective and abstract consciousness. If he really does this, he has attained to philosophical wisdom. It then becomes clear and certain to him that what he knows is not a sun and an earth, but only an eye that sees a sun, a hand that feels an earth; that the world which surrounds him is there only as idea, i.e., only in relation to something else, the consciousness, which is himself.

Arthur Schopenhauer – The World As Will And Idea

Convenience

The world is a construct of our sensations, perceptions, memories. Ita is convenient to regard it as existing objectively on its own. But it certainly does not become manifest by its mere existence. Its becoming manifest is conditional on very special goings-on in very special parts of this very world, namely on certain events that happen in a brain.

Erwin Schrodinger

How to Associate with Men?

Diogenes, washing the dirt from his vegetables, saw Aristippus passing and jeered at him in these terms:

If you had learnt to make these your diet, you would not have paid court to kings.

To which Aristippus’s rejoinder was:

And if you knew how to associate with men, you would not be washing vegetables.


Diogenes was great at pouring scorn on his contemporaries. The school of Euclides he called bilious, and Plato’s lectures waste of time, the performances at the Dionysia great peep-shows for fools, and the demagogues the mob’s lacqueys. Some one took him into a magnificent house and warned him not to expectorate, whereupon having cleared his throat he discharged the phlegm into the man’s face, being unable, he said, to find a meaner receptacle.

Menippus tells how, when he was captured and put up for sale, he was asked what he could do. He replied, “Govern men.” And he told the crier to give notice in case anybody wanted to purchase a master for himself.

Being short of money, he told his friends that he applied to them not for alms, but for repayment of his due. When behaving indecently in the marketplace, he wished

If it were as easy to relieve hunger by rubbing an empty stomach!

Being asked why people give to beggars but not to philosophers, he said, “Because they think they may one day be lame or blind, but never expect that they will turn to philosophy.” To the man who said to him, “You don’t know anything, although you are a philosopher,” he replied:

Even if I am but a pretender to wisdom, that in itself is philosophy.

He would rebuke men in general with regard to their prayers, declaring that they asked for those things which seemed to them to be good, not for such as are truly good. He would often insist loudly that the gods had given to men the means of living easily, but this had been put out of sight, because we require honeyed cakes, unguents and the like.

Accordingly, instead of useless toils men should choose such as nature recommends, whereby they might have lived happily. Yet such is their madness that they choose to be miserable. For even the despising of pleasure is itself most pleasurable, when we are habituated to it; and just as those accustomed to a life of pleasure feel disgust when they pass over to the opposite experience, so those whose training has been of the opposite kind derive more pleasure from despising pleasure than from the pleasures themselves. This was the gist of his conversation; and it was plain that he acted accordingly, and asserting that the manner of life he lived was the same as that of Heracles when he preferred liberty to everything.

He would ridicule good birth and fame and all such distinctions, calling them showy ornaments of vice. The only true commonwealth was, he said, that which is as wide as the universe. He advocated community of wives, recognizing no other marriage than a union of the man who persuades with the woman who consents.

Still he was loved by the Athenians. At all events, when a youngster broke up his tub, they gave the boy a flogging and presented Diogenes with another. Subsequently his fellow-citizens honoured him with bronze statues, on which these verses were inscribed:

Time makes even bronze grow old:
but thy glory, Diogenes, all eternity will never destroy.
Since thou alone didst point out to mortals the lesson
of self-sufficingness and the easiest path of life.

D.Laertius — Lives of Eminent Philosophers

Sentimental Journey

According to ancient Chinese, Indo-Iranian and African beliefs, the house of creator gods, of the Supreme Mystery, was the sky, fathomed as a stone vault. Perhaps this belief goes back to those times, when a man took to decorating caves, to study their insides, when he crawled in the dark rock corridors searching for the mystery of being, an explanation for everything, when watching how a new life grew from the ground, he gave to the ground the lives of the dead – their bodies, when in his mind a vague idea of ​​the afterlife was perceived, because was it possible for life to lead nowhere? To nowhere? – he could not understand that.

Instinct told him that the earth and life had some relationship. What kind of? The answers may be sought in the depths of the caves, the questions put to the heavens, which from time to time send down fire, rain, wind. Is heaven a great vault, similar to the vaults of caves? And if so, then heaven must contain great mysteries, like those that are hidden in the inaccessible interior of the earth.

He was close to finding the future house of gods, whom he must create, to give the foundation of knowledge about the world and about his genre. 35 000 years ago, a man did not know yet how his gods will look like.

Jerzy Cepik – How man made gods

Faith of the Crowd

Crowds are only cognizant of simple and extreme sentiments; the opinions, ideas, and beliefs suggested to them are accepted or rejected as a whole, and considered as absolute truths or as not less absolute errors. This is always the case with beliefs induced by a process of suggestion instead of engendered by reasoning. Every one is aware of the intolerance that accompanies religious beliefs, and of the despotic empire they exercise on men’s minds. Fanaticism is the necessary accompaniment of the religious sentiment. It is inevitably displayed by those who believe themselves in the possession of the secret of earthly or eternal happiness.

Authoritativeness and intolerance are sentiments of which crowds have a very clear notion, which they easily conceive and which they entertain as readily as they put them in practice when once they are imposed upon them. Crowds exhibit a docile respect for force, and are but slightly impressed by kindness, which for them is scarcely other than a form of weakness. Their sympathies have never been bestowed on easy-going masters, but on tyrants who vigorously oppressed them.

A crowd may be guilty of murder, incendiarism, and every kind of crime, but it is also capable of very lofty acts of devotion, sacrifice, and disinterestedness, of acts much loftier indeed than those of which the isolated individual is capable. Appeals to sentiments of glory, honour, and patriotism are particularly likely to influence the individual forming part of a crowd, and often to the extent of obtaining from him the sacrifice of his life. How numerous are the crowds that have heroically faced death for beliefs, ideas, and phrases that they scarcely understood!

Gustave Le Bon – The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind