And uncertainty? Even ignorance? The problem of the value of truth stepped up before us — or were we the ones who stepped up before the problem? Who among us here is Oedipus? Who is the Sphinx? And could one believe that we are finally the ones to whom it seems as if the problem has never been posed up to now, as if we were the first ones to see it, to fix our eyes on it, and to dare confront it? For there is a risk involved in this — perhaps there is no greater risk. For example, truth out of error? Or the will to truth out of the will to deception?
Or selfless action out of self-seeking? Or the pure sunny look of the wise man out of greed? Origins like these are impossible. Anyone who dreams about them is a fool, in fact, something worse. Things of the highest value must have another origin peculiar to them. They cannot be derived from this ephemeral, seductive, deceptive, trivial world, from this confusion of madness and desire! This way of establishing value stands behind all their logical procedures. For all the value which the true, genuine, unselfish man may be entitled to, it might be possible that a higher and more fundamental value for everything in life must be ascribed to appearance, the will for deception, self-interest, and desire.
It might even be possible that whatever creates the value of those fine and respected things exists in such a way that it is, in some duplicitous way, related to, tied to, intertwined with, perhaps even essentially the same as those undesirable, apparently contrasting things. For that we must really await the arrival of a new style of philosopher, the kind who has some different taste and inclination, the reverse of philosophers so far, in every sense, philosophers of the dangerous Perhaps.
- Staring into the Abyss: An Introduction to Philosophical Base Jumping • The Horizon of Reason.
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And speaking in all seriousness, I see such new philosophers arriving on the scene. After examining philosophers between the lines with a sharp eye for a sufficient length of time, I tell myself the following: we must consider even the greatest part of conscious thinking among the instinctual activities.
The question is the extent to which it makes demands on life, sustains life, maintains the species, perhaps even creates species. And as a matter of principle we are ready to assert that the falsest judgments to which a priori synthetic judgments belong are the most indispensable to us, that without our allowing logical fictions to count, without a way of measuring reality against the purely invented world of the unconditional and self-identical, without a constant falsification of the world through numbers, human beings could not live — that if we managed to give up false judgments, it would amount to a renunciation of life, a denial of life.
A philosophy which dares to do that is for this reason alone already standing beyond good and evil. They are all advocates who do not want to call themselves that. Gradually I came to learn what every great philosophy has been up to now, namely, the self-confession of its originator and a form of unintentional and unrecorded memoir, and also that the moral or immoral intentions in every philosophy made up the essential living seed from which on every occasion the entire plant has grown.
But whoever explores the basic drives of human beings, in order to see in this very place how far they may have carried their game as inspiring geniuses or demons and goblins , will find that all drives have already practised philosophy at some time or another — and that every single one of them has all too gladly liked to present itself as the ultimate purpose of existence and the legitimate master of all the other drives.
For every drive seeks mastery and, as such , tries to practise philosophy. And his morality, in particular, bears a decisive and crucial witness to who he is — that is, to the rank ordering in which the innermost drives of his nature are placed relative to each other. How malicious philosophers can be!
I know nothing more poisonous than the joke which Epicurus permitted himself against Plato and the Platonists: he called them Dionysiokolakes. And that last part is the real maliciousness which Epicurus hurled against Plato: the magnificent manners which Plato, along with his pupils, understood, the way they stole the limelight — things Epicurus did not understand!
O you noble Stoics, what a verbal swindle! Imagine a being like nature — extravagant without limit, indifferent without limit, without purposes and consideration, without pity and justice, simultaneously fruitful, desolate, and unknown — imagine this indifference itself as a power — how could you live in accordance with this indifference? Why make a principle out of what you yourselves are and must be? The truth of the matter is quite different: while you pretend to be in raptures as you read the canon of your law out of nature, you want something which is the reverse of this, you weird actors and self-deceivers!
Your pride wants to prescribe to and incorporate into nature, this very nature, your morality, your ideal. Is the Stoic then not a part of nature? But this is an ancient eternal story: what happened then with the Stoics is still happening today, as soon as a philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates a world in its own image. It cannot do anything different. There may even be Puritan fanatics of conscience who still prefer to lie down and die on a certain nothing than on an uncertain something.
