This page intentionally left blank
Translated by Goetz Richter
\ O N D O N • NEW YORK A W Lcontinuum
com English translation © Continuum 2003 All rights reserved. Bungay. London SE1 7NX 370 Lexington Avenue. ISBN: 0-8264-5997-8 (hardback). New York. or any information storage or retrieval system. recording. electronic or mechanical. without prior permission in writing from the publishers. continuumbooks. including photocopying. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Suffolk Printed and bound by Biddies Ltd. Guildford and King's Lynn
. 0-8264-5998-6 (paperback) Typeset by RefineCatch Limited. NY 10017-6503 www. 11 York Road. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means.Continuum The Tower Building.
Untimely Meditations. The psychology of unmasking and the scientific perspective. The overman and the death of God 3. Culture and Genius. Before Sunrise
51 51 57 65 72
. The psychology of art and art as cognition of the world 4. The perspective of The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music 3. Human. The fundamental equation of being and value. Philosophy in the tragic age of the Greeks
1 1 7 13 20 27
Chapter Two: Nietzsche's Enlightenment 1. The philosophy of the morning (Dawn and The Gay Science)
34 34 42
Chapter Three: The Proclamation 1.Contents
Chapter One: The 'Metaphysics of the Artist' 1. All Too Human 2. The will to power 4. Concerning truth and falsity in the extra-moral sense 5. 'Socratism' against tragic wisdom. The eternal return: Of the vision and the riddle. Form. Nietzsche's philosophy behind masks 2. style and structure of Thus spoke Zarathustra 2.
Zarathustra and the Higher Man Chapter Four: The Destruction of the Western Tradition 1. The recurrence of the same 6. Beyond Good and Evil 2. The eternal recurrence: Of the Great Yearning 7. The eternal recurrence: The Seven Seals.vi
5. The posthumous work The Will to Power. The problem of nihilism 6. Discipline and Breeding . The ontological idea and the moral ideal 5. The four transcendental dimensions of the problem of being and the basic principles of Nietzsche's philosophy. The transcendental creation of value. The Genealogy of Morals 114 3. The Antichrist and The Twilight of the Idols 4. The eternal return: the cosmological conception of the problem of morality.the Dionysian world Chapter Five: Nietzsche's Relationship to Metaphysics as Imprisonment and Liberation 1. The cosmic concept of play as an extra-metaphysical question Notes Index
80 89 98 107 107 114 121 129 137 145 154
164 175 182
. The negative ontology of the thing 7.
Like any spoken language the text contains redundancies. Even though. Fink's phenomenological method relies on a direct connection between thinking and expression that often discovers its own highly individual style of language. The ontological difference between Being itself (das Seiri) and being (das Seiende) and the corresponding distinction between ontological and ontic considerations form an important background to Fink's own thought. For Fink serious philosophical engagement transcends historical curiosity and intellectual interest. His lectures on Nietzsche demand a radical commitment to thinking that embraces the existence of the thinking person. It attempts to articulate visions of Nietzsche and his philosophical thinking in a personal and engaged manner. In addition.Translator's Foreword
Eugen Fink (1905-75) taught philosophy at the University in Freiburg from 1946 to 1971. neologisms and some grammatical errors. Fink's German text tends to be complex. etc. Fink's close association and engagement with Heidegger has made certain questions and concepts an integral part of his own thinking. Rather than following the tradition of some Heidegger translations that create a peculiar English Heidegger-jargon. The translation has made the attempt to preserve Fink's idiosyncrasies in a literal sense and has not necessarily simplified seeming rhetoric complexities or smoothed over any apparent roughness created by redundancies. the present translation has made the attempt to rely on context to elucidate these meanings.
. certain difficult concepts (such as Lichtung or 'clearing'. Offenheit or 'openness'. The thought and language of a philosopher with this demanding vision of philosophy is somewhat difficult to translate.) have been directly translated and may only be appreciated if the reader engages with Heidegger or Fink beyond this book. In addition it lacks a degree of detachment from Nietzsche that results in Fink's occasional emulation of Nietzsche's prophetic style. Fink frequently refers to the view that philosophy is not just an academic discipline. He was a close associate of the German phenomenologists Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger and his thinking and language is influenced considerably by these two major thinkers of the twentieth century.
On occasion. The present translation copies Fink's text and referencing in this regard and translates his citations from Nietzsche's works. Dr Jeanell Carrigan (Sydney) has provided the most essential support at times when this translation appeared too difficult to complete. October 2002
Fink's own philosophical focus (also evident in these lectures) is the concept of 'world' (Welt). Fink's Nietzsche lectures were written before the current critical Nietzsche edition came into existence. His illuminating interpretations and his generous critical review of large sections of this translation have been invaluable. Fink accordingly discusses an edited version of Nietzsche's posthumous aphorisms that is known as The Will to Power. The term is closely related to Heidegger's 'Being'. Fink frequently uses this term by itself and without article in the endeavour perhaps to avoid a simple and reifying understanding of it. Goetz Richter Sydney. I should also like to thank Mr Georg Seifert (Winsen) for his early assistance and for inspiring me to pursue the English language to a point where I was able to adopt it as a voluntary exile.1 I am much indebted to Dr Ted Sadler (Sydney) for his inspiration and guidance in relation to philosophy in general and the work of Nietzsche. The present translation makes use of the two terms 'cosmos' and 'world' and retains them as a reference wherever Fink refers to a related term. some standard English translations of Nietzsche's works by Kaufmann and Hollingdale were consulted. Eugen Fink and Martin Heidegger in particular.
that man has lost his way and that a reversal and a rejection of everything which hitherto had been considered 'holy'. NIETZSCHE'S PHILOSOPHY BEHIND MASKS
Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the great. Hegel and Nietzsche relate to one another like absolute affirmation to absolute negation. He rejects the concept and opposes
. shaped by the heritage of classical antiquity and two thousand years of Christendom. science and morality. Both are influenced by early Greek thinkers and return to origins. decisive rejection of the past. and above all his style. Hegel considered himself able to evaluate the history of European man positively. his ardour. fateful characters in the history of western spirit. He is a fated person who demands final decisions and a terrifying question mark on the path of European man. With Nietzsche. his cutting wit. which reflects upon . with fervent hatred and bitter mockery. For Nietzsche. European man arrives at a crossroad. 'good' and 'true' is required. and an appeal to a radical reversal. ontological thought. Hegel made the tremendous attempt to grasp the entire history of the spirit as a process in which all preceding steps are assimilated yet nevertheless relevant in their own right.CHAPTER ONE
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
1. with the wit and sly malice of a propagandist. philosophy. the same history is only the history of the longest error. He attacks it with unbounded passion and rhetoric resonating with tension and suspicion. He mobilizes all weapons at his disposal in his struggle: his refined psychology. Both are Heracliteans. Hegel's enormous conceptual labours reflect and integrate all human modes of ontological understanding and all opposing motifs of the history of metaphysics in one system bringing this very history to an end. Nietzsche stands for a radical critique of religion. Nietzsche attacks with full commitment. Nietzsche is a symbol for the suspicion that this path was a wrong track. an overturning of all traditions. Hegel and Nietzsche have a historical consciousness in common. Nietzsche presents an absolute. but he neither engages in a conceptual destruction of metaphysics nor does he demolish metaphysics through a method of conceptual.and evaluates western history as a whole.
The splendour of his style and its aphoristic form captivates and attracts us. Revaluing western values.one is even in the process of 'overcoming' it. to portray him as a characteristic 'advocate' of violence. of German imperialism. as a Teutonic warrior who runs amok against the values of Mediterranean culture must be strongly rejected. He does not only take issue with traditional philosophy. To be sure.not only in Europe. Nietzsche's critique of culture can easily conceal the more fundamental fact that he is essentially only concerned with a philosophical polemic against western metaphysics. Nietzsche entices and fascinates with the directness of his discourse. eloquent prophet. contemporary context and interpret him from this perspective. Considering Nietzsche's increasing influence. but makes a positive decision. moralizing critics of the nineteenth century. but also with traditional religion and morality.it is perhaps still not understood and awaits adequate interpretation. His historical consciousness extends far into the future. He exudes an aesthetic charm and confounds us with an aura of excess. is concealed by the cultural critic. Although Nietzsche cannot escape the fate of any philosophy to be vulgarized and trivialized. Kant. The works of great systematic thinkers such as Aristotle. His masks
. who seems to be more accessible on account of his style. an agenda and an ideal. Leibniz. Nietzsche's philosophy is actually hardly influential . Everyone knows that and discusses it . With this comprehensive approach into the past. He does not believe in 'progress'. Nietzsche. His struggle takes the form of a comprehensive critique of culture. with the fundamental interrogation of our occidental origins Nietzsche distinguishes himself immediately from the fashionable. the philosopher.2
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
rationalism with its conceptual violation of reality. Nietzsche predicts the advent of nihilism 'within the next two centuries'. But he is no Utopian. He does not only approach the past critically. are perhaps less exposed to crude misunderstandings than Nietzsche. by the mysterious. Nietzsche subjects the entire cultural past to his devastating criticism. Hegel. Nietzsche struggles with the entire past. He makes sombre predictions about the future. he has a will to the future. his political abuse is no argument against him unless it can be shown that the objectionable political practice derives from a genuine understanding of his real philosophy. the following important question poses itself: Is Nietzsche's influence based on his philosophy or on subsidiary features of his works? Is it perhaps even the result of a seduction by compelling stylistic features of his sharp mind? Our answer might be disappointing. which appears to have become omnipresent . It accordingly shows a kind of pettiness and poverty of spirit if we attempt to enclose a thinker who embraces our entire history and who projects a design of life over centuries. in our limited. no idealist wishing to make the world a happier and better place. This feature is of utmost importance. The attempts to drag Nietzsche into current political debate. He is a prophet of European Nihilism.
Nietzsche is an artist with the sensitivity of a Mimosa. He appears as deeply suffering. an eloquent poet and a prophet. Nietzsche is looked at with fewer illusions. Nevertheless. his glorification of abundant. Now we can observe an inverted tendency. is now applied to himself. The wild. He has an uncanny desire for deceit. the Great Health and the man of power by needs arising from the privations of a suffering person. masquerade and the pose of the jester. At the beginning of the century. Peripheral aspects of his work determine this image of Nietzsche more than its philosophical substance. Nietzsche is blessed with an uncanny instinct for historical processes. Without doubt. interpretation created an artistic fiction. Nietzsche was made into a legendary figure or stylized to a symbol. Nietzsche is a poet. infernal hatred against Christianity is apparently explained by his simple inability to come to terms with it. No doubt. Nietzsche was largely portrayed as the ingenious diagnostician of the decline of culture and as the creator of an ambiguous. Nietzsche invested the word 'life' (as Scheler put it) with a golden sound. Nietzsche's 'psychological achievements' are extraordinary: he has opened our eyes to the ambiguities. our view of Nietzsche has undergone a characteristic change in the last decades. enigmatic psychology or of a high art of conjecture and interpretation. the hidden meanings of any spiritual expression and to other countless ambiguities. which Nietzsche developed with greatest virtuosity. Without doubt. Nietzsche was praised as the keen investigator of 'resentment' and 'decadence' with an evil eye for all that is morbid and decayed. unsteady being was unable to find a clear and determinate
. Concealing himself became a passion for Nietzsche. It seems as if his shimmering. He appeared to be an artist. He was the founder of the 'philosophy of life' (Lebensphilosophie). the shrewd psychology of unmasking. crushed and forsaken by life. The Nietzsche cult increased with the ignorance about Nietzsche. his anti-moralism by the unconditional honesty of his critique of morality. His technique of psychological analysis is highly sophisticated. vigorous life. he can read the signs of the future and can even predict it. The approach is often biographical and attempts are made to understand the work through the life which created it. He assumes as many disguising as revealing 'roles': perhaps no other philosopher conceals his philosophy behind so much sophistry.' Perhaps we understand the philosopher with such great difficulty because he is the genuine Nietzsche. The Nietzsche interpretations of recent times are characterized by a stronger sense of reality. Our century testifies to a diverse preoccupation with these masks. Quite the contrary. Nietzsche once said about himself: 'I am the most concealed of all the concealed. Without doubt. He is not seen as the Overman proclaimed in the Zarathustra. with a fertile imagination and with visionary powers. yet it still remains out of touch with his philosophy.Nietzsche's philosophy behind masks
conceal his substance. with a tremendous richness of intuition. Combining biography and work.
