Introducing the Twilight of the Idols by Friedrich Nietzsche
The Book of the Idols is the last work of Friedrich Nietzsche, which contains a kind of summary of all his philosophies. Dariush Ashouri – the translator of the book – gives a detailed explanation about this work in the introduction, which we also refer to a corner of it.
Assyrian writes: The draft of this book was written by Nietzsche in seven or eight days between August 26 and September 3, 1888, in his summer residence, the village of Zilis Maria in the Oberngadine region of Switzerland. The sunset of idols is the product of the last year of Nietzsche’s hard-working life.
This was the last work by Nietzsche himself, but by the time it was published in January 1889, he had gone mad and was unaware of his work. Nietzsche wanted the book The Sunset of the Idols to be a concise and concise introduction to his philosophy, and in this respect it is rightly a summary of all his fundamental philosophical views.
In this book, Nietzsche strikes with a very concise but agile language his unbreakable ax on all the old and new idols, classical and modern, and on all the metaphysical foundations of the legacy of Plato and Socrates and Greece in general, up to its modern reconstructions in particular. Kant attacks.
His goal is to remove the mask from the face of all the ill-conceived prejudices that the community of philosophers and non-philosophers have believed in and worshiped as truths for millennia. It is a difficult revolutionary method, because its goal is to empty the highest values and to elevate them from their high historical position.
In another part of the book’s introduction, the name of the book is as follows:
The name Sunset of the Idols is a mockery of Wagner’s “Sunset of the Gods” and is a beautiful and meaningful name for such a book.
As we have briefly read part of the book’s introduction by its translator, Darius the Assyrian, The Sunset of the Idols is an idol that Nietzsche places on all ancient values. And on the soils of this ruin, he builds the new building he wants. In fact, Nietzsche’s work in the last book can be called “philosophizing with a hammer.”
Nietzsche himself said the following about this book:
In this book, which is not even one hundred and fifty pages long, he laughs devilishly with that happy tone and the fate of compromise – this product of so few days, which I do not want to say how many days, is a book that stays together, which is richer than that. There is no book more upright than it, lower and rougher than it, and more evil than it.
Anyone who wants to have a light-hearted understanding of how everything has turned upside down before me has to start with this book. What the title of this book calls an idol is exactly what has so far been called truth. Sunset of idols – in simple terms, the end of the work of ancient truth.
Here all the old values that were called truth fall into the hands of Nietzsche. Nietzsche summarizes all his concepts and ideas here. Maybe that’s why he claims and says:
My ambition is to say in ten sentences what someone else says in a book – what no one says in a book!
In this book, he strikes and attacks all the philosophical attitudes and ideas of the people from whom the idol is made, with a hammer called a pen. From the Greeks and Socrates and Plato to Kant and Schopenhauer, everyone is being sharply criticized.
The book of the Twilight of the Idols
Friedrich Nietzsche considers this book a kind of declaration of war. In order to break the idols, the sound of a new building can be heard from the hollow inside them. That the time of sunset of idols and the rise of new gods is in our own hands.
But his mission is not only to attack ideas, but also to attack any other type of idol that has been made and accepted by society as truth. Christianity, religion, metaphysics, marriage, freedom, art, the German spirit, politics, anarchism and so on.
He destroys all these values. Because, according to Nietzsche himself, something can only be re-evaluated when all previous values have collapsed. In fact, to build, you must first destroy. And that’s all that Nietzsche has done so beautifully in this book: “Destruction. “And rebuilding self-made values on these embankments.”
The book titles are:
Tips and tricks
The issue of Socrates
“Reason” in philosophy
How the “real world” myth worked
Ethics as anti-nature
Four big mistakes
The “healer” of humanity
What the Germans are losing
Untimely male scrolls
What I owe to the ancients
In each of these chapters, Nietzsche addresses a subject and critiques it. It is not possible to talk about all these chapters here, but it would be useful for some who are interested to know a little about what Nietzsche is trying to convey in this book.
In the first part of the book, Nietzsche attacks Socrates. He believes that Socrates deceived everyone to fascinate himself, just because he was a celebrity and forced people to listen to him by deceiving people and making baseless arguments, if he was nothing more than a sick man by nature and This is why the ugly face of Socrates.
He had all the whims and desires, while claiming to overcome them. Something that is not possible from Nietzsche’s point of view is a pure lie.
Indeed, Socrates and the Greek philosophers after him believed that reason is virtue and virtue brings happiness. Instincts must be avoided in order to achieve rationality and happiness. If Nietzsche believes that this rationality is a mere disease and man must, in the most natural way possible, follow his own instinct and nature.