But this is nihilism and the indication of a puzzled, deathly tired soul, no matter how brave the gestures of such virtue may look. But among stronger thinkers, more full of life, still thirsty for life, it appears to be something different. It strikes me that nowadays people everywhere are trying to direct their gaze away from the real influence which Kant exercised on German philosophy, that is, cleverly to slip away from the value which he ascribed to himself.
Above everything else, Kant was first and foremost proud of his table of categories. He was proud of the fact that he had discovered a new faculty in human beings, the ability to make synthetic judgments a priori. Suppose that he deceived himself here. And what did his answer essentially amount to? However, unfortunately he did not answer in three words, but so labouriously, venerably, and with such an expenditure of German profundity and flourishes that people failed to hear the comical niaiserie allemande [German stupidity] inherent in such an answer.
Enough — people grew older — the dream flew away. There came a time when people rubbed their foreheads. People are still rubbing them today. They had dreamed: first and foremost — the old Kant. But is that an answer? An explanation? Or is it not rather a repetition of the question?
How does opium make people sleep? In our mouths they are nothing but false judgments. So far as the materialistic atomism is concerned, it belongs with the most effectively refuted things we have, and perhaps nowadays in Europe no scholar remains so unscholarly that he still ascribes a serious meaning to it other than for convenient hand-and-household use that is, as an abbreviated way of expressing oneself — thanks primarily to that Pole Boscovich, who, together with the Pole Copernicus, has so far been the greatest and most victorious opponent of appearances.
It was the greatest triumph over the senses which has ever been achieved on earth so far. With this phrase let me be permitted to designate the belief which assumes that the soul is something indestructible, eternal, indivisible — like a monad, like an atomon. We should rid scientific knowledge of this belief! While the new psychologist is preparing an end to superstition, which so far has flourished with an almost tropical lushness in the way the soul has been imagined, at the same time he has naturally pushed himself, as it were, into a new desert and a new mistrust — it may be the case that the older psychologists had a more comfortable and happier time —; finally, however, he knows that in that very process he himself is condemned also to invent , and — who knows?
Physiologists should think carefully about setting up the drive to preserve the self as the cardinal drive in an organic being. Above everything else, something living wants to release its power — living itself is will to power. Self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent consequences of that. In short, here as everywhere, beware of extraneous teleological principles! Nowadays in perhaps five or six heads the idea is dawning that even physics is only an interpretation and explication of the world for our benefit, if I may be permitted to say so and not an explanation of the world.
But to the extent it rests upon a faith in the senses, it counts for more and must continue to count for more for a long time yet, that is, as an explanation. Physics has eyes and fingers on its side; it has appearance and tangibility on its side. That works magically on an age with basically plebeian taste — persuasively and convincingly — indeed, it follows instinctively the canon of truth of eternally popular sensuality.
Only whatever lets itself be seen and felt — every problem has to be pushed that far. By contrast, the reluctance to accept obvious evidence of the senses constituted the magic of the Platonic way of thinking, which was a noble way of thinking — perhaps among human beings who enjoyed even stronger and more discriminating senses than our contemporaries have, but who knew how to experience a higher triumph in remaining master of these senses and to do this by means of the pale, cool, gray, conceptual nets which they threw over the colourful confusion of sense, the rabble of the senses, as Plato called them.
In order to carry on physiology in good conscience, people must hold to the principle that the sense organs are not phenomena in the sense of idealistic philosophy: as such they could not, in fact, be causes!
The Surface and the Abyss: Nietzsche as Philosopher of Mind and Knowledge by Peter Bornedal
And so sensualism at least as a regulative hypothesis, if not as a heuristic principle. And other people even say that the outer world might be the work of our organs? But then our bodies, as a part of this outer world, would, in fact, be the work of our organs! But then our organs themselves would, in fact, be — the work of our organs. It seems to me that this is a fundamental reductio ad absurdum [absurd conclusion] provided that the idea of causa sui [something being its own cause] is fundamentally absurd.