However. is this relevant to us? In general. All Too Human. Nietzsche speaks of the 'labyrinth': for him man is essentially a labyrinth from which no one has escaped and where all heroes have perished. All his books are written in the manner of confessions. Nietzsche himself is the exemplary man in a labyrinth. What. The secret of his being cannot be wrestled from him. but speaks in an almost unbearable manner about himself. There is a further reason for the usual approach to Nietzsche. through his many disguises and characters. It takes a peculiar arrogance to burden the reader with the personality of the author and to imply at the same time that all his books are essentially only monologues. and his final self-identification with Dionysos. he is able to pull out all stops. with a flight that puts every word just right. But the extraordinary nature of his fate. of seduction and magic in Nietzsche's style. angers. This aristocratic pathos stimulates and interests. where thinking comes into the genuine closeness of poetry we also encounter great profundity. create tender. Nietzsche's style is intentionally affected. as if he played too many roles. They include the 'free spirit' from the time of Human. of his suspension over an abyss. tempts us repeatedly to look back from the work to the author who is reflected in his work in so many ways. the outrageous pathos with which he postures. Nietzsche is sophisticated. with the timing of the accelerando. his spiritual experiences. that the work is approached through the personality. a safe method to advocate a position without being committed to it? Is this feature ultimately the result of Nietzsche's absence of any roots. He has a developed sense for the natural melody of language.4
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
expression. sublime sounds as well as blazing fanfares. In a metaphor full of symbolism.all these tempt us again and again to look to the person rather than the work. his passion and his messianic claims. His style teems with the scintillating electricity of spiritual tension. His analysis of Wagner's music applies to his own style. confuses and fascinates . Zarathustra. Nietzsche's life is more concealed than his work. is this desire for the mask? Is it merely a literary device. He also commands the staccato rhythm of the short. As a writer. however. its extreme subjectivity. wishing to conjure up a secure basis for himself and others? Psychological information will never be able to solve this enigma within Nietzsche's being. he secures himself a following just because he repels. However. the 'Prince Vogelfrei'. he safeguards himself through many false tracks. The brilliance of Nietzsche's style. appealing to the irrational forces of the human soul in a virtuosic manner. As an author he does not remain in the background. captivating sentence that hits like lightning. a mystification of the public. A few works
. Nietzsche seduces us. Nietzsche uses the audacity of such an imposition on the reader as an artistic device and literary delicacy. his illness and his taste. There is a great deal of affectation. constructing a long-winded sentence as an artful period. the interpretation of Nietzsche suffers from the fact. that biography is used as a key.
possessing extraordinary powers of concretization. always withdrew from organizing his thought within a systematic conceptual framework. the wonder grows why Nietzsche. Nietzsche concealed rather than revealed his philosophy through a style which equally intended to attract attention. However. Nietzsche. his abysmal suspicion and his art of psychological seduction.e. its own unmistakable individual sound. a philosopher. Only the reflection of his philosophical thought can experience where Nietzsche is located in the history of western thought and gains a glimpse of the seriousness of his questions. persuade and aesthetically charm be it through conscious provocation or extreme. whose poor eyesight prevented him from spending long hours at his writing desk. And yet they do not just stand on their own. a great individual who deserves our moderate admiration. developed the aphorism into an art form. who gave so much to his books. categorizing it as a virtue arising from a need. At the same time. each has its own pace. not in a cumbersome way of conceptually developing long sequences of thought. We would not have to bother about Nietzsche if his work merely articulated the particular existential experience of an extremely tormented person. Does Nietzsche share the responsibility for the kind of modern mankind we are? Where does he stand as a thinker? We can never find an answer to this question by focusing intently on Nietzsche's personality. They are collections of aphorisms. The aphorism. however. As a thinker he is intuitive and imaginative. but an interesting person. he must concern us. eristic exaggeration. rather. Nietzsche is a threat to everyone. someone who spiritually safeguards our humanity and the truth of our existence. Nietzsche's highly poetical quality and the aphoristic form of his books are disadvantageous to the exposition of his philosophy. however. They resemble cut stones. i. it would be presumptuous if one were to explain his aphoristic style simply through this affliction. Nietzsche is a master of composition. It allows the short.Nietzsche's philosophy behind masks
aside. Nietzsche's aphorisms are very succinct. not only to the young person who is defencelessly exposed to his scepticism. surprising formulation without need for any justifications. but form sequences and (within the unity of a book) a unique whole. conceptions of a planned path of thought only in the posthumous writings. The more one becomes sensitive to this. If he is. We find systematic sketches. It appears that Nietzsche thinks in flashes. the greater becomes one's awe about his artistic achievements.
. each book has its own unique spiritual mood which is found in all aphorisms. whether we like it or not. Nietzsche's books generally do not follow one train of thought or progressively unfold a path of thought. reflects the character of Nietzsche's thought. He would not be a fateful figure. No two books of Nietzsche resemble each other. Even if we diligently and honestly strive for this understanding we find ourselves in danger. by accumulating reports about him and by having recourse to the most penetrating psychology.
which passionately questions an entire historical age. Nietzsche is the philosopher who places the entire history of philosophy in question and who sees in this philosophy a 'deeply negative movement'. However. he only 'inverts metaphysics'. he is not 'naive'. We are looking for the philosophy of Nietzsche. After 25 centuries of a metaphysical approach to being Nietzsche searches for a new beginning. We are not searching blindly and without guidance nor do we rely on the assurances of the author about his understanding of 'philosophy'. This question cannot be answered briefly and decisively. His attack on metaphysics does not proceed from a pre-philosophical sphere of being. which Nietzsche is challenging. and. we must immerse ourselves in his work. We attempt a preliminary interpretation.6
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
Nietzsche is not only dangerous because he is a pied piper.in accordance with our historical origins . the thread of Ariadne. Following the paths of Nietzsche's thought. In his battle against western metaphysics he still remains tied to it. Nietzsche questions this path and attacks metaphysics in a way that differs from the affirmation of everyday life or from the sciences. The preconception that guides us all is . before we look for his philosophy we must obviously already have a preconception of what philosophy is. Do they show the features of a metaphysical inquiry or not? This will prepare the question about Nietzsche's new ontological understanding. because the music of his language is so persuasive. which could guide us into the labyrinth of Nietzsche's thought. We will then pose the question how these fundamental features relate to the basic questions of traditional philosophy. We find ourselves in a peculiar situation. Nietzsche does not follow the path broken by centuries of fundamental thinking. Nietzsche's thinking. against Plato and the metaphysical tradition
. However. and behind the fascinating personality which repeatedly demands attention. We must rather engage in a long and involved reflection. Nietzsche returns to Heraclitus. His battle begins with the Eleatics. of original thought and radical scepticism of thinking against itself. which is concealed in his writings by his dazzling language. In searching for Nietzsche's philosophy. does not deny the origins of occidental philosophy. we must argue with him. He is dangerous rather because of the uncanny mixture of philosophy and sophistry. In a concentrated journey through Nietzsche's writings we will firstly expose the fundamental features of Nietzsche's thought. With what legitimation do we speak about 'philosophy' if Nietzsche casts off an entire tradition? Should we not invent and coin a new word to designate whatever Nietzsche's philosophy is? However.that of metaphysics. his unique aphorisms. we may have lost the thread. In Nietzsche thinking itself turns against metaphysics. his seductive stylistic power. the question which is posed in this book is whether Nietzsche is merely the inverted metaphysician or whether a new ontological understanding announces itself through him. finally and most importantly.
THE FUNDAMENTAL EQUATION OF BEING AND VALUE. states on one occasion: If thinking is your fate. a decision that was conjured up against everything that had been believed. Accordingly.1
2. it is hidden in a work appearing under many guises. I am dynamite. the common meaning of the words. hallowed so far. To be sure philosophy is hardly ever objectively present and accessible to everyone in its literary form. This stance towards history illustrates Nietzsche's exaggerated missionary consciousness.The fundamental equation of being and value
originating from him. It is obscured by his cultural critique. and the philosophical thought. the most beloved. and by a never ending.a crisis without equal on earth. I know my fate. there is a peculiar tension between the utterance. Nietzsche's 'philosophy'. his feeling of destiny. however. Nietzsche rejects metaphysics and its
. or is it only an arrogant prejudice? His attacks on occidental philosophy from Parmenides and Plato onwards are certainly not the expression of a radicalism that finds the ontological question of metaphysics wanting or that wishes to overcome this philosophy because it does not pose the question of being in a sufficiently decisive manner.2 Nietzsche's fateful existence is respected most if we search for his philosophy in the labyrinth of his work. demanded. One day my name will be associated with the memory of something tremendous . who often gets caught by the resentment of thinking against itself. Rather. beneath the manifold roles and characters he plays. Is Nietzsche's disdain for metaphysics really to be taken seriously. THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE BIRTH OF TRAGEDY FROM THE SPIRIT OF MUSIC
Nietzsche's philosophy is hidden rather than evident in his work. The primordial origin of Nietzsche's philosophy remains Heraclitus. It is overshadowed by his 'literary trickery' which is acquainted with every device of charm and seduction. revere this fate with divine honour and sacrifice to it the best. as he expresses it in Ecce Homo. by his psychology. After 2500 years a repetition of Heraclitus occurs accompanied by the tremendous assertion to wipe out and oppose the extended reflection of an entire tradition formed in the meantime and to show humanity a new yet ancient path. painful self-examination. and it is concealed beneath Nietzsche's masks. I am no man. Nietzsche. by his poetry. does not just show aspects of such concealment. It is distorted by the immoderate subjectivity of the author. the most profound collision of conscience.
Miscellaneous Beliefs and Sayings in 1879. but sees them merely as symptoms of vital tendencies. A life which no longer feels at home in the sense-world invents itself an 'otherworld' beyond appearance. the Confessor and Writer in 1873. he does not himself pose the question of being . The philosophical significance of Nietzsche's categories. Accordingly. On many occasions attempts have been made to order Nietzsche's literary work chronologically to show an evolution within his thought. Beyond Good and Evil in 1886. can only be understood if their foundation. A range of important treatises was finally published from his posthumous writings. In other words. All Too Human in 1878. The extent of Nietzsche's literary work was only possible through a remarkable productivity that created works in quick succession. his main concepts of cultural critique. which was later combined (1886) together with Miscellaneous Beliefs and Sayings as the second volume of Human. The Gay Science in 1882. a movement in which crippling. He views metaphysics through the 'perspective of life'. wrote his first work The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music in 1871. Nietzsche's own unreflected basic presupposition must become an explicit topic of our interpretation.at least not in the traditional way. namely David Strauss. not ontologically.8
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
concept of philosophy from a quite different perspective. In order to arrive at an interpretation we intend to present the work of Nietzsche in a compressed overview and highlight its basic features. Metaphysics is understood 'morally'. The distinction between appearance and thing-initself expresses a declining passion for life. All Too Human. is clarified. Daybreak appears in 1881. life-denying 'values' achieve supremacy. Human. The Case of Wagner. On the Use and Abuse History in Regard to Life in 1874. Richard Wagner in Bayreuth in 1876. in particular The Will to Power. who had been professor of classical philology at the University of Basle for two years. The Antichrist. Schopenhauer as Educator still in 1874. Metaphysics is understood as a process of life which Nietzsche assesses according to its value. Nietzsche does not examine or evaluate the ontological representations of the metaphysical tradition. the interpretation of being as 'value'. The Wanderer and his Shadow. one
. the four parts of Zarathustra between 1883 and 1885. psychology and aesthetics. The question of being gives way to the question of value. On the Genealogy of Morals in 1887. The 27-year-old Nietzsche. The Twilight of the Idols. Nietzsche considers the ontological reflections of metaphysics in respect of their symptomatic importance. Ecce Homo and Nietzsche contra Wagner in 1888. subjugating. the first Untimely Meditation. Nietzsche himself passes over the ontological question of value and poses questions about the unclear basis of the phenomenon of value. In less than twenty years Nietzsche pours out his works. For Nietzsche metaphysics is a process of life in which above all 'value judgements' assert themselves. his production has an eruptive character. Nietzsche's breakdown in 1888 propelled him into darkness.