In the fourth chapter, Nietzsche deals with the real world and the world. In his view, philosophers do not accept “becoming” at all, and their insistence is on the dominance of “being” over “becoming.”
Plato believes that everything in existence is an example of itself in the real world. Just like reality and shadow. There is a real thing that is the essence of everything and we do not see it, and the only thing we see is a shadow of that reality in the world of manifestation. These concepts can change constantly, and because of this change, they are included in the world. According to Plato, this world has no value, and the original and valuable world is the ideal world that is intangible to our perception.
Here Nietzsche insists on the value of the world. According to him, the only thing that is true is this world. This is the world that is tangible to us now and we have a role to play in building it. Plato’s imaginary world is nothing but a great illusion for Nietzsche.
In the section “On the Psychology of Artists”, Nietzsche says that creating art is the most basic thing that is needed is intoxication, and art without intoxication is not considered art at all.
This intoxication can come from anything, from sexual passion, from winning a race, spring weather, intoxication of the will, and so on. These all create a kind of driving force for art and idealization. And here idealizing does not mean shaving and shaping something. It means cutting the main faces. It means the same as destroying. This destruction gives all the faces another face, a face that can reflect its own strength and power.
Among them are those who, in Nietzsche’s view, are anti-artists. That is, those who rise up against art and drink all the juice of art. Nietzsche considers Christianity to be in this category. So he believes that naturally there is no Christian artist.
In part of the chapter “What the Germans Lose”, Nietzsche criticizes the method of education. He believes that education is not applied in the sense it should be. The mission of education is for man to learn to see and think and then to make his own way, but in this system of education, it is as if they want to rush people to classes with irrational and unreasonable haste. They go higher, and before they can even realize their passion for creating what they love, they inadvertently enter the dry system of tasks and jobs.
In this regard, in a part of the book, we read:
The whole higher education system in Germany has lost the most basic thing, the goal, as well as the means to an end. They have forgotten that the goal is education, and that education – not the Reich – which requires an educator – not a high school teacher and a university student. The need for educated people to educate themselves, to have noble souls who can taste the sweet taste of cooked culture with every opening and closing of their lips – not the lazy and educated legs that high schools and universities use as a trained midwife in front of young people today. . (The Book of the Idols by Friedrich Nietzsche – Page 92)
It may be interesting to note that Nietzsche even criticizes Darwin in this book. Nietzsche believes that every battle in life is motivated by power. But the strongest do not always win.
He says that Darwin had forgotten an important issue in his theory called “intelligence.” These days no kind of perfection is achieved and the incapable overpower the able. Because they are much more and very shrewd. To win, you have to be smart, and to be smart, you have to “need” to be smart! The powerful pass on intelligence and intelligence because they think they do not need it. And this is where the many helpless win. Here we mean shrewdness, patience and cunning, and especially adapting to changes and circumstances.
A little more about Friedrich Nietzsche
What most emerges from Nietzsche’s thoughts in each chapter of The Sunset of the Idols is that Nietzsche opposes the suppression of human instincts in any way. In this book, Nietzsche goes to war against many beliefs, concepts, and ethics, and in all of them one can find traces of the suppression of instinct. Especially in the chapter “Anti-Nature Ethics” we see more of this issue.
In fact, Nietzsche believes that he destroyed the base of human morality and removed it from its nature and principle. Christianity claims to have improved man. But behind this word is improvement, disability and weakening.
It is as if they had tamed him and taken his powers. Like an animal whose savage temperament cannot be taken away from him, and if we do so, we will in fact consider the animal sick. He believes that so is man. And suppressing his instincts in the name of morality is not improving.
Rather, it is to weaken and incapacitate him. In fact, Christianity, in the name of morality, is committing the most immoral act, and this act is the removal of man from his own nature.
Christianity needed to make man a sinner, so that he would be weak and in need of such a religion! And also the needy God who feels responsible for it. Even Nietzsche considers freedom to be a reason and justification for sinning. That is, man is actually given freedom, but for what purpose? In order for man to make a mistake, and to be able to judge him and name him a sinner.
In this part of the book Twilight of the Idols, we read:
There is nothing to judge, to measure, to measure, to condemn our existence. Because it means judging the whole and measuring and measuring and condemning it. While nothing is out of the question! – That no one can be held responsible again.
That no creature can be traced back and forth until it reaches a prime cause. That the world, whether spiritual or spiritual, is not one unity: this is the great and sufficient emancipation – this is to return the innocence of the world to it. The concept of God has been the greatest opposition to existence to date. It is by denying God, by denying responsibility to God, that we save the world. (The Book of the Idols by Friedrich Nietzsche – Page 77)
There are many topics in Twilight of the Idols, but some of them were more important to me. Concepts that Nietzsche has a strange pressure on their transmission:
That human passion should not be eradicated, because in the meantime, life is destroyed – that the peace of the soul is nothing more than a misunderstanding – that morality is nothing but destruction to cover up human instincts and power, and that morality is against nature. Is human
– who have always wanted to heal the human soul in the name of religion and morality and God, but under this word of healing, there is a tame and weakened human being, just like free-tempered animals, who inadvertently become tame and obedient. In fact, it destroyed and weakened human religion, but it was thought to have improved it.
At the heart of such moralizing man is itself the most immoral thing – that this man has become weak and soft, not a sign of backwardness – that it is a sign of the decline of vitality – that progress may be man’s return to his wild and free nature – which is needed. Power empowers man – that the criminal has become the stronger sick man – that every isthmus seeking equality is, in essence, a proof of the weakness of the many – that it is better to die proudly, when one cannot live proudly – which is the most beautiful Rebellion is that while shouting “no”, we turn a deaf ear to life with a “yes” to life, as he puts it in his book on power-oriented will: increases.”
As Nietzsche puts it at the end of this book, and perhaps as a gesture of all that he has said so far:
Why so soft? Brothers. Why such laxity and surrender? If your hardship will not win, how can you create? The creators are all hard. My brothers, I bring this new tablet to you. Be hard!
In general, it can be said that this book gives a brief and good summary of Nietzsche’s philosophy. Nietzschean reading does not need to be in sequence. But surely the audience, with a background and prior knowledge of the history of philosophy and the thoughts of earlier philosophers, can more easily grasp and understand Nietzsche’s meaning of the ironies that pervade every view. However, Dariush Ashouri, along with his very good translation, has provided good information to the audience.
Sentences from the book Twilight of the Idols
“To live alone, it must be either an animal or God.” This is Aristotle’s statement, and he has omitted the third: both must be, that is, the philosopher. (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 21)
From Life War College lessons.
What does not overwhelm me makes me stronger. (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 22)
If a person has an answer for the reason of his life, he will make it more or less in any way. (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 23)
In search? Do you want to increase yourself tenfold and a hundredfold? Looking for followers? So look for zeros! (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 24)
One who can not put his will into things still puts at least meaning into them. That is, he believes that there is a will in them right now. (Foundation of Faith) (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 25)
Hatred of lies and hypocrisy can be both out of a sense of honor and out of fear: because God has said that a lie should not be told: such a person is more afraid than to lie. (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 29)
The brightest light of day, rationality at all costs, the cold, cold, life of the propagandist, the conscious, the life without instinct, the life of instinct itself has been nothing but a disease; Other diseases – and never a way to return to virtue, to health, to happiness. That you have to fight instincts is a prescription that destroys: on the contrary, as long as life boasts, happiness equals instinct. (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 42)
Myth-making about a world other than this world makes no sense unless we have a strong instinct to slander life, to despise life, and to doubt life: that if we do, we have a better life by imagining another life. In fact, we take revenge on this life. (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 50)
The anti-moral nature, that is, more or less any morality which has so far been instructive, revered, and admonished, on the contrary, stands directly in the face of vital instincts, and sometimes secretly and sometimes loudly and brazenly condemns these instincts; And when he says, “God looks in the heart.” He says no to the lowest and highest desires of life and makes God the enemy of life. A saint who is pleased with God is an ideal castration. Where the kingdom of God begins, life ends. (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 60)
Twilight of the Idols, it can be said that all the means by which humanity was built to become moral were fundamentally immoral. (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 84)
Painful, he considers the nectar of revenge as a cure for his pain. (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 132)
Physiological death must be put in place, that is, its true form, the so-called natural death, which in the end is nothing but abnormal death, but suicide.
Man is not destroyed by another hand, but by his own hand. But this is the death of the most reprehensible situation, the unintentional, untimely death, the death of the cowards. Out of love for life – death must be asked in another way: willingly, knowingly, not suddenly, not aggressively.
And finally, a reminder for the pessimistic gentlemen and other tyrants: No one’s birth is in his hands, but this mistake, which is sometimes really a mistake, can be compensated. Reducing one’s evil is the best thing that can be done, and by doing so one can more or less deserve to live. (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 135)
Dostoevsky, the only psychologist I have ever learned anything from. Meeting him was the great happiness of my life, even greater than the discovery of Stendhal. (Book of Sunset of Idols – Page 152)
2- Introducing the book Twilight of the Idols in Aparat