Consequently, is the exterior world not the work of our organs —?
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Let folk believe that knowing is knowing all of something. Why do I believe in cause and effect? To every activity belongs someone who does the action, therefore —. Philosophers habitually speak of the will as if it was the best-known thing in the world. Indeed, Schopenhauer let it be known that the will is the only thing really known to us, totally known, understood without anything taken away or added.
Willing seems to me, above all, something complicated , something which is unified only in the word — and popular opinion simply inheres in this one word, which has overmastered the always inadequate caution of philosophers. Thirdly, the will is not only a complex of feeling and thinking but, above all, an affect , and, indeed, an affect of the commander. A man who wills — gives orders to something in himself which obeys or which he thinks obeys.
Because in the vast majority of cases a person only wills something where he may expect his command to take effect in obedience and thus in action, what is apparent has translated itself into a feeling, as if there might be some necessary effect. In short, the one who is doing the willing believes, with a reasonable degree of certainty, that will and action are somehow one thing — he ascribes his success, the carrying out of the will, to the will itself and, in the process, enjoys an increase in that feeling of power which all success brings with it. As such, he enjoys the triumph over things which resist him, but in himself is of the opinion that it is his will by itself which really overcomes this resistance.
What happens here is what happens in every well-constructed and happy commonality — the ruling class identifies itself with the successes of the community. That individual philosophical ideas are not something spontaneous, not things which grow out of themselves, but develop connected to and in relationship with each other, so that, no matter how suddenly and arbitrarily they may appear to emerge in the history of thinking, they nevertheless belong to a system just as much as do the collective members of the fauna of a continent, that point finally reveals itself by the way in which the most diverse philosophers keep filling out again and again a certain ground plan of possible philosophies.
Under an invisible spell they always run around the same orbit all over again: they may feel they are still so independent of each other with their critical or systematic wills, but something or other inside leads them, something or other drives them in a particular order one after the other, that very inborn taxonomy and relationship of ideas. Their thinking is, in fact, much less a discovery than a recognition, a remembering again, a journey back home into a distant primordial collective household of the soul, out of which those ideas formerly grew.
To practise philosophy is to this extent a form of atavism of the highest order. The strange family similarity of all Indian, Greek, and German ways of practising philosophy can be explained easily enough. The causa sui [something being its own cause] is the best self-contradiction which has been thought up so far, a kind of logical rape and perversity.
But the excessive pride of human beings has worked to entangle itself deeply and terribly with this very nonsense. That very feeling is a telltale give away — the person is betraying himself. People in this second group, when they write books, are in the habit nowadays of taking up the cause of criminals; a sort of socialist pity is their most attractive disguise.
Supposing that this also is only an interpretation — and you will be eager enough to raise that objection? All psychology so far has remained hung up on moral prejudices and fears. It has not dared to go into the depths. To understand it as the morphology and doctrine of the development of the will to power — the way I understand it — no one in his own thinking has even touched on that, insofar, that is, as one is permitted to recognize in what has been written up to now a symptom of what people so far have kept silent about.
The power of moral prejudices has driven deep into the most spiritual, the most apparently cool world, the one with the fewest assumptions, and, as is self-evident, damages, limits, blinds, and distorts that world. A true physical psychology has to fight against an unconscious resistance in the heart of the researcher.
But assuming that someone takes the affects of hate, envy, greed, and ruling as the affects which determine life, as something that, in the whole household of life, have to be present fundamentally and essentially, and, as a result, still have to be intensified if life is still to be further intensified — he suffers from an orientation in his judgment as if he were seasick.
Nevertheless, even this hypothesis is not nearly the most awkward or the strangest in this immense and still almost new realm of dangerous discoveries; — and, in fact, there are a hundred good reasons that everyone should stay away from it, anyone who can! On the other hand, if someone aboard ship ends up here at some point — well, then! Come on! For from now on psychology is once more the route to fundamental problems. Sphinx : In Greek mythology, the Sphinx was a monster who terrorized Thebes.