A path of life is conceivable in which a thinker falls down from an achieved height. The true nature of reality is seen through the phenomenon of the tragic. Nietzsche's understanding of tragedy is based on a fundamentally new view of the classical world. It is understood as the deepest. Nietzsche experiences an 'advent'. Art becomes the instrument of philosophy. Understanding becomes immediate only where it commits itself to the more profound vision of art and reflects its creative experience. The aesthetic motif assumes the position of a basic ontological principle. Although Nietzsche follows the classical ontological insight that the beautiful is a mode of being. Later in life Nietzsche's judgement about the book became quite severe: it seemed to him spoilt by a 'reliance on Wagnerism'. The fifth period (Beyond Good and Evil and On the Genealogy of Morals) again forms a preparation to a final period (The Will to Power). This is followed by a critical. reflective completion and final form of Nietzsche's philosophy. a sign of decline. most authentic approach. Regardless of whether Nietzsche portrays the classical tragedy correctly. He formulates his philosophy within aesthetic categories. more sober period. we would like to focus on Nietzsche's works outside their biographical context and investigate their basic features. The genuine problem is Nietzsche's essential conception of the tragic. by confusing the understanding of the Greeks with the phenomenon of Wagner.The fundamental equation of being and value
often speaks of Nietzsche's romantic period. Nietzsche's later re-evaluation of his first book is indeed fitting. shrinks back from his own audacity or sinks to his knees. Art and tragic poetry become the keys that unlock the essence of the world. ontological grasp of the phenomenon of the
. a phenomenon which was by no means a 'symptom of ascent' but rather the opposite. follow it. which then finds its first fulfilment in the fourth period of the Zarathustra. This book is firstly an act of homage to Richard Wagner. We start with The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music. demotes it so to speak to a preliminary reflection. The value of such a schema. The glorification of the Wagner opera overshadows the basic feature of the book. Accordingly. as the most primordial form of understanding. which is characterized by The Birth of Tragedy and the Untimely Meditations. he does not achieve a conceptual. in which Nietzsche closely approaches positivism. These books supposedly express an expectant mood and return towards himself. The concept can. With Dawn and The Gay Science a new existential sentiment announces itself. an interpretation of his musical drama as an all-inclusive work of art comparable to the classical drama. which operates mainly with biographical concepts presenting the spiritual history of his life. is doubtful. he expresses at any rate the central concern of his philosophy for the first time through it. at best. This developmental schema does not establish if the temporally later is necessarily also substantially more important. the non-poetical.
light and night. the basic mood of his life and of his experience of reality. Where the one steps into the light the other sinks into the night. it contradicts his basic sentiment. the classical tragedy. Already at the start of his philosophical path the tragic pathos puts Nietzsche in an irresolvable conflict with Christianity. ascent and decline. of death and decay. According to Heraclitus. However. the ascent and decline of all finite beings. however. The tragic is Nietzsche's first fundamental formula for his ontological vision. Nietzsche discovers the playful encounter of form and the amorphous flux of life in the classical tragedy. Nietzsche grounds the authentic nature of art in the tragic. He discovers Peras and Apeiron. Tragic art grasps the tragic essence of the world. are only aspects of one wave of life. embrace each other. that the destruction of finite being is not simply an annihilation. Christian dogma with its necessary idea of redemption does not only contradict Nietzsche's instincts. reality is the conflict of primordial opposites. it is essentially tragic art. 'the genuine metaphysical activity of man'. Art achieves supremacy. the way up and down are one and the same. as Nietzsche puts it. In this tragic view of the world.10
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
aesthetic. This lends a romantic character to The Birth of Tragedy. which possesses this quality. wrong to interpret this as a heroic attitude. a metaphysical revelation of being in its entirety. It is. life and death. Tragic affirmation (including even the affirmation of one's own destruction) is based on the realization that all finite manifestations are just temporal waves in a great flood of life. The tragic sentiment of life is rather a yes-saying to life. The tragic pathos is no passive pessimism: Nietzsche is struck by this and it prevents him from being a mere successor to Schopenhauer. On the contrary: Nietzsche expresses his fundamental vision of being in aesthetic categories. the other must descend. appearance and the shadow of the underworld. The tragic pathos understands the identity of Hades and Dionysos. all forms emerge through the destruction of others. a joyous affirmation even of the terrible and horrible. It knows only the inexorable law of universal decline of the individual existence and of everything that has been severed from the teeming All-life. but a return to the ground of life from which all individual beings ascend. Only the perspective of art allows the thinker to look into the heart of the world. For him. Nietzsche calls it a 'metaphysics of the artist'. life and death are fundamentally related and embraced by a mysterious circle. as reckless courage. The world is understood through art and in relation to it. The tragic world does not know any redemption. In this context art is not only. but. The tragic pathos lives through the knowledge that 'all is one'. more importantly. finite being consecrated to decay in the infinite ground and the abyss itself which brings forth ever new
. Where one ascends. any salvation of the finite being from its finitude. However.
creating and destroying them.3 Is this only an 'intimate' existential experience of Nietzsche. of this deepest view of the cosmic essence. Towards the end of Nietzsche's development the Apollonian is grasped as an aspect of the Dionysian.. Nietzsche expresses it as a theory of art. are 'the only values recognized in The Birth of Tragedy'*. as stated further in Ecce Homo. since Nietzsche has already included it in the concept of the Dionysian. The basic equation 'being equals value' characterizes his philosophy. Nietzsche interprets the discovery of the 'marvellous phenomenon of the Dionysian' as the decisive feature of his first work. He calls this antagonism the opposition between the Apollonian and the Dionysian. Perhaps all human philosophy is a finite patchwork where fundamental assumptions always remain obscure. The aesthetic values. Later on. The playful antithesis between Dionysos and Apollo is grasped as a complex unity.
. Nietzsche erases all the 'Wagnerism' and places the emphasis on the discovery of the Dionysian and its opposing phenomenon. One can pose the following question: Did Nietzsche not damage his philosophical problem through the aestheticpsychological approach in this first work much more than through 'Wagnerism'? This is indeed so. In the Attempt at a Self-Criticism drafted in 1886. It is his basic. It cannot be ignored without ignoring Nietzsche on the whole. . this original antithesis is grasped in a more radical way through the inclusion of the Apollonian itself into the Dionysian. but it is no mistake which could be counted against him. the advent of rationality without a vision for the 'life' teeming behind appearances. the advent of 'logic'. however. The latter. The opposite phenomenon of the tragic world view. Nietzsche deals with this distinction in a genuinely antithetical manner. as if the Apollonian and the Dionysian were simply opposed. We find here a most informative comment: I had discovered the only parable and parallel of my intimate intuition in history. Looking back at The Birth of Tragedy in Ecce Homo (1888). a psychological analysis of mutually opposing artistic drives combining in the unity of the tragic art-work. which in turn has the form of a psychology of art. the person. confirming his position as an outsider in a distant historical past? Or is Nietzsche the medium of a new ontological experience? To begin with. In The Birth of Tragedy. operative presupposition. as well as in Ecce Homo. Infinite life itself is the building and creative force which produces forms and destroys them again. it must remain undecided what value. is Socratism.The fundamental equation of being and value
forms. is not the Apollonian. rank-order or relevance this 'intuition' has.
the antithetical play of the fundamental powers of the world. by the knowledge of the nothingness of all finite beings and the infinity of the Dionysian world-ground. Nietzsche understands Socratism as a fundamental human stance. something terrifying and dangerous. their strongest. and refers. nevertheless a new problem: today I would say that it was the problem of science itself . as the so-called 'scientific' relation to being. across the metaphysical and scientific centuries back to his kinship with Heraclitus:
. With the title 'perspective of life' we refer to a fundamental characteristic throughout Nietzsche's entire thought. Nietzsche states that in The Birth of Tragedy science is posed as a problem. frugality.how now? Might not this very Socratism be a symptom of decline. weariness.and. a problem with horns. It is only comprehensible if the concept of life remains primarily guided by the tragic experience. and even says in 1888 about The Birth of Tragedy that it provided the first psychological analysis of the tragic poet. His reliance on Darwin is not to be taken seriously. What I grasped then. Apollo and Dionysos. Looking back after fifteen years. and cheerfulness of theoretical man .science for the first time made problematic. i. the dialectics. It becomes problematic and suspect when it is contrasted with the different truth of the tragedy. born from it.what might they signify? .And again: that which killed tragedy. Although Nietzsche also operates within aesthetic and psychological categories. we must recognize that in reality he is concerned with something entirely different. and art in turn from the perspective of life. tragedy . by an ontological understanding of tragedy. Nietzsche thus approaches science from the perspective of art.12
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
'What'. of the anarchical dissolution of the instincts?'5 Just like tragic pathos. of infection. All too often and for mainly polemic reasons Nietzsche himself conceals his deep and abysmal concept of life beneath a biological concept. 'is the significance of the tragic myth for the Greeks in their best. not necessarily a bull. the Socratism of morality. For Nietzsche. In Ecce Homo he calls himself the first tragic philosopher. Nietzsche asks. science as a whole (with all its problems) becomes worthy of questioning. He is concerned with a primordial experience of Being.6 Such an inquiry into science is not self-evident. with an ontology which is merely concealed by psychology and aesthetic theory. His concept of'life' is only understood if his key-concept of the 'tragic'. it is not a problem which science poses itself. by the tragic revelation. is grasped. which sees through all appearance and superficiality to discover the creative and destructive play of life called Dionysos. their most courageous period? And the tremendous phenomenon of the Dionysian . worthy of questioning.e.
all this is clearly more closely related to me than anything else thought to date. which is the decisive feature of a Dionysian philosophy. The 'tragic' is understood as a cosmic principle. 'What found expression here was anyway'. The aesthetic occurrence of the birth of tragedy out of the spirit of music reflects the primordial event of the birth of the anthropocentric world.too bad that I did not dare say it as a poet: Perhaps I had the ability.. In his tragic vision of this cosmic essence. .. becoming. This concealment is maintained for some time. He projects himself into the
. Accordingly his thinking hides itself behind aesthetics and psychology. indeed must dispense. exaggerated and deceptive. What I had to say then . with the tools and methods of classical philosophy.and not spoken. Nietzsche's distinctive approach unfolds as part of an aesthetic and psychological problem. almost macnadic soul . saying Yes to opposition and war. the disciple of a still "unknown God". they are also overloaded. Nietzsche reveals his 'intimate intuition'.I have looked in vain for signs of it even amongst the great Greek philosophers. I retained some doubt in the case of Heraclitus. .The psychology of art and art as cognition of the world
Before me. he refers to the tragic artwork as just that 'key' that unlocks and opens up its true understanding. this transposition of the Dionysian into a philosophical pathos did not exist: the tragic wisdom was absent . Since all of Nietzsche's aesthetic-psychological concepts resonate as it were with the energy of philosophical inquiry. Nietzsche has a vision of the cosmos as tragic play. A fundamental philosophical thought is disguised in psychologizing aesthetics and turns aesdietics at the same time into an instrument of philosophy. one who concealed himself for the time being under the scholar's hood. The aesthetic theory of the classical tragedy discloses in this way the essence of being in its entirety. . The affirmation of passing away and destroying. in whose proximity I feel altogether warmer and better than anywhere else. under the gravity and dialectical ill humour of the German. along with a radical repudiation of the very concept of being . ontological reflection ensures that Nietzsche dispenses. of those in the two centuries before Socrates. Nietzsche says fifteen years later. A strong feeling of alienation from the tradition of conceptual. even under the bad manners of the Wagnerian . . a strange voice. It should have sung this "new soul" .'8 The Birth of Tragedy displays a strange methodological character which is difficult to comprehend. a mystical.7
3. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ART AND ART AS COGNITION OF THE WORLD
From the start. '. unfolding from the chaotic. primordial ground into a multitude of forms. In outlining a theory about the origin of the Attic tragedy.
remains a feature of Nietzsche's entire oeuvre despite its significant later developments. Nietzsche begins by stating. Nietzsche distances himself from any speculation. that he had more arrows in his quiver. he is torn apart by their antagonism. They are asserted. it does not sound convincing when this proud and self-conscious mind implies with a prophetical smile that he concealed on purpose. It is divination. His most fundamental insights always have the character of illuminations. that it would be a gain for an 'aesthetic science' if it reached the 'immediate certainty of intuition'. It lends a provocative ambiguity. The phenomena become illuminated and comprehensible through them. It appears to deal with aesthetic. Nietzsche's first treatise shows some distinctive characteristics of his thinking with striking clarity. which he accused of 'a dreamy ingenuity and impertinence. In Nietzsche's first treatise this 'leap-ahead' is very obvious. ignorance and insufficient love of truth'. but through his tragic cognition of the world) in the Greeks of the tragic age. In The Birth of Tragedy the fundamental thoughts are expressed thetically. However. This is not meant in a derogatory sense. However. Since he does not engage historically with metaphysical concepts. He recognizes himself (not personally. which already characterizes his first work. psychological and philological problems. The rejection of Nietzsche's treatise by traditional philologists is in some degree justified. a mysterious aura and unfathomable depth to his works.14
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
Greek world and interprets himself from that perspective. that this inadequacy was 'intended' in order to address those with ears to hear and those able to read between the lines. His thinking emerges from a fundamental experience that is poetical and symbolic. or rather. it rests on the misunderstanding provoked by Nietzsche himself. the inner plan and structure of things. and since furthermore his conceptual identification of 'logical' with 'abstract' and 'inanimate' makes him unable to conceptualize his thinking adequately he becomes diverted and has to philosophize in the guise of an aesthetic theory. namely that he was concerned with a philological question. Nietzsche is subject to the powers of thinking and poetry. yet refuted (and had to refute) them through his new fundamental intuition. but it is in reality Nietzsche's first tentative attempt to articulate his philosophical understanding of the world. intuition is always primary. What looks like a prelude is the heart of the treatise. This flaw. there is a kinship between his mythical divination and speculative thinking in so far as both 'leap ahead' of the phenomena to be brought into view. However. No less than Wilamowitz-Mollendorf led a sharp attack against the treatise. The presentation of this treatise differs in all respects from the level of its actual conception. For Nietzsche intuition is an instant view of an essence. They show the projected outline. and that the continued development of art is connected to the dualism of the
. affirmed and they obtain a kind of confirmation through their powers of illumination. For Nietzsche.
