Monday, August 11, 2008

Being and Becoming

The pre-Socratics nearly universally believed in the unchanging, constancy of the world and its objects. Plato idealized this belief by positing the idea of the 'forms,' or the other-worldly, spiritually perfected versions of the earths objects and ideas. From the other extreme came Heraclitus's position that the world was in a state of continuous flux where objects retained no permanency and no absolutes existed. Nietzsche took a median on this idea, as far as one could possibly be conceptualized.

Nietzsche posited that there were two forces at work here, the Apollonian and the Dionysian, the former referring to the Greek god of order and stability, the latter the god of wine and ecstasy. These forces are constantly at work in an individual, the Apollonian driving the individual to find a 'self' or being, and the Dionysian moving the individual to find newness and to experiment with unknown aspects of oneself.

The Will to Power is essentially the Will to Being. To carve a place in the ever expanding universe for one's being to occupy. Apolliniansm is needed to give ones power physical form in a world of ceaselessly unending change. A creative spirit without this Apollinian ability would be like a Michelangelo without hands.

The force that enables one to create new 'sculptures' is the Dionysian. His power urges one to seek new horizons; the stronger he is in an individual, the more restless he will be. While the Dionysian is the force of creation, it is also the force of destruction. No matter how strong the Apollinian in a man, his image fades and strength decays. Only the creative force can counter the force of decay. Degeneracy triumphs eventually; the only way it is stopped: physical annihilation. Eventually a clean slate for creation is needed.

Consciousnesses is mental Apollianism; unconsciousnesses mental Dionysianism. Carl Jung's Collective Unconscious. Conceptualize the world as a river. Each individual a drop. The river flows as it wills, yet each drop resists this flow. Every individual, as a conscious being, resists the flow of the collective. Most are washed away, some will stick to the bank and watch as the mass goes by, but every now an accumulated resistance manages to the change the whole direction. Perfection exists when a man's Dionysian and Apollinian elements are balanced in such a way as to give maximum 'free will' to both at once. One who's overcoming reaches these heights not only can cause a new flow but decide how the new map will be drawn.

The Creator is the the Destroyer. The Destroyer is the Sculptor. The Sculptor, the Creator.

The Apollinian and Dionysian are to physics Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy. The greater the possibility of one, the greater possible other.

Dionysianism rises. Kinetic Energy without direction. One must take this overwhelmingly powerful force, pause, jump. A new Potential comes into frution, the greatest ever conceived. Or could it really be that the upwards path is not found, and we are driven six feet under?

Sunday, August 3, 2008


When realizing the implications of the Death of God, a thinker who grasps this idea to its fullest extent is overcome by a profound sense of Nihilism, or the idea that one's life and actions are valueless. The reason for this is the arbitrary source of Christian values, the purely contrived God.

With this realization, one becomes aware of the Abyss. This Abyss, which is an often used phrased in Zarathustra, is a metaphor for the truth that at bottom life is devoid of meaning, and all that one does has no discernable point of reference.

Values are constructions, and there are different types of values. Gods are figures that valuers claim to be somehow above this abyss. One can derive one's values from them. Idols are the statues that seem to stretch down into the Abyss, but their is no bottom to this Abyss, so what holds them up? The hands of God! But with the death of God, these idols have no base and collapse. One can no longer defer to these idols as valuations of life.

One then asks how one can find meaning without idols? The answer lies in earthly values. These values come from man, and Nietzsche hopes one day Overman. Nietzsche sees potential in the Death of God, believing that the era has potential to reverse the Slave Rebellion in Morals. The Christian Idols were rooted in life-denying values, and Nietzsche urges man to become a tightrope walker in order to reestablish life-affirming values as the dominant system of valuation. The man who takes this walk faces jeering from crowds and the Joker, the Active Nihilist who seeks to stop the walker out of hatred for those who try to find value. The Ubermensch is the being fit for succeeding in this monstrous task.

An overmanly aspirer must first experience full-fledged Nihilism; yearning for non-entity, the utmost desire for self-annihilation. Without this experience, one does not have deep enough roots for a Revaluation of all values. There are two types of reactions to this feeling, one becomes either a Passive Nihilist or an Active Nihilist, both paths leading ultimately to self-destruction. The realization of absurdity leads one to withdrawal or destruction. The Passive Nihilist represents a being with collapsed spiritual strength and he . He either adopts life-denying values of preservation or commits suicide. The enhanced spiritual strength of the Active Nihilist leads him to destruction of the world around him. He either adopts life-affirming values of preservation, he is killed, or the whole world is destroyed.

The basis of all creation is destruction. Up to now, man has devised all sorts of ways to try to escape Nihilism. As such, we are willing our own suicide. Would you have man return to Ape?
What is now needed is a higher species to bring back faith in man. Many of the herd will resist this creation; the bungled and botched cannot survive a revaluation. Well then...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Camel, Lion, and Baby

Nietzsche conceives of a metaphor for a spirit "that would bear much" weight (TSZ On the Three Metamorphoses). Every individual is a piece of fate, and many believe they know which direction fate should go. The 'great many' make up the herd. There spirits do not wish to carry, they only would like to see their pastures to become more safe, for a sheep needs saftey. Many carry on this task of making the grasses greener; the socialist spirit would ask, "how could one want things differently!? one would have to be insane or--evil!" But nevertheless, such spirits do come along.