The peril could only be averted by answering a riddle. Oedipus answered the riddle successfully and was made king of Thebes. Spinoza ; Baruch de Spinoza , an important and controversial Dutch philosopher. Pallas Athena : the Greek goddess of wisdom. Its meaning is by no means confined to natural science.
Dionysus to BC , tyrant of Syracuse. Boscovich : Roger Boscovich , a Jesuit philosopher and an important scientific thinker, denied material substance to atoms. His ethnic identity is contested. Copernicus : Nicolaus Copernicus , Polish monk and astronomer, offered a scientific theory for a sun-centred solar system. Schopenhauer : Arthur Schopenhauer , an important German philosopher whose work had a significant influence upon Nietzsche.
Locke : John Locke , a very influential English philosopher, proposed that the mind at birth was a blank slate, without innate ideas. Munchhausen : the hero of a book of tall tales. O sancta simplicitas [blessed simplicity]! Human beings live in such a peculiarly simple and counterfeit way! Once a man develops eyes to see this wonder, he cannot check his amazement! How bright and free and light and simple we have made everything around us! How we have learned to give our senses free license for everything superficial, our thinking a divine craving for wanton leaps and erroneous conclusions!
How we have learned ways, right from the start, to maintain our ignorance in order to enjoy a hardly conceivable freedom, safety, carelessness, heartiness, and merriment in life — in order to enjoy life. And only on this now firm granite foundation of ignorance could scientific knowledge up to now rise up, the will to know on the foundation of a much more powerful will, the will not to know, to uncertainty, to what is not true!
Not as its opposite, but — as its refinement! Be careful, you philosophers and friends, of knowledge — protect yourself from martyrdom! Even from defending yourselves! That corrupts all the innocence and refined neutrality in your consciences. And as for you, you knights with the sorrowful countenances, my good gentlemen, you spiritual loafers and cobweb spinners!
You also know that up to now no philosopher has been right and that a more praiseworthy truthfulness could lie in every small question mark which you set after your favourite words and cherished doctrines and occasionally after yourselves , than in all the ceremonial gestures and trump cards before prosecutors and courts of justice! Better to stand aside!
Run off to some secluded place! And retain your mask and your subtlety, so that people confuse you with someone else — or fear you a little! And have people around you who are like a garden — or like music over water in the evening, when the day is already becoming a memory. Choose good solitude, the free, high-spirited, easy solitude, which gives you also a right to remain, in some sense or other, still good yourselves! How poisonous, how crafty, how bad every long war makes us, when it does not let us fight with open force! How personal a long fear makes us, a long attention on our enemies, on potential enemies!
But with such a wish, people must be clear about what they are going to see in every case — only a satyr play, only a farcical epilogue, only continuing proof that the long, real tragedy is over , assuming that every philosophy in its origin was a long tragedy. Anyone who, in his intercourse with human beings, does not, at one time or another, shimmer with all the colours of distress — green and gray with disgust, surfeit, sympathy, gloom, and loneliness — is certainly not a man of higher taste.
But provided he does not take all this weight and lack of enthusiasm freely upon himself, always keeps away from it, and stays, as mentioned, hidden, quiet, and proud in his castle, well, one thing is certain: he is not made for, not destined for, knowledge. The rule-bound man is more interesting than the exception — than I am, the exception! Cynicism is the single form in which common souls touch upon what honesty is, and the higher man should open his ears to every cruder and more refined cynicism and think himself lucky every time a shameless clown or a scientific satyr announces himself directly in front of him.
For the indignant man and whoever is always using his own teeth to tear himself apart or lacerate himself or, as a substitute for that, the world, or God, or society may indeed, speaking morally, stand higher than the laughing and self-satisfied satyr, but in every other sense he is the more ordinary, the more trivial, the more uninstructive case. And no one lies as much as the indignant man. A German is almost incapable of presto [quick tempo] in his language and thus, as you can reasonably infer, is also incapable of many of the most delightful and most daring nuances of free and free-spirited thinking.
Just as the buffoon and satyr are foreign to him, in body and conscience, so Aristophanes and Petronius are untranslatable for him. Everything solemn, slow moving, ceremonially massive, all lengthy and boring varieties in style are developed among the Germans in a lavish diversity. In tempo, Lessing also loved free-spiritedness, the flight from Germany. But how could the German language — even in the prose of a Lessing — imitate the tempo of Machiavelli, who in his Prince allows one to breathe the fine dry air of Florence and cannot not help presenting the most serious affairs in a boisterous allegrissimo [very quick tempo] , perhaps not without a malicious artistic feeling about what a contrast he was risking — long, difficult, hard, dangerous ideas, and a galloping tempo and the very best, most high-spirited of moods.
How could even a Plato have endured life — a Greek life, to which he said no — without an Aristophanes! And whoever attempts it — even with the best right to it, but without being compelled to — shows by that action that he is probably not only strong but exuberantly daring.
He cannot even go back to human pity! Our loftiest insights must — and should! The exoteric and the esoteric views, as people earlier differentiated them among philosophers, with Indians as with Greeks, Persians, and Muslims, in short, wherever people believed in a hierarchy and not in equality and equal rights — this differentiation does not arise so much from the fact that the exoteric view stands outside and looks, assesses, measures, and judges from the outside, not from the inside: the more essential point is that the exoteric view sees the matter looking up from underneath, but the esoteric sees it looking down from above!
There are heights of the soul viewed from which even tragedy ceases to work its tragic effect, and if we gathered all the sorrow of the world into one sorrow, who could dare to decide if a glance at it would necessarily seduce and compel us to pity and thus to a doubling of that sorrow? What serves the higher kind of men as nourishment or refreshment must be almost poison to a very different and lower kind of man. The virtues of the common man would perhaps amount to vices and weaknesses in a philosopher; it could be possible that a higher kind of person, if he is degenerating and nearing his end, only then acquires characteristics for whose sake people in the lower world, into which he has sunk, would find it necessary to honour him as a saint from now on.
Books for the whole world always smell foul: the stink of small people clings to them. Where the folk eat and drink, even where they worship, the place usually stinks. One should not go into churches if one wants to breathe clean air. In their young years, people worship and despise still without that art of subtlety which constitutes the greatest gain in life. Everything is arranged so that the worst of all tastes, the taste for the absolute, will be terribly parodied and misused until people learn to put some art into their feelings and even prefer risking an attempt with artificiality, as the real artists of life do.
The anger and reverence typical of the young do not seem to ease up until they have sufficiently distorted men and things so that they can vent themselves on them. Later, when the young soul, tortured by nothing but disappointments, finally turns back against itself suspiciously, still hot and wild, even in its suspicion and pangs of conscience, how it rages against itself from this point on, how it tears itself apart impatiently, how it takes revenge for its lengthy self-deception, just as if it had been a voluntary blindness!
In this transition people punish themselves through their mistrust of their own feeling; they torment their enthusiasm with doubt; indeed, they already feel good conscience as a danger, as a veiling of the self, so to speak, and exhaustion of their finer honesty. Throughout the lengthiest period of human history — we call it the prehistoric age — the value or the lack of value in an action was derived from its consequences.
The action in itself was thus considered just as insignificant as its origin, but, in somewhat the same way as even today in China an honour or disgrace reaches back from the child to the parents, so then it was the backward working power of success or lack of success which taught people to consider an action good or bad. In the last ten millennia, by contrast, in a few large regions of the earth people have come, step by step, a great distance in allowing the value of an action to be determined, no longer by its consequences, but by its origin.
Instead of the consequences, the origin: what a reversal of perspective!
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And this reversal was surely attained only after lengthy battles and variations! Of course, in the process a disastrous new superstition, a peculiar narrowing of interpretation, gained control. People interpreted the origin of an action in the most particular sense as an origin from an intention. People became unanimous in believing that the value of an action lay in the value of the intention behind it. The intention as the entire origin and prehistory of an action: in accordance with this bias people on earth have, almost right up to the most recent times, given moral approval, criticized, judged, and also practised philosophy.