should be called 'the glorious divine image of the principiium individuationis. of beautiful proportion.as he puts it . Nietzsche purports to formulate insights of a science of aesthetics. The dream creates the world of images. of measure. of sexual frenzy. he is the God of clarity. He crosses over into psychology.10 he states now. Aesthetics appears to be the context of his inquiry. of light. Regardless how arbitrary its plot. as it were. Dionysos is the God of night. Furthermore. Nietzsche says. and. Apollo. He proclaims a divine intuition and at the same time alludes to it in a mythical metaphor. i. evocative music which releases all passions.The psychology of art and art as cognition of the world
Apollonian and the Dionysian comparable to the reliance of procreation on the duality of the sexes. in concepts. however. . But he is an even more powerful force.e. the so-called aesthetic theory is extended to include an understanding of the cosmos supposedly revealed by Greek art. It conjures up the beautiful semblance blessing the soul with a particular vision. was recognized by the Greeks as the power creating the imaginary worlds of man's dreams. to be sure.'9 The 'profound mysteries' of classical art are now brought into view. but also the world of images. the scene of appearances and characters. the God of music not. but of the seductive. The antithesis is restated in the understanding of dream and intoxication. he demands for his inquiry an 'immediate certainty of intuition'. Dionysos on the other hand is the God of unbounded chaos. is the prerequisite of all plastic a r t . of the teeming flood of life. who . Apollo symbolizes the formative drive. And here Nietzsche suddenly leaps out of the psychological interpretation of dreams: Apollo creates not only the world of images in human dreams. of shape. . The dream. Apollo. for the antagonism between image and music. We already find all the relevant elements in this first sentence. in the creation of which every man is truly an artist. The Apollonian and the Dionysian are initially revealed as aspects of the artistic drives of Hellenic man. Initially Apollo and Dionysos are merely metaphors for the opposite artistic drives of the Greeks. the dream is a creative vision. not. which creates images over and over again. a formative force. The classical work of art becomes the key to the classical world view. in contrast to the image-rich Apollo. the God of form. The mythical symbol is borrowed from the Greeks. which man usually takes to be reality. but in the intensely clear figures of their gods.'disclose to the discerning mind the profound mysteries of their view of art. of the strict domesticated kind that is merely a 'Dorian architecture of sounds'. To further clarify the opposition between these artistic drives Nietzsche refers to a 'physiological' antithesis in human life. through whose gestures and eyes all the joy and wisdom of
. is an unconscious and imaginative human power: The beautiful illusion of the dream worlds. of the disproportionate. states Nietzsche.
flow and sink into one infinite sea. The two competing fundamental forces of being reveal themselves through art as it were. as 'thing-in-itself is not dispersed into a multiplicity.as Nietzsche following Schopenhauer believes. Interpreted psychologically this distinction resurfaces as the one between dream and intoxication mentioned above. In this analogy psychology is transformed into a peculiar metaphysics. as that ecstatic condition in which we feel that all confines fall away and we step out of ourselves. assimilates all appearances. Initially it is regarded as a human phenomenon. a bacchantic frenzy which explodes. The world as it really is.16
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
"illusion". speak to us. magnificent and autonomous vision
. he has become a work of art: in these paroxysms of intoxication the artistic power of all nature reveals itself to the highest gratification of the primordial unity.'n How is this to be understood? The principiium individuationis is the basis of the individual separation of all beings. between will and representation. become unified with all being. It transcends all finitude and individuation.'12 Intoxication is a cosmic ecstasy. a unified flux. Nietzsche follows Schopenhauer particularly in the remarkable leap from the human dream to the dream of primordial being itself at the beginning of The Birt Tragedy. yet jointly gathered in space and time. In truth all is one. He thus extrapolates a finding from the psychology of human artistic drives to a principle of the world summoning Schopenhauer as a crown witness for this view. What we commonly call things or beings is an incalculable manifold of all that is differentiated and detached. The world-view which affirms the division of being. The Birth of Tragedy is indeed a 'metaphysics of the artist'. is caught in an illusion . Art becomes a symbol. What was initially a human tendency becomes an ontological power. a mere appearance. but is an undifferentiated life. But it suddenly assumes a cosmic significance: Man 'is no longer an artist. an aesthetic interpretation of the world in its entirety. It is unwittingly misled by the veil of the Maja. The same analogy applies to intoxication. It is the great elan of life. Individuation and separation are an Apollonian mirage. The multiplicity of being is an illusion. together with its beauty. The dream of human imagination is comparable to the ontological power creating appearances and images called Apollo. Space and time join and divide at the same time. its multiplicity and separation. rips apart. They are collectively in space and time precisely because they are separated from each other: wherever one ends the other begins. This power of beautiful semblance creates the world of appearance. It is of utmost importance to remember that Nietzsche's point of departure is Schopenhauer's distinction between thing-in-itself and appearance. In one unified. This illusion is the world of appearance which we encounter through the subjective forms of space and time. Nietzsche thinks analogically here. Things are in space and time.
13 Apollo. cannot live without Dionysos. A critical and suspicious spirit such as Nietzsche displays an astonishing degree of naivety in the area of ontological reflection. The Apollonian struggles with the Dionysian and vice versa. Lyric poetry resounds from the depth of the world beyond all appearances for Nietzsche. but (and this is Nietzsche's profound insight) neither can exist without the other. The Apollonian world of the Greek culture. their dispute. the preference for measure and harmony rests on the suppressed ground of titanic formlessness which nevertheless remains present. Lyric poetry is the original musical element of art. Furthermore Nietzsche describes the development of classical Greek culture influenced by the great forces of art.The psychology of art and art as cognition of the world
Nietzsche's art-metaphysics introduces itself complete in its basic form already at the beginning of the book. Their contest. he had to interpose between himself and life the radiant dream-birth of the Olympians. Music and lyric poetry make clear that the true subject of art is not man. No attempt is made to demonstrate the path leading to these assertions. The cosmic ground itself searches for 'redemption' from the frenzied restlessness. the firmness of appearance
. in regard to fundamental ontological concepts. They are bound together as contestants. The Greek knew and felt the terror and horror of existence. the dreamer of the great Apollonian dream of the Olympic Gods. who believes himself to have created it. This is a modern concept totally inappropriate in this context. But he fills Schopenhauer's questionable framework with unprecedented life. That he might endure this terror at all. One is amazed at Nietzsche's uncritical reliance on Schopenhauer. Beyond the world of beautiful appearance lies the Gorgo. The Dionysian is the foundation on which the visible world is based. which acts through man and makes him receptive to its forces. however. He does not think in a speculative way himself. The lyric poetry of Archilochos has nothing to do with 'subjectivity'. is also a peculiar harmony. he conjures up mythical symbols and interprets Greek art through them as a key to the essence of the world. There is a hostility between these opposing powers: they displace and battle each other. the seeming eternity of form. Nietzsche contrasts the naive poet Homer. avarice and 'eagerness' of a restless 'will' precisely in the deception of beautiful semblance. The Olympian 'Magic Mountain' has its roots in the Tartarous. the Dionysian counter-feature to epic imagery. At no point do we encounter a reflection if the underlying ontological conception is justified or not. Nietzsche does not in any way assess and scrutinize Schopenhauer's fundamental distinction between world as will and world as representation. He has no assessment criteria for it. but the ground of the world itself. with Archilochos.
Its emergence into appearance is transfigured in the phenomenon of art. the absurd and abysmal character of being. but. In truth.. Nietzsche transforms the concepts of redemption and justification. Nietzsche uses for this the concepts of 'redemption' and 'justification'. There can be no redemption in a tragic view of the world. Nietzsche is not satisfied with the opposition of both cosmic and artistic principles. In becoming receptive to the fundamental power of Dionysos and Apollo through art man becomes the medium and location of a cosmic event. to express it paradoxically. as it were. the beauty of the created appearance. From a human perspective art is . the limelight of the great stage on which things appear in space and time .14 With this view Nietzsche inverts his original approach. For to our humiliation and exaltation. The entire comedy of art is neither performed for our betterment or education nor are we the true authors of this art world. The primordial Dionysian ground casts itself repeatedly into appearance.18
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
and the proportionate harmony of things. artistic drives to establish an analogy for the ontological powers of dream and intoxication (or Apollo and Dionysos) as cosmic principles. Eternal form. The world of appearance is. the beautiful dream of the cosmic spirit. Nietzsche arrives at metaphysical principles of the world through the human artistic drive. and he now interprets human art itself as a cosmic event.an 'artistic comedy'. He departed originally from the human. For him this is not an art form which exhausts and looses itself in beautiful semblance. He rather searches for the highest unification and interpenetration of the Dionysian and the Apollonian and finds this in the classical tragedy. he employs them for a process which belongs to the world and contributes to its ontological constitution.'15 Like a dark urge redeeming itself in the image. What served as a starting point is now reinterpreted through the attained result. Thus all our knowledge of art is basically quite illusory. prepares a perpetual entertainment for itself. the Apollonian presentation of the Dionysian itself. Beautiful semblance
.. like the indeterminate yearning presenting itself on the stage of the world. these are concepts which are initially familiar to us through the doctrine of Christianity.this illumination of the abysmal night is its 'redemption' 'for it is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified. because as knowing beings we are not one and identical with that being which.viewed metaphysically . . human artistic endeavour is a play in which humans themselves are only characters and appearances. as the sole author and spectator of this comedy of art. However. nor does he refer just to their mutual dependency in which one necessitates and at the same time opposes the other. the happy dream satisfies and art transfigures for Nietzsche the severity and heaviness. one thing above all must be clear to us.
and Apollo finally the language of Dionysos. of the bearers of being. He expresses the primordial One18 through ever new images and metaphors: he speaks of the core of being. Nietzsche adopts Schopenhauer's term 'will' while taking over his distinction between essence (thing-in-itself) and appearance.'16 The tragedy is music and image. But the ground of this world of appearance.
. which he finds in the chorus. such as the use of analogy as a tool of knowledge. Nietzsche develops a theory of the historical development of the Attic tragedy. What matters is that Nietzsche gives an interpretation of the world and constructs a schema of being in its entirety in his theory of tragedy. All this is of minor importance. is more easily grasped given that we live in a world where things and human beings are individuated. The dimension of Dionysos is mystically intuited rather than conceptually grasped. Oedipus and Prometheus are masks of this God. It almost has the dubious character of an 'Other-world'. Nietzsche is convinced that all tragedies reveal one mysterious truth.17 Nietzsche's hypothesis about the development of tragic poetry may be questionable. light and night. The beautiful image reveals the wave which devours it. as Nietzsche calls it: 'Dionysos speaks the language of Apollo. The vagueness of Nietzsche's concept of the Dionysian ground is largely responsible for the difficulty in understanding The Birth of Tragedy rather than the unclear methods. Tragedy contains both elements: the abyss of the primordial One (Ur-eine) which discloses itself only in music and the luminous dream world of appearances. the conception of individuation as the primal cause of evil. form and chaos. He postulates music as its basic feature.The psychology of art and art as cognition of the world
here resonates with the raging power of the depth it conceals. The meaning of the Apollonian. more precisely the disclosure of the cosmic essence. and of art as the joyous hope that the spell of individuation may be broken in augury of a restored oneness'. The music of the chorus creates the vision of the dramatic scene. remains peculiarly foggy. being-itself beyond it and light reveals the shadows of the night. which is entirely concerned with the sufferings of Dionysos. 'Appearance' is transparent for. Based on this view of the tragedy as an Apollonian-Dionysian artwork. His interpretation of the chorus or his identification of Wagner's opera and Greek tragedy may be problematic or his psychology concerning the associative connection between music and image may be spurious. of the primordial One and of the living One. dream and intoxication. the principium individuationis. Apollo and Dionysos form a 'brotherhood'. namely 'the fundamental knowledge of the oneness of everything existent. as it were. A philological profession may reject it. Appearance is recognized as such which means at the same time that it is exposed. appearance and essence. the essence behind the manifold of beings.