The strong spirit demands to carry much, but finds that what it is given to carry is not enough, it demands only the most difficult. This spirit piles on whatever it can, becoming a Camel. This camel bears the weight of his task, but eventually finds his work meaningless and illusory, he finds himself, in a spiritual desert.

This Camel no longer finds meaning in the values subscribed to him; he is a spirit too strong to take on this task, he no longer wishes to bear the weight of values that do not come from his own. The Camel becomes a Lion, the spirit that fights against these false values in order to find his own place, his own freedom. The Lion is the no-saying spirit, but his role is not only to deny, but to make room for new yeas.

This Lion becomes a Child. What is this child? He is a new beginning. This requires first a forgetting of the old, and then, the start of a new game. He is the beginning of a new wheel, his piece the center of a motion that picks up new pieces along its path, creating a new world along its way.

What is this child one may ask? A laborer? An idol? A hero? A devil?
No! But perhaps he is--the latter!
The laborer is the Camel, the idol the Dragon, the hero the Lion. What this child is, is a God!
The Child is not a great carrier, nor a a struggler. He has suprassed toil, a God does not struggle.
The Ubermensch is like a child playing with blocks, placing the pieces where he woud will his creation. And what could be more devilish, to treat others as a piece? But that is the innocence of the Child. His creation will be built with disregard to protest; the child will grow up, and his value bloom as far as the fertile ground his Lion carved out will allow for it.

Who are these men, capable of finding their creative abilities? They are "only the rarest and most lucky" capable of the "most sublime human joys in which Life celebrates its own glorification" (Will to Power 1051). These men do not just appear, they and "their forbears have lived a long preparatory life leading to this goal, without however, having done so consciously." Not everyone is capable of Supermanhood.

It is a mistake to think of this metaphor as a linear path, it, as other aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy such as the Eternal Return, can be conceived of cyclically. A creator finds he can bear ever more weight, fight an even greater fight, and find new "happy isles" for his soil to grow on. How far can this creator go? Well that depends on the soil that he grew on.

I would like to acknowledge Sauwelios for connecting WTP 1051 with the Metamorphoses.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Ubermensch and the Last Man

The two paramount principles of Nietzschean philosophy are the concepts of the Last Man and the Ubermensch. These two concepts are the human-form archetypes of two fundamentally opposing concepts of the meaning of life, the former being that life's purpose is to indulge in pleasures, with no regard to quality, while at the same time eliminating pain. This path leads to degeneracy, and the Last Man is an individual or a collective that partakes in this path of decay and feels perfectly comfortable in doing so, to the point where any opposition to this feeling on the part of another individual makes that individual fit for "the madhouse" (TSZ prelude section 5) .

The Ubermensch sees value in life in the exact opposite, meaning he acts with disregard to "happiness," in the sense of the Last Man's artificial construct of the term, and leads a life of creation and ascension. This type does not seek out any sort of 'perfection' nor a specific 'virtue,' but does act in direct contrast to the degenerating actions of the Last Men by not partaking in a degenerate lifestyle and thereby seeking out 'quality' pleasures.

Although the Ubermensch and Last Man have opposite views on the meaning of life, they are not, thereby, opposite men. The opposite of the Ubermensch or 'Overman' would have to be rendered in the word Untermensch or 'Underman', a term which never is written in Nietzsche's philosophy, but can be rendered with different terms he uses, such as Chandala. This Untermensch is a type who is physiologically unable to take on "Overmanly" characteristics. Because of his physical disadvantage to the type "man," he must do what he can to drag down man, whether is a conscious actor in this process or not.

The Untermensch may make use of a Slave Morality in order to infect humanity and thereby discourage the formulation of an Ubermensch, which, to them, is a devil. This Slave Morality posits that overmanly characteristics are "Evil," while the characteristics of the Untermensch are all "Good." This Slave Morality was created to counter the Overmanly "Master Morality," or the belief that the "Good" are comprised of the beautiful, intelligent, and physically able, while the "Bad" are comprised of the ugly, stupid, and physically handicapped. A "Master Moralist" believes the maintenance of the "Good" is of the utmost importance, even if it comes at the expense of the "Bad."

The Last Man, thereby, is the type "man" who has been infected by the slave morality of the Untermensch. Christianity has been the most successful morality for creating the type Last Man to date, but in recent times has lost influenced and has been replaced by even more subversive ideologies in some places. The highest formulation of the archetype Ubermensch is the man who pulls mankind out of its collective Last-Man-like tendencies and inspires a Renaissance of Overmanly individuals, thereby creating a new mankind.