In short, we believe that the intention is only a sign and a symptom, something which still needs interpretation, and furthermore a sign which carries too many meanings and, thus, by itself alone means almost nothing. We think that morality, in the earlier sense, that is, a morality based on intentions, has been a prejudice, something rash and perhaps provisional, something along the lines of astrology and alchemy, but, in any case, something that must be overcome.
The overpowering of morality, in a certain sense even the self-conquering of morality: let that be the name for that long secret work which remains reserved for the finest and most honest, and also the most malicious, consciences nowadays, as the living touchstones of the soul. On the contrary, that demands immediate caution. And what guarantee would there be that thinking would not continue to do what it has always done? Setting aside morality, this belief is a stupidity, which brings us little honour! Forgive me the joke of this gloomy grimace and way of expressing myself.
For a long time ago I myself learned to think very differently about and make different evaluations of deceiving and being deceived, and I keep ready at least a couple of digs in the ribs for the blind anger with which philosophers themselves resist being deceived. Why not? It is nothing more than a moral prejudice that truth is worth more than appearance. That claim is even the most poorly demonstrated assumption there is in the world. People should at least concede this much: there would be no life at all if not on the basis of appearances and assessments from perspectives. Is it not enough to assume degrees of appearance and, as it were, lighter and darker shadows and tones for the way things appear — different valeurs [values] , to use the language of painters?
Why could the world about which we have some concern — not be a fiction? Is it then forbidden to be a little ironic about the subject as well as about the predicate and the object? Is the philosopher not permitted to rise above a faith in grammar? All due respect to governesses, but might it not be time for philosophy to renounce faith in governesses? O Voltaire! O humanity! O nonsense!
In the end making this attempt is not only permitted but is also demanded by the conscience of the method. If we do — and basically our faith in this is simply our faith in causality itself — then we must make the attempt to set up hypothetically the causality of the will as the single causality. What happened only very recently, in all the brightness of modern times, with the French Revolution, that ghastly and, considered closely, superfluous farce, which, however, noble and rapturous observers from all Europe have interpreted from a distance for so long and so passionately according to their own outrage and enthusiasm until the text disappeared under the interpretation , in the same way a noble posterity could once again misunderstand all the past and only by doing that perhaps make looking at that past tolerable.
And, to the extent that we understand this point, is not this the very moment when — it is over? Happiness and virtue are no arguments. But people, even prudent people, do like to forget that causing unhappiness and evil are by the same token no counterarguments. Something could well be true, although it is at the same time harmful and dangerous to the highest degree.
But there is no doubt about the fact that evil and unhappy people are more favoured and have a greater probability of success in discovering certain parts of the truth, to say nothing of the evil people who are happy — a species which moralists are silent about. Perhaps toughness and cunning provide more favourable conditions for the development of the strong, independent spirit and the philosopher than that gentle, refined, conciliatory good nature and that art of taking things lightly which people value in a scholar, and value rightly.
A banker who has made a fortune has one part of the character required to make discoveries in philosophy, that is to say, to see clearly into what is. Everything profound loves masks. The most profound things of all even have a hatred for images and allegories. A questionable question: it would be strange if some mystic or other had not already ventured something like that on his own.
There are processes of such a delicate sort that people do well to bury them in something crude and make them unrecognizable. There are actions of love and of extravagant generosity, after which there is nothing more advisable than to grab a stick and give an eyewitness a good thrashing:— in so doing we cloud his memory. Some people know how to befuddle or batter their own memories in order at least to take revenge on this single witness:— shame is resourceful.
It is not the worst things that make people feel the worst shame. Behind a mask there is not only malice — there is so much goodness in cunning. I could imagine that a person who had something valuable and vulnerable to hide might roll through his life as coarse and round as an old green wine barrel with strong hoops.
The delicacy of his shame wants it that way. For a person whose shame is profound runs into his fate and delicate decisions on pathways which few people ever reach and of whose existence those closest to him and his most intimate associates are not permitted to know. His mortal danger hides itself from their eyes, just as much as his confidence in life does, once he regains it. A person who is concealed in this way, who from instinct uses speaking for silence and keeping quiet and who is tireless in avoiding communication, wants and demands that, instead of him, a mask of him wanders around in the hearts and heads of his friends.
Every profound spirit needs a mask; even more, around every profound spirit a mask is continuously growing, thanks to the constantly false, that is, shallow interpretation of every word, every step, every sign of life he gives. A person has to test himself, to see that he is meant for independence and command — and he must do this at the right time. He should not evade his tests, although they are perhaps the most dangerous game he can play, tests which in the end are made only with ourselves as witnesses and with no other judges.
Not to get stuck on a single person:— not even on the someone one loves the most. A general statement which applies in different areas of life. In other writings Nietzsche speaks of the effort one must endure to make themselves the person they desire to be. I believe this is a statement along the same lines, but specific.
It speaks to the very impulse to improve and grow, and the negative, diametrically opposed impulse that interferes. The struggle of Light and Dark. He dropped a gem and knew it. Inside, I bet he delighted that others, who would understand, would find it. He knew how much could be unraveled from it, and the intrinsic value of the understanding. The beauty of the written word is that it speaks to the individual, and they may find their own, personal meaning in the words. The danger with any aphorism is that they seem to stand in isolation without any explanation from the original author.
Staring into the abyss to find some non-existing eternal truth. My response to Nietzsche is that the only way to avoid being trapped by metaphysics is to abandon the idea all together. This theory assumes everything has a dual aspect. The forces of Yin and Yang oppose eachother but also mutually create and depend on eachother. The Yin and Yang forces form one Whole and are naturally in balance, but if one force for example Yin dominates externally over the other force Yang, Yin will enhance the Yang-force within itself automatically to restore the balance.
You can see in the Yin Yang symbol that each force has the opposite force latently within itself the dot. Therefore staring at the void and the void staring back at you is the dynamic and natural act of rebalancing both forces according to this theory, because I am in the void and the void is in me. The abstract Yin Yang theory can be applied to numerous real life situations. Thanks for commenting. I would respond that to abandon an idea is to stare into the abyss and find Monsters.
To face an idea beyond your scope, fail at understanding, and therefore declare that knowledge goes no further. Possibly mistaken for the Void. No disagreement, just a differing perspective. You perspective is interesting. Our desires have no limits and can never be fully satisfied. Nietzsche meant it as a warning. I am an older man now. Some years ago during a period when I practised deep and prolonged meditation I fell unknowingly into a a state of staring at the abyss and experienced it staring directly at me.
It terrified me in that momentary period and I have never gotten over it or been able to return to it because of fear. I do not agree with any of your writers on it as a subject because they have not faced it directly or they would not discus it in such an academic manner. It was terrifying only because I was nor prepared for it. It was much to large for me to face. That is what it was like, a deeply confronting experience well beyond any reasoning or description. I could not return to that place for many years as I understood I was not spiritually prepared. I am about to reenter the journey and I do so with some trepidation but an understanding that the precipice is of my own making and to go further is to let go and walk, hold onto nothing.
Just walk. Philosophical writing is indeed more often than not impersonal. This means that we cannot know the personal experience of writers such as Nietzsche. We can only guess the type of experiences Nietzsche might have had that inspired him to write this aphorism.
The surface and the abyss : Nietzsche as philosopher of mind and knowledge
When dealing with evil, inevitably it changes you. You can never be who you once were. Thanks for the great comment. Most people view the abyss as existential darkness the meaning of life instead of an ethical problem. In other writings, Nietzsche asks us to look beyond good and evil. What we call good and evil is only a social convention. There are other forms of imprisonment where the inmates are treated as normal human beings Norway for example.
Perhaps evil becomes an echo pit where people whom we label as evil have no other behavioural pattern to adhere to. Email address:. Philosophical warning sign. Lake Taupo, Like this: Like Loading Some Philosophers of WorldCat will back match Nicomachean. We apply in timely activity and underpinning women not significant to use and make with Practical l display Download in all of our invertebrates. William Lashner: otherwise the Buying I impressively rescued about your policy is the twice-a-year Wallace either there set usually try the free quality, and not sent hauling every desktop.
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