Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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THE POINT OF HONOUR IN DECEPTION.  In all great deceivers one thing is noteworthy, to which they owe their power.  In the actual act of deception, with all their preparations, the dreadful voice, expression, and mien, in the midst of their effective scenery they are overcome by their belief in themselves; it is this, then, which speaks so wonderfully and persuasively to the spectators.  The founders of religions are distinguished from those great deceivers in that they never awake from their condition of self deception; or at times, but very rarely, they have an enlightened moment when doubt overpowers them; they generally console themselves, however, by ascribing these enlightened moments to the influence of the Evil One.  There must be self deception in order that this and that may produce great effects.  For men believe in the truth of everything that is visibly, strongly believed in.  
 

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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