like all afterworlds-men. A thinker makes his debut as a philologist with a questionable interpretation of the stylistic elements of Greek tragedy from a new view of classical antiquity. Or in other words: Philosophy is the grasp of the eternal discord between all-unity and individuation. between dream and intoxication. through reference to the most distant past of classical antiquity. Dionysian wisdom.based on Schopenhauer's philosophy . formless foundation of life and the domain of light forming the appearances. alldevouring. 'SOCRATISM' AGAINST TRAGIC WISDOM. He proclaims .an alternative sentiment of life and attempts to interpret Richard Wagner. He psychologizes and exaggerates psychological concepts to cosmic dimensions. The ancient motif of the strife between darkness and light dominates Nietzsche's fundamental conception. it pays remarkably little attention to its most important concern. In The Birth of Tragedy.20
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
For this reason. Nietzsche's first work appears to be a symbol. Nietzsche could say in Thus spoke Zarathustra (alluding to The Birth of Tragedy): Once Zarathustra too cast his deluded fancy beyond mankind. It seems as if Nietzsche is not yet able to articulate his insights directly so that he needs to take roundabout ways. the essential understanding of the primordial strife between the opposing principles of Dionysos and Apollo. The book wishes to achieve too much at once. but because Nietzsche's Zarathustra remains true to the original Persian motif of the strife between darkness and light in his tragic. However the case may be. insinuates and remains silent. it is so to speak overambitious.19
4. a phenomenon of the present. between the thing-itself and the appearance. coloured vapour before the eyes of a discontented God. Yet. Then the world seemed to me the work of a suffering and tormented God. It is the grasp of the dismemberment of being as a whole20 into the opposites of night (in which all is one) and day (where all appears individually). CONCERNING TRUTH AND FALSITY IN THE EXTRA-MORAL SENSE
The Birth of Tragedy is a peculiar book. Then the world seemed to me the dream and fiction of a God. It expresses and conceals. Nietzsche's interpretation of tragedy already relies on a tragic understanding of
. For him philosophy is tragic wisdom. Art is not only the theme of philosophical interpretation but its instrument and method. When he later attributes his revelation to Zarathustra. the intuition of the strife between the all-bearing. ait becomes the instrument of philosophy. this is not only necessary because this Persian must be the first to revoke his own moral dualism.
individual. However. Pythia and Dionysos. but Nietzsche alleges that the absolute domination of 'theory' constitutes a hidden assertion of a tendency of
. According to Nietzsche this involves an enormous loss of world. only the logical and rational side of the spirit was developed excessively. that in the disputes between the sophists and Socrates western thinking was turning towards anthropology and metaphysics and that this constitutes an event. Perhaps Nietzsche foresaw that we are concerned here with a change in our ontological understanding. In Socrates. He was the original non-mystic. looses the tension between individuation and the primordial unity of the ground of life and becomes superficial. a human being in whom all desire and passion was sublimated into a will for rational structure and domination of being. who is driven by an enormous need and characterized by a complete lack of 'instinctive wisdom'. its mythical depth. He uses the 'perspective of art'. Pericles. Socrates did not possess a mystical organ. yet supposedly enlightened. a new ideal and seduced the Greek youth and in particular the magnificent Greek adolescent Plato. which Nietzsche extracts from his psychological analysis of Socrates. However it seems that this rejection of Greek tradition originates from some extreme. Socrates marks the end of the tragic age and introduces the age of reason and of the theoretical man. Aeschylus.in his words . Nietzsche alleges. but even more relevantly the ground of its life. Nietzsche recognizes the key position of Socrates but he grasps it within psychological concepts. he was obsessed by the drive to change everything into something rational. his interpretation exhausts itself in psychological terms.the classical Greek tragedy. which indeed can hardly be overestimated.21 Socrates appears thus to be a rational demon. Pindar. trapped in the appearances. Socrates appears to Nietzsche as a paradigmatic example of an unauthentic Greek. However. From this perspective he sees the enemy and opponent of the tragedy: Socratic reason which killed . rejects Homer. does not only function as a contrast to an artistic mode of life. The philosophical perspective is accordingly redirected away from the ruling entirety of the cosmos to inner-worldly (ontical) being for the next 2000 years.'Socratism' against tragic wisdom
the world. The theoretical cognition of the world. Nietzsche's intuition and his astute perception recognize the enormous historical importance of Socrates. Human existence looses its sensitivity for the dark aspect of life. looses its mythical knowledge about the unity of life and death. Socrates created the delusion that thinking according to the principle of causality could reach into the most unfathomable depth of being. logical and thinkable. Phidias. According to Nietzsche Socrates denies the Greek essence. For Nietzsche Socrates is a world-historic figure of a Greek enlightenment in which the classical existence did not only loose its remarkable instinctive reliability. With this he introduced a new type. Socrates was the inventor of the 'theoretical man'. psychological characteristics.
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
art. The assumed absolute identification between the Socratic and Platonic concept of 'theoria' and a general scientific tendency in the modern sense is even more questionable. Nietzsche writes that 'in the logical schematism the Apollonian tendency has disguised itself22. the dark. Nietzsche conflates essentially two different entities: classical theory and nuova scienza. but also the terrifying.considered as a whole . The logical concept is as it were the withered and dried leaf which once grew as metaphor on life's 'golden tree'. Nietzsche approaches this riddle through the phenomenon of dissonance. between thing itself and appearance. theory and science are comprehensible from the perspective of art. Not only the beautiful in its ordinary understanding. Nietzsche's view of Socrates is not only problematic because of his psychological approach. a conceptual fiction can be interpreted from the perspective of art because it conceals an artistic drive despite the fact that it is removed from its antithetical tension with the Dionysian and consequently increasingly impotent. A theory. the primordial ground of being encounters itself. According to Nietzsche. as Nietzsche puts it. The antagonism between Apollo and Dionysos.23 Being in its entirety. Nietzsche believes that in dissonance and tragic myth we encounter analogical Dionysian phenomena. between dream and intoxication is understood as a unity of an antithetical. 'an artful play. The way in which Nietzsche describes the decline of the tragedy brought on by Socratic rationality and the way in which he attributes the victory of the logical over the mythical drive to Euripides appear irrelevant to our main concern. The interpretation of the tragedy reaches its climax towards the end of the book which understands the tragic myth's mode of existence. This encounter 'continuously reveals the playful creation and destruction of the individual world as flowing from a primordial desire. The tragic reality consists in the fact that we desire 'to simultaneously perceive and yearn for a transcendence of perception' just as in musical dissonance we 'listen and yearn beyond listening'. The realm of individuation. In art. but not vice versa. Existence can only be justified as an aesthetic phenomenon. the world as a whole is at play. Art transforms being. or. which the will plays with itself for its own infinite fullness of pleasure'. perceives itself through the images of beings. comparable to the comment by Heraclitus. the horror of existence are moved towards a splendid transformation.24
. who likens the world creative power with the power of a child who moves stones and builds sandcastles only to destroy them again'. the appearance of the many individual things in their distinctive beauty and horror is . The theoretical cognition of the world is based on a weak and impotent artistic drive. basic development. the ugly.a beautiful semblance perceived by the tragic vision.
Tragic art becomes an ontological symbol for Nietzsche. the will. Like the beautiful semblance of an art-work that transfigures suffering and ugliness alike. However. Or better: the activity of the artist. have no metaphysical reality but are only at home in the human spirit. For Schopenhauer. The reality. the creative ground of the world achieves a temporary repose and rest through the beautiful semblance of the manifold appearances of finite beings. Nietzsche's concept of play unifies the opposition of Dionysos and Apollo and constitutes the reluctant synthesis of two fundamental powers. The subjective forms of intuition. The crucial characteristic of this basic conception is firstly Nietzsche's transformation of Schopenhauer's schema.'Socratism' against tragic wisdom
The ontological distinction between 'will' and 'representation'. Nietzsche discloses a central and fundamental concept of his philosophy that reaches back to Heraclitus already here. The world as representation exists accordingly only for man. In Ecce Homo Nietzsche remarked much later about this characteristic of cosmic self-consciousness in The Birth of Tragedy that it smelled 'offensively Hegelian'. thing itself and appearance which Nietzsche borrows from Schopenhauer is not taken as a demarcation of two distinct realms but is interpreted as a dynamic and as a creative process. Nietzsche distances himself from this conception. Yes. The seed of decline is already implanted in all becoming. the essence of being is conceived through art. it creates the manifold of the individual things like artists creating artworks. Ultimately. The primordial ground plays the world. is only a reflection. becomes conscious of itself. Like man the re-creative artist is redeemed in his creativity through the work of art. the primordial ground does not only play with creation but also with destruction. Nietzsche assigns tragic art to the realm in which true Being gains selfconsciousness. the blind drive towards life. space and time. a poor replication of the original poeisis of cosmic life. The will must alienate itself in order to own itself and reunite itself from this alienation in order to realize its self-consciousness. The
. takes possession of itself through consciousness and redeems itself in beautiful 'semblance'. The unity of opposites is articulated but is not grasped adequately in any ontological conception.25 The second characteristic factor of this book is the exposure of primordial reality through the metaphor of play. This world is a product of its artistic drive and a way to encounter and affirm itself. The primordial ground itself playfully creates the world of appearance. The world as representation only exists for the human mind. one may even be justified to say that the will comes to itself. is the only true reality. What is meant by play and how it is to be ontologically determined or conceptualized in more than a witty metaphor is not yet obvious. The pleasure of death and decay resonates in the pleasure of generation and love. The tragic play achieves the cosmic realization of being itself. the creative process. The metaphor of the 'world as play' remains at first a grand intuition. The appearance is accordingly necessary to ensure the selfconsciousness of the will.
for a holistic view of being beyond good and evil. 'the entire book only knows an artist's sense and double-meaning beyond all appearance. It was the most arrogant and untruthful moment of world history. This book practises the art of suspicion in the attack on Socratism. At the same time
. He cites as it were a nature-historical aspect: In some remote corner of the universe of innumerable. that in his aesthetic vision of the primordial reality of 'becoming' he seems so certain about his intuition.24
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
concept of play becomes for Nietzsche later in retrospect a first formula for his 'innocence of becoming'. It also introduces the fundamental concept of play .'. but certainly only an entirely questionable and immoral god of the artist. Yet.reminding us of Heraclitus. who world-creating. Nietzsche does not fall into the traps of the natural scientist. From Nietzsche's posthumously published work we know the treatise Concerning Truth and Deception in the extramoral sense written.. However.. With a kind of cruel irony Nietzsche presents the pitiful. 27 . Truth and deception do not refer to any conscious human behaviour but to a moral issue. this external biological view is only an intellectual way of discussing the intellect. from which perspective does Nietzsche intend to judge the truth and untruth of the mind? Does he occupy a place outside the mind from which he could view it? It is remarkable that Nietzsche never poses this question. a God if you like. . . 'Indeed'. the extent to which the mind itself is true. shimmeringly dispersed solar systems there was once a planet on which clever animals invented cognition.26 The Birth of Tragedy contains almost all elements of Nietzsche's philosophy. he writes in 1886. for a view of the world which opposes all Christian and moral interpretations. Moral truth and untruth are determined within an understanding of the world in the human mind. The treatise deals with the role of the intellect in the world. contemptible and superficial characteristics of human cognition. is redeemed from the need of fullness and plentifulness. of suffering from the oppressive opposites within itself. The 'deception' of the rational mind is grounded in the inability to understand the metaphysical rather than the biological concept of life. Perhaps the mind with all its pursuit of truth is more radically false. but not published in 1873. develops the perspective of art and the perspective of life derived from it and displays an anthropomorphic metaphysics which looks at first sight strange and arbitrary. who wishes to become conscious of his own magnificence and pleasure through generation and destruction. through good and evil. However. the extent to which it aims at real truth are different matters. For the first time and with the appeal to an original and fresh intuition it develops the contrast between the Dionysian and the Apollonian.
the 'deception' of the concepts . creates derives. The most universal characteristic of reason is deception. to the flattery. Nietzsche tries to reflect beyond this distinction here and tries to substantiate that the drive towards truth flows from the instinct towards disguise. artistic mind. i.'Socratism' against tragic wisdom
Nietzsche interprets the role of cognition pragmatically. However. scientific commitment to truth.e. the philosopher works. This tendency attains its fulfilment in man where the art of deception reaches its climax.only the withered remnant of an originally artistic. that is sensual encounter of man with a dazzling world.according to Nietzsche .'29 The subconscious use of words and concepts. Nietzsche refers here sarcastically to the futile play of the many human vanities. The former has retreated into a shell and believes that
. However. The entire material within and with which the human being. Nietzsche contrasts the scientific man who remains blind to the falsity of the concept with the intuitive. One basic aspect emerges in this approach for the first time which is going to be crucial later. lies and deceptions and the pretences about oneself and others. Nietzsche proceeds from language. Normally we perceive this irreconcilable contradiction: reason is an instrument of clever cunning or vain pretence is opposed to the integrity of the will to truth. The concept is the empty shell of a metaphor once inspired by intuition. It is based on a life-preserving illusion. Nietzsche's theory of language or concepts are not relevant but we need to focus on what is responsible for the 'deception' of language. According to Nietzsche language essentially conceptualizes conventions and constitutes agreement about henceforth valid significations.deception understood in the extra-moral sense. a clever cunning which assists the survival of the fittest.28 This conception of language may seem questionable. He poses the question how in such a context the genuine. Language is seen as a convention which occurs when a peace pact is made in the battle of all against all. pure drive for truth could emerge. For now. The scientist uses concepts without being aware any longer that concepts are only empty metaphors devoid of sense. is the condition for an honest. 'Truths are illusions of which one has forgotten that they are illusions. The logical commitment to truth is . The arrogance of the cognitive animal convinces it of its existence and seduces it towards it. how does the sign or the word relate to the thing itself? Are they true? Nietzsche denies this: The development of language has no logical determinants. Although the development is still elementary at this point it is at the same time clear in its original intention. the forgotten history of their dubious development. certainly not from the essence of the things themselves. the scholar. Reason serves the will to live. if not from cloud-cuckoo land.
Compared to the logician and the scientist the intuitive person or the artist is the higher type for Nietzsche. For Nietzsche he constantly attacks conceptual conventions. stars. the abstractions. that 'the essence of culture demands slavery'33 that is the sacrifice of the majority to serve the creation of the genius. . Art seems to be the true method of philosophy because the primordial ground of being itself playfully creates the world like a 'primordial artist'. The genius is a human being who has become the focus for a justification of being in the beautiful appearance of an aesthetic phenomenon. . This has nothing to do with social arrogance.31 For Nietzsche culture is intimately connected with the striving of the cosmic will to reach self-consciousness in the tragic human work of art. but he relates freely.32 Nietzsche thus portrays culture in two small fragments (from the time of The Birth of Tragedy) entitled Greek State and The Greek Woman with an almost inhuman bluntness. Wherever an intuitive man uses his weapons more powerfully and victoriously than his enemy (as in classical Greece) a culture may be formed by itself at best to create the domination of art over life. He considers the 'breathtaking' thought 'that the will (in Schopenhauer's sense) perhaps manifests itself in these worlds. For these the word is not made. man becomes silent when he sees them . Nietzsche's concept of culture is grounded in a fundamental understanding that the world is tragic.or speaks in all sorts of forbidden metaphors and unheard of conceptual constructs in order to at least correspond creatively to the impression of the powerful intuition created by a destruction and a ridicule of the old conceptual limits..26
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
concepts are the things themselves. He is no longer guided by 'concepts but by intuition'. He formulates the 'cruel sounding truth'. creatively to reality creating its images. Nietzsche judges in favour of the artist and against the 'theoretical' man. bodies and atoms in order to come to art'.34 Nietzsche's concept of culture and the metaphysics of the genius underpinning it are inseparably linked to his metaphysics of the artist. The essence of culture is the genius.
. The latter knows the untruth of all concepts and metaphors.30 Does Nietzsche's discussion of truth and deception make any proper sense given that he as it were inquires into the truth of the human cognition and thus questions a kind of meta-truth? His fictional theory of cognition serves really only as an illustration for Socratism. From these intuitions no regular path leads into the land of the ghostly schemata.
Although he inquires into the 'great man' whenever he wishes to express the essence of humanity his exposition of human greatness vacillates within the mentioned ambiguity. The genius is not the great human being which is quantitatively distinguished from his fellow humans through a number of steps. For the early Nietzsche the concept of genius is a forerunner of the overman. It opens up the reality of the Dionysian play and its manifestations of word. He finds it confirmed in the two passionately revered figures of Schopenhauer and Wagner. Truth here does not refer to scientific cognition but to the tragic intuition of the cosmic ground. no ideal type. In Nietzsche's first period however. Without this basic connection of the genius to a cosmic tendency Nietzsche's conception of culture would be inhuman and absurd. simplifying heroism of the genius. which transcends humanism and understands man through his cosmic mission in which he becomes the medium of universal truth. a human being yet a destiny. appearance and music. this conception is repeatedly concealed by Nietzsche himself through the superficial. primordial will of the world is almost obscured by the emphasis on a 'greatness' which portrays itself as a human achievement. CULTURE AND GENIUS. PHILOSOPHY IN THE TRAGIC AGE OF THE GREEKS
The concept of the genius accompanies Nietzsche's intimate intuition of cosmic truth. This tension in the concept of the human being remains always alive in the development of Nietzsche's philosophy. He is torn between a purely anthropocentric conception distinguishing the extremes of the creative and impotent type. His superhuman understanding of genius and his function in a unified. We have identified here an essential feature of Nietzsche: his concept of the human being is ambiguous. This conception of the genius as a mouthpiece of a cosmic tendency and of culture. The genius can not be understood by its merely human characteristics. Like his concept of the overman. it is clear that his metaphysics of the genius is firmly based on the general
. of social rank order determines the theory of culture on the surface. The 'great' human being is only understood through that which manifests itself in it. as an interpretation of life and world that is accomplished in a unified artistic style by the genius.Untimely Meditations. UNTIMELY MEDITATIONS. The pathos of distance. Nietzsche's cult of the genius often assimilates traces of a hero worship. but rather a human being that is subject to the superhuman and to a cosmic mission. It is not the most developed type. Nietzsche's concept of the genius must ultimately be understood and interpreted via the human dedication to truth. 'Greatness' is primarily a mode of truth. which reflects and represents its own essence in the artistic creation. The genius is an instrument of the creative ground of life. the genius and the herd member and a more profound conception of humanity. Culture and Genius
that the concept of culture is firmly based on the tragic world-view. A further distinguishing mark is a more significant understanding of time. with the exaggerated turn to the past which erodes the vitality of a culture. Nietzsche also distinguishes himself from Schopenhauer in his conception of appearance which he interprets as an Appollinian expression (rather than as a mere fiction of the human intellect) which is established and created by the cosmic. a mere public opinion'36. This is the fundamental horizon of Nietzsche's philosophy of history. Nietzsche distinguishes three possible modes of historical engagement: the antiquarian. its self-representation in the tragic work of art give his thought its direction followed further by the Untimely Meditations. The historical development of culture is the human response to the reality of the Being as play as disclosed by the genius. His concern for cultural regeneration should be understood from this aspect. the critical and the monumental history. Even as a cultural critic Nietzsche can only be understood through interpreting these concealed ontological and fundamental thoughts. Nietzsche's theory of culture is at once a diagnosis and a programme. The Birth of Tragedy unfolds his understanding of the cosmos and establishes a central concept of culture.as he puts it in Ecce Homo . His portrayal of the 'tragic age' of the Greeks with its 'mythical groundedness'. Time does not only exist for the intellect but designates a mode of being of the cosmic ground. Nietzsche positions himself already against it. The first corresponds to a preserving and reverential kind of person or to a humanity which lives entirely in the past and takes its lead from
. Concerning the advantage and disadvantage of history in regard to life. This work is concerned with a critique of'historical meaning' as an indication of the decline of culture.28
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
artistic-metaphysics of the cosmos. the German Bildung*^ which he regards .although an illusion . The Dionysian play is pure becoming. David Strauss.not nothing. It is more: it is an attack on the complacent and self-satisfied German culture.with merciless contempt appears to him devoid of 'meaning. is not only an attack of an 'educational philistine'. The hidden theme of the book is human historicity. The first Untimely Meditation. without aim. His polemic treatise against David Straufi establishes a contrast to true culture and shows that true culture can not and is not meant to exist. The latter is . After the war of 1870-71 and the success of the new German empire and its emerging culture. Dionysian ground. Because it is rooted in the cosmic ground time is significant for the realm of appearance. its creative productivity. its comprehensive artistic style. the Confessor and Writer. The critique is poignant and cutting. A more fundamental critique also dominates the Untimely Meditation. without substance. Nietzsche's subsequent comment becomes true in retrospect: he only attacks things which are victorious. The critique of culture engages with the decay of historical meaning. Despite its foundation on Schopenhauer's dogma.
the projection of life into the future declines the assembly of historical knowledge becomes a burden or even a danger for life itself. On the whole. He does not simply refer to the present culture (the genius is 'untimely' in relation to his respective contemporary culture) but rather to a future culture. signs and means of expression available'. He wishes to assault the 'democratic' levelling tendencies of the time. On the whole the presentation of culture remains within the domain of the 'merely human'.38 This is a clear example how Nietzsche's writing and his desire for the spectacular endangers his philosophy. In retrospect37 Nietzsche comments that Schopenhauer and Wagner only served as 'occasions' in these two essays 'to make a few more formulas. He is feverishly ready to attack and fight. Nietzsche's Untimely Meditations belong to his first period. The approach of monumental history projects itself into the future. However. A life which sets itself great aims has a sense for comparably audacious attempts of the past. The visions of the past reveal themselves only to those with a determined will to a future. Where the vital plan. The human being is not merely ready to hand in the dimensions of past. present and future like other things. by the allegorical use of two figures. Culture and Genius
a tradition.Untimely Meditations. Life becomes essentially a remembrance and a recollection. The basic attitude of critical history on the other hand opens itself to the present and makes this the standard for the past judging history from the horizon of the presence. The futility of all plans and the life which is no longer sustained by intentions to create its own future escapes into the past and seeks to forget its own emptiness in the remote richness of a past life. silent metaphysics of the genius expressed so clearly in The Birth of Tragedy. As a result a superficial reading gains the impression of an extraordinary idolization of the genius. The ambivalence which overshadows all Untimely Meditations is created by the implied. These dimensions are rather horizons which are kept open by the human being itself in different ways. The metaphysics of the artist underpin them even though this remains implicit. but because it interprets the temporality of human existence. in one word'. Schopenhauer and Wagner refer to 'Nietzsche. Plato used Socrates in similar ways to express himself. the meaning of the essays is not exhausted by Nietzsche's psychological identifications. This work is not only important because it exposes the dangers of an excessively historical culture. Nietzsche portrays the genius which symbolizes the central essence of a culture. Nietzsche depicts his vision of a future culture in the way in which he depicted the possibility of the greatest culture of history in The Birth of Tragedy. Schopenhauer as Educator and Richard Wagner in Bayreuth. The cosmic and instrumental function of the genius remains seemingly obscure.
. In this case man only learns to surrender in the face of history. In discussing 'culture' Nietzsche does not betray his original. In the other two Untimely Meditations. his 'wrist is dangerously loose'. In addition Nietzsche seeks an argument.
Nietzsche's engagement with Greek philosophy is rather peculiar. Culture is not merely a human product. Nietzsche's first period sketched here from its metaphysical aspect and its concept of culture is essentially determined by Nietzsche's view of the problems of Greek culture and philosophy. He is influenced most by Heraclitus and identifies the essence of the primordial ground in accordance with Heraclitus as 'play'. He did not only write a treatise on Diogenes Laertius.30
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
metaphysical approach and his debt to Schopenhauer. tragic pessimism is contrasted with an optimistic confidence. the leader and the human genius influence and form a culture. often psychological categories. They are the instruments of a divine power which the cosmic ground creates in order to encounter itself. the artist. artistic intuition is contrasted with the assembly of concepts. he compiled different sketches made between 1872 and 1875 (including the small essay Philosophy in the tragic age of the Greeks written in the spring of 1873) into a 'book on philosophy'. In his profession as a classical philologist Nietzsche already engaged with Greek philosophy extensively. vision with dialectic. he does not express clearly what constitutes this rift. The heroic. Thus Nietzsche attributes a change of view and method to human influence here. Are they tragic because they lived and thought in the age of tragedy or are they themselves inspired by (what Nietzsche calls) the brotherhood of Dionysos and Apollo in the tragedy? Does the tragic understanding of the world determine their thinking? The philosophy of the tragic age disappeared because of the dialectic of Socrates akin to the tragedy itself which disappeared because of the Socratism of Euripides' 'rational' muses. Nevertheless Nietzsche's concept of play is radically distinct from Heraclitus. In other words. when this change should perhaps be understood more profoundly as a change of truth itself to which humanity reacts and which humanity follows. However. the location of its revelation. It is most important that Nietzsche perceives a historical break between Socrates and Plato and the thinkers preceding these. Nietzsche's characterization of the difference between Pre-Socratic and classical Greek philosophy occurs entirely within anthropological. an important traditional source for Greek philosophies. We can also sense this contrast in his
. Although his approach has a human focus this is not an anthropology removed from metaphysics as we encounter it in Nietzsche's second period. The philosophers preceding Plato and Socrates are called 'tragic'. The saint. He is almost blind to them. Furthermore. He also gave repeated lectures on the 'Pre-platonic Philosophers' and further an 'Introduction to the study of Plato's dialogues' during his time in Basle. Its fundamental ontological problems do not seem to concern him. The contrast between Nietzsche's intuition of this difference and its interpretation is very peculiar. Nietzsche's uncanny instinct for the tragedies of the spirit senses a deep rift here. The genius is the caretaker of the truth of the primordial cosmic ground.
a new mode of existence manifesting itself in manifold and fundamentally distinct ways. thus occupy a role akin to his own in regard to German culture. He interprets the history of these thinkers as a 'profound spiritual dialogue': 'A giant calls the other through the desolate intervals of the ages. He simplifies and obliterates subtleties and distorts unbearably . Nietzsche feels its unique importance. He sees the classical spirits as 'great men' or as 'personalities' of unique stature. the rigorous demand for autonomous thinking in all respects and the re-evaluation of the importance and value of Being. immediate intuitions spoilt by reflection in the great thoughts of the Pre-Socratics. . . Whoever enjoys . Nietzsche questions these philosophers about their judgements of the value of existence. . For Nietzsche. He sees the richness of intuition.'40 In particular. Did the classical thinkers use their 'personality' perhaps to think the essence of being? Nietzsche tells the story of these philosophers in a 'simplified manner'. Nietzsche finds 'metaphors'. Anaximander is interpreted morally. He appears to have an aesthetic interest in them. Anaximander. Nietzsche interprets the great allegories of Thales. he only accepts these as evidence for their rich lives. Heraclitus. Dike and Adikia are interpreted as fundamental moral concepts. great men at all also enjoys such systems even if they are wholly mistaken: they have some point which is completely irrefutable. but he understands it in a way which obliterates the ontological questions entirely. one can use it to gain an image of the philosopher . The centre of the work is the exposition of Heraclitus. . Nietzsche talks about his spiritual idols. feels the greatness of its origins. The idolized portrait of every thinker whom he describes includes an aspect of his own life.and yet his work is characterized by a peculiar aura. He was supposedly 'the first Greek to capture the complexity of the deepest ethical problem in a daring grasp'. Thales had a vision of the unity of being and expresses this vision in the symbol of water.3<i Nietzsche uses the system to sketch the image of the creative personality. they heal and purify Greek culture. in which the guilt for the existence of being is determined. The Greeks symbolise the daring courage to lead the radical philosophical life and make it visible even in the style of their dress. a colour. They create the sage. Parmenides is emphasized strikingly to provide a contrast. These judgements are more important to him than any judgement from enlightened times as they are based on the tragic experience.Untimely Meditations. a personal mood. It is particularly obvious here how Nietzsche transforms (and perhaps must transform) all ontological questions
. Culture and Genius
relationship to Greek philosophy as a whole. . Parmenides and Anaxagoras. He does not believe in the truth of their systems.
playing draughts: the kingdom is a child's'43. solely remaining possibility for Heraclitus: what he found here is rare even in the area of the mystically unbelievable and the unexpected cosmic metaphors. Heraclitus' concept of play becomes Nietzsche's deepest intuition for the grandly symbolic and metaphorical nature of the cosmos. builds and destroys innocently . paidos he besileie. this building and destruction. like life to death.Nietzsche says with greatest sincerity . Nietzsche believes that the Heraclitean opposites are precursors to his own opposition between Dionysos and Apollo. the play of fire with itself.42 Nietzsche's interpretation of Heraclitus thus focuses on the fragment 52 (Diels): 'Aion Pais esti Paizon. Nietzsche writes: In this world only the play of the artist or the child compare with this becoming and decay. are from now on eternal visions./Etermty is a child at play. . Heraclitus denies constant being. Parmenides relates to Heraclitus like ice to fire. lifeless and opposed to becoming for him.and in this eternity itself is at play.32
The 'Metaphysics of the Artist'
into questions of value. Nietzsche does not understand Parmenides' originality because he fails to see the speculative depth of the ontological problem altogether. recognizes becoming and the flow of time as the true dimensions of 'reality'. he revealed the greatest spectacle. petteuon. And just like the child and the artist. He is also sensitive to the polarized tension between the opposites within the temporal flux. without any moral responsibility. the eternally living fire plays. He feels a kinship with him in the 'fundamental aesthetic conception of the world at play'. How can the One exist concurrently with the many? Nobody with dialectical intuition can guess or seemingly calculate the third. in eternally identical innocence. Being is something fixed. rigid.'44 Nietzsche establishes a contrast to this view of Heraclitus which in its opposition is equally revealing. the one is only in this sense concurrently the many. More specifically he finds an interpretation of a reluctant unity of opposition in the fundamental concept of play. immovable. Nietzsche believes he encounters his own questions in Heraclitus. 'What he saw' . like logical concept to intuition.41 Heraclitus illustrates the transformation of one fire into the manifoldness of things in a 'sublime metaphor'.The world is the play of Zeus or expressed physically. Nietzsche has made no attempt to overcome the common dichotomy and
. 'Being' is only an abstract term for a fiction of human imagination. for an ideal object without corresponding reality for him.'the doctrine of the law within becoming and of the play within necessity.
He invokes all kinds of colourful metaphors to illustrate the distance between mere concept and life.may be this very denial of an ontological concept.Untimely Meditations.introducing with this a reorientation that leads to his second period .
. .. most abstract generalities. Accordingly. in the empty shells of the most indeterminate concepts like in a house of cobwebs.. . A main reason why Nietzsche does not carry his intuition of the Dionysian and Apollonian play beyond a poetic image . most empty concept of being. But nobody tackles such terrifying abstractions as 'Being' and 'Non-Being' without punishment. .. And the philosopher sits next to such truth similarly bloodless like an abstraction and trapped in formulas. Nietzsche opposes the Eleatic already sharply in his first period where he attempts to think metaphysically and where he constructs his metaphysics of art on the basis of Schopenhauer's philosophy. Culture and Genius
to think the opposition between being and becoming from within the ontological problem. he interprets Parmenides as a thinker who is frozen in his lifeless abstractions. Truth is now supposed to live only in the most pale. He draws an unprecedented caricature of highest symptomatic significance.45 This is how Nietzsche views Parmenides. A Greek was able in those days to flee from an excessive reality as if from a mere pretentious schematism of imagination into the rigid deadly calm of the coldest. the blood curdles if one touches them.
that is the unfolding of an original intuition. colder atmosphere surrounds him. Biographically. A cooler. or whether it constitutes a more profound development of thought. He destroys what he worshipped and worships what he destroyed. The appearance is the Apollonian dream of the Dionysian ground of the world. His positions seem to be inverted. firstly through tracing 'appearance' back to a cosmic tendency. On the other hand Nietzsche engages more
. To be sure. The primordial One immerses itself in the appearance. he gains a distance to his idols. However. This commences suddenly and appears to be a sudden interruption of the original path of thought or even a radical turn. that is a farewell to the 'heroes' of his youth that he worshipped with burning enthusiasm and in whose name he only succeeded to articulate his new conceptions. a deep or possibly irreconcilable rift. individual expression. Nietzsche appears to deny everything he has asserted so far. he already had expressed a different sentiment of life and a different existential mood on the basis of Schopenhauer's metaphysics and had replaced passive pessimism with a tragic attitude overcoming the flight from the world with the transfiguration of the world through art. it is a question whether the second period signifies as it were simply a new. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF UNMASKING AND THE SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE. He discards the cliches of Schopenhauer's metaphysics and Wagner's worship of art and searches for a new. It hosts the inner separation from Wagner and the turn away from Schopenhauer. ALL TOO HUMAN
Human. HUMAN. Nietzsche awakes from the romantic dream of his hero worship.CHAPTER TWO
1. biographical interpretation of Nietzsche's thought with this question. We only indicate our concern about the usual. and he becomes emancipated to become himself. All Too Human and to a certain extent also Dawn and The Gay Science represent Nietzsche's second period. But he also changes Schopenhauer's ontological conception. Nietzsche's second period constitutes a biographical break. To be sure. opposing world-view of the thinker extinguishing the earlier motives of his thought.
Sometimes one has the feeling of attending an enormous self-exhibition and self-display. not on the rhetorical level. but would be mainly traces. a peculiar. Nietzsche is two-headed: he is a philosopher and a sophist. He did not develop sophistry as the art of disputation. Did it not sound as if two swords were crossed? In any case both of us felt that way. This crossing of the two books . They would have little to do with truth. Nietzsche lifts the tone of the spiritual biography . an existential interpretation for this sudden 'break' and change in his philosophy on numerous occasions. The inner confrontation with Schopenhauer and Wagner leaves a concealed and hidden stage and comes to an obvious. All Too Human. We regard this as a wrong approach.The psychology of unmasking and the scientific perspective
profoundly with the essence of time than Schopenhauer. Nietzsche understood and interpreted himself almost exclusively biographically. Are the biographical motif of self-realization. his experience.and even more so that of the autobiography. Nietzsche himself gives a biographical account. documents.'through a miracle of significant chance' a copy of Parsival with the dedication: 'to his valued friend Friedrich Nietzsche from Richard Wagner. Systems would be mere manifestations of 'personalities' in which the 'great man' reveals himself. his loneliness or his self-doubts. One may be tempted to apply the biographical method to Nietzsche himself and to use it as the key to detect the changes in his thinking. Nietzsche attempted to understand the Pre-Socratic thinkers in this way. In Ecce Homo he refers to this work retrospectively as the 'monument of a crisis'. because we both remained silent. All Too Human has an important place in Nietzsche's spiritual history. Like perhaps no other philosopher. He
. Time is not just an intellectual form of intuition but the mode in which the primordial cosmic ground is at play for Nietzsche. acute crisis in Human.1 Human. When Nietzsche sends the book to Wagner he receives .as he puts it . expressions and symptoms of a psychological history. Every book talks about his life. He remained engaged in sophistry.It seemed to me as if I heard an ominous sound. His anthropological approach remained infinitely distant from the Pre-Socratics. Church Councillor'. the change from a reverential tendency to a self-assertion or the temporary influence of his friend Ree the reasons for his intellectual change? If this were the case then thoughts would be mere reflexes. He understands this to refer to a liberation from the bounds of reverence which held him captive for too long and prevented him from seeing the individual and autonomous mission of his own life. the emancipation from Wagner. dazzling mixture of confession and posture which can be equally interesting and disgusting.
It is no longer primarily a contemplative expression of universal truth and the resulting human condition but it focuses on the human condition first and interprets being from this aspect. religion and art become subjected to their judgement. He even dedicates the first edition to Voltaire. Nietzsche's enlightened stance focuses its attention and its questions on the human being. by Schopenhauer and Wagner and the conception of an intelligible world-as-such beyond the appearances. Does it simply constitute a return to the domination by the world of appearance? Can Nietzsche simply forget his metaphysics of the artist and return to an innocent perspective? Surely not! His enlightenment is after all a battle against his very own approach determined by the tragic age of the Greeks. Now he denies this distinction between a primordial One. Metaphysics. pure cognition and anything else Nietzsche ridiculed mercilessly in The Birth of Tragedy. This is initially a demand. The latter contained a fundamental distinction between the primordial ground and the realm of appearance. methodical critique assume the leading roles now. 'one of the greatest liberators of the spirit'. Nietzsche becomes a champion of 'enlightenment'. Here we find
. the thing itself and the appearances. they are revealing symbols of an existence. Life is no longer understood metaphysically or mystically as universal life transcending the appearances but it is interpreted as the human life and furthermore as a biological concept. It only tries to challenge our complacency in regard to a biographical approach. however. the theoretical man.36
developed it as a prophetic art. His argument is directed at this difference. However and very importantly. Thoughts are no longer primarily true or false. Schopenhauer and Wagner were the trinity of true understanding for the early Nietzsche. The Greeks. Religion (understood in the Greek sense). Science. If. he was not merely a sophist but also a thinker and if a question assumed the power over him to guide his life then any changes in his thinking would need to be grasped in a more profound way. This change in Nietzsche's basic view is initially incomprehensible. All Too Human the aggressive attitude against the two worlds and against 'otherworldliness' already resonates through the enlightened pathos. In Human. This human focus is accompanied by a change in the concept of life. They would need to be related back to the demands of the subject matter itself which asserts itself in Nietzsche's philosophical thinking. And now all this is inverted. Nietzsche's thinking turns into anthropology. Purely superficially Nietzsche's second period appears to be an inversion of the first. Socratism. metaphysics and art were considered as ways to approach the essence of the cosmos and as infinitely superior to all science. critical reflection. Nietzsche practised an 'existential sophistry' with much virtuosity. they are symptoms of life. They appear to be no longer the fundamental modes of truth but illusions in need of destruction. now appear of the essence and determine the pathos of the entire book.
metaphysics and art. that is through his own peculiar sophistry. Philosophy is supposed to become analytical and historical and in summary: 'scientific'. Nietzsche now proclaims the supremacy of science. After all. etc. however. The basic characteristic of his psychological analysis is the assertion of a 'genealogy' of the ideal derived from its opposite. Nietzsche believes that the traditional philosophical approach suffers from a genetic defect. He does not use any particular methods of any particular science but his tools are analysis and history in general. This examination takes a peculiar form. He will use it to examine and judge the claims of religion. traditional philosophy only considers the human being of the last four thousand years. On this occasion. sophistical psychology which explains matters ab inferiorf. namely of the derivation of right from common utility. This is often regarded as a great achievement. Nietzsche believes that he can expose these scientifically through a psychological analysis of illusion. It includes the infinite resolution of the threads of a web. To us it seems to be a truly sophistic and an unphilosophical aspect of his works. 'Analysis' includes the critical deconstruction of a seemingly simple phenomenon into a complex formation of multiple levels of relationships. the patient and disciplined pursuit of a well-concealed subject and the investigation of the surface to the point of transparency. However. The vagueness of Nietzsche's continuous reference to science is remarkable. Science is essentially critical for Nietzsche. It is not readily available like a tool which one can just use. science does not refer to an inquiry into any region of reality but to the exposition of the deceptive characteristics of those human attitudes identified by him in his first period as the primordially true approaches to the universal essence. Nietzsche's change comes as a surprise to all. Strictly speaking he does not refer to any of the positive sciences but to a general. As in The Birth of Tragedy he uses psychology as a conceptual method. he envisages a critique of traditional philosophy. we can not just ignore it as unimportant because Nietzsche generally expresses his philosophy through psychology. art and morality.The psychology of unmasking and the scientific perspective
prototypal expressions of what he will call later the apology of man and the death of God. of truth from a deceptive. approximate type of inquiry and critical examination. It occurs as an unmasking. Nietzsche has the questionable honour to be the inventor of a particular. Accordingly. religion. it is not a speculative but rather a destructive and an unmasking psychology. Nevertheless. Its enlightened rhetoric conceals rather than clarifies it. Its inner workings are not easily understood. that is the product of historical conditions. of morality. illusionary instinct and of holiness from the very unholy basis of vengeful drives and instincts. religion. He analyses the great
. Nietzsche demands a 'historical' philosophy which refuses to believe readily in 'eternal facts' and 'absolute truths' but understands man as the product of history.
as if it was concerned with weakness. not the best have compelled us to believe them.'3 Accordingly. all-too-human things. with pettiness or with the insignificant machinations of human vanities. religion. But anything that has made metaphysical assumptions valuable. This interestedness or this yearning for redemption lead Nietzsche to the immediate conclusion that the metaphysical will to cognition is merely a disguised desire. No argument can be successful against this approach because any contradiction can be 'unmasked' and thus overcome. This question is dismissed at the mere possibility that the search for truth is based on motivations within life which are not disinterested but aim for redemption or the like. If one exposes these methods as the foundations of all actual religions and metaphysical systems one has refuted them. Its basic theme is rather the so called 'super-human' which is in truth only an all-too-human illusion. The psychology of the hidden motivations can bring anything hidden to light. He cannot recognize the thing itself because the belief in a thing itself which exists beyond the appearances (and is initially concealed from our view although disclosed through philosophy) is a metaphysical superstition. Nietzsche's psychological interpretations have an element of cunning: the unmasking and the revelation of disguises and masks allow him to expose any contrary evidence simply as deceptive. the human being cannot grasp the heart of the world. the title should not be trivialised. The worst means of cognition. A psychological clarification constitutes already a refutation for him. For example: Altruism is merely the disguised form of a subconscious egoism. Contrary to the view of the metaphysician. The psychological destruction of metaphysics which Nietzsche undertakes primarily in Human. art and morality from the largely concealed. error and self-deception.4 Nietzsche leads his battle with the psychological exposition of the evolution of metaphysics. an all-too-human need. In Ecce Homo he writes about it: 'Wherever you see ideals. suspiciously and vengefully and exposes them as 'higher forgeries' or in brief as 'idealism'. One can merely question the entire style of such a psychology of suspicion. He does not examine the truth of religion or metaphysics. subconscious instincts and desires of man. a cutting and indeed a cynical rejection of any form of idealism. We regard all things through the human mind and cannot eliminate this mind. I see human. pleasurable was created by passion. Nietzsche's psychological attack is accordingly
. terrifying. All Too Human is directed against Schopenhauer's firm distinction of thing itself and appearance which in turn is a very rough rendition of a Kantian conception. The book is a sharp.38
human sentiments critically.
Despite all the sophistic psychology his thinking seems peculiarly 'shallow'. His method assumes the characteristics of a universal argumentatio ad hominem. He intends to show how human needs and yearnings underpin all metaphysical concepts .can be called 'the science which deals with the basic human errors.even such concepts as thing. Perhaps it conceals more than a 'psychological unmasking'. we should not underestimate this attack. perhaps Nietzsche's enlightenment is a surface phenomenon which hides a deeper truth? Coming to Nietzsche from his first period one tends to be at first profoundly disappointed about his turn. as if they were basic truths'. Metaphysics . He has lost the great inspiration and he does not live through one fundamental experience. How does this affect metaphysics? Metaphysics appears to be an enormous fiction.'neither mediately nor immediately. And yet. He likens it to the romanticism of the adolescents who value metaphysical explanations because they expose a deeper meaning even in the deplorable and unpleasant aspects of life: if he is dissatisfied with himself.Nietzsche says . narrow-minded and all too trivial. neither as doctrine nor as
. It is only of vital significance if it remains related to the basic concerns of the human heart and provides these with a conceptual framework. yes. a dream invented by man or a living lie with which he consoles himself and through which he copes with finitude and gives his existence an absolute meaning.5 Nietzsche gives a number of subtle.this is for him a double delight which he owes to metaphysics. boring in future. Religion is interpreted similarly as well. 'Never has any religion' . substance and freedom of will. art and morality will make metaphysics trivial. metaphysics becomes a meaningless repetition of unfounded reflection. Nietzsche believes that the psychological analysis of religion. Man becomes the basis of all questions. He has become 'critical'. Its claim to truth. psychological interpretations of the metaphysical need for consolation. To experience himself more irresponsibly and to find at the same time everything more interesting . be it allegorical or literal is rejected from the start. however.6 Metaphysics becomes consequently a spiritual release valve and nothing else. Nietzsche sees metaphysics now only as a tool of life or as a way of deceptive self-interpretation. this sentiment is relieved if he recognizes the inner cosmic riddle or cosmic suffering in that which he rejects within himself.The psychology of unmasking and the scientific perspective
directed against a crude form of metaphysics and does not meet the enemy in his strongest position. On its own. engages in a sobering analysis of man and limits his view to the human perspective.Nietzsche says most emphatically .
According to Nietzsche art. It is primarily the selfexhibition of the artist. They do not see 'the eccentric. namely the enlightened belief that all 'striving for the super-human is an idealistic self-deception'. Nietzsche demands a philosophy of consistent and active disappointment. One does not admit it without deep regret that the most inspired artists of all times just elevated those representations to a divine transfiguration that we have recognized to be false: They glorify human religious and philosophical errors and they could not have existed without believing their truth. Because religion is born from fear and need. If the belief in these truths. Metaphysics and religion can only exist so long as man does not know himself and remains alienated from himself. the rainbow colours surrounding the extreme boundaries of human cognition and aspiration decline. eroded health.'8 The role of the genius is also perceived differently and more soberly. as a release with a highly complex and to innocent minds hardly transparent structure. to profane and to attack any human ideals. which is often all too easily understood as a 'miracle' and a manifestation of a strange power.40
allegory contained any truth. it sneaked into our life through false paths of reason. the vital illusion which seduces us towards life. This example already shows Nietzsche's style of analysis and psychological explanation. such art can never flourish again. It is no longer a mode of profound cosmic understanding. Nietzsche seems to have lost the sense for human greatness. exhausted nerves'7. Soon one recognizes the illusion which dominates this sobriety. It transforms and even solidifies them. is in the grip of metaphysics and religious illusions. through a desire for pretentiousness and in particular through the misconception that others have about this failed person. The spirits disappear with the psychological understanding of the self. He demands a human return from the cloud-cuckoo-land of the ideal in a number of variations. Nietzsche argues polemically against his own earlier view in which the genius had a cosmic
. bad understanding. Compared to the first period even art is now interpreted differently. Inspiration is no longer viewed as a flash of deepest insight into the heart of the world but as a kind of spiritual burst. through an enjoyment of great sentiments. One feels immediately that this method is dangerous and questionable.' He gives a similar psychological explanation of the saint. He has an almost heroic desire to deny. He invents a psychology of metaphysical and religious need for consolation which could hardly be more sceptical and more suspicious. the sick aspect of his character with its combination of spiritual poverty. of the ascetic whom he explains through a lust for power and tyranny against himself. through a desire for revenge. as a sudden release of long-stored energies.
ruthless spirit. He practises a psychology of secrecy and ambiguity and brings more than one background to the fore. He has no inhibitions and no respect. He has a daring. He experiments with himself. However.'9 Critical knowledge becomes a power which attacks life itself and destroys its security and its misleading illusions. the scientist on a same level with the artist. the main human psychology is always a psychology of his many metaphysical. Nietzsche invents its marvellous characteristics far removed from the common and clumsy free-spiritedness of the traditional enlightenment and from the deadly serious belief in reason. Nietzsche is conscious of the dichotomy between life and science and he now opts for the latter. These are allegedly concealed instincts. He is a hunter pursuing many traces. in both cases we find the perspective of life. wishful projections and yearnings. he even ranks them higher since they are not deceived by metaphysical delusions. religious. He has the icy coolness of a relentless thought which 'cuts into life's flesh' and which pursues truth directly even when this could be deadly. Nietzsche's second period is an inversion of the first in almost all respects: the former viewed the theoretical approach of science from the perspective of art. it is always the philosopher. He is a precursor to the Prince Vogelfrei. moral and cultural illusions. The existential sentiment. Even in its sobering psychological unmasking Nietzsche's main topic remains the human greatness. The latter views art from the perspective of science. with the world and with God. He is suspicious like no one else. He puts the scholar. artistic. the artist and the genius who remain the human mystery. the saint. He has a seductive. least of all for those things that are valued by the world. The problem of culture is now posed more critically and not in the context of a glorification of the Greeks but as a merely future human aim. Nevertheless. dominated in his first period by the tragic pathos is now strongly characterized by the dissonance of human life resulting from the tension between innocence and critical knowledge.
. He has a sixth sense for the hidden path of the ideal. the concept of life is understood in two different ways: firstly cosmologically and metaphysically and now psychologically and biologically.The psychology of unmasking and the scientific perspective
function and his education remained the purpose of any culture. that is as a task of humanity liberated from illusions. He challenges everything and disregards even the most revered things. daring courage. Man is understood as an animal with ideals. However. Man is understood through his great aspirations. However. He rejects such things as 'superstition'. indeed. Thus Nietzsche's two early periods have something in common here. to the light-footed dancer and to the peaceful gaiety and relaxation of Zarathustra. 'We are from the start irrational and therefore unjust creatures and can recognise this: this is one of the greatest and most irreconcilable dissonances of human existence. Nietzsche's free spirit has a distance to himself. This decision shows itself in the character of the 'free spirit'.
they wonder how the day between the tenth and twelfth hours can have such a pure. It gives expression to a first tempting clarity.they are searching for the philosophy of the morning. but it expresses as it were a dynamic transition. in one word: it just pretends to be science. To be sure. The turn away from Schopenhauer and Wagner is not an event in his life but rather and more authentically a turn in his thinking. all-too-human'. not of a static and fixed one. the object and aim of his liberation are not easy to see or to conceptualize clearly. it pretends to be purely prosaic and lucidly clear. gay expression . transfigured.who freely receives many good and light things. Nietzsche liberated himself spiritually in Human. Yet at the same time it has already gained an ironic distance to science and harbours exuberant suspicions against suspicion itself. It is a monument of a crisis. It just pretends to be a critique which has become immune to deceptions. Despite its entire cool and scientific attitude it is gay. ethereal. He unmasks only all the idealism and discovers. who is a 'wanderer' and a 'departure on all gates' . however. It is the hunting ground of the 'free spirit'. THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE MORNING (DAWN AND THE GAY SCIENCE)
The philosophy of the morning. All Too Human.42
Nietzsche's character of the 'free spirit' must not be understood as a fixed or static attitude. Despite its entire coolness of the dawn one senses the rising sun. All Too Human. It is a transitional figure. the presents of all those free spirits. It just pretends to be scepticism and deep suspicion. which expresses itself in these peculiar writings by Nietzsche and which we have just summarized under the heading of a second developmental period (i.
2. who are at home in the mountains. in all human self-transcendence merely the 'human. However. It articulates a strange philosophy. as he believes. The book is filled with a peculiar mood of suspense. to a dawn of a demystified world no longer hidden behind a mystical veil or beyond the metaphysical clouds yet nevertheless itself only provisional and transitional. Dawn and The Gay Science) is a strange philosophy indeed with hidden depths that do not become readily transparent. in Human. the forest and in the solitude and who are wanderers and philