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Nietzsche - On the Genealogy of Morals - The exploitation of the sense of 'guilt'



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – On the Genealogy of Morals
The chief trick the ascetic priest permitted himself ... was, as everyone knows, the exploitation of the sense of guilt... it was only in the hands of the priest, that artist in guilt feelings, that it achieved form – oh, what a form!
‘Sin’ – for this is the priestly name for the animal’s ‘bad conscience’ … has been the greatest event so far in the history of the sick soul … Man, suffering from himself … thirsting for reasons … receives from the ascetic priest, the first hint as to the ‘cause’ of his suffering; he must seek it in himself, in some guilt, in a piece of the past, he must understand his suffering as a punishment.
For two millennia now we have been condemned to the sight of this new type of invalid – ‘the sinner’ – shall it always be so?
The ascetic priest – he had obviously won, his kingdom had come, one no longer protested against pain, one thirsted for pain.
More pain! more pain!’ the desire of the disciples and initiates has cried for centuries.
Every painful orgy of feeling … the secrets of the torture chamber, the inventiveness of hell itself – all served henceforward to promote the victory of his ideal, the ascetic ideal – ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ – he continued to say, as before.
But did he still have the right to say it?

The source of the experience

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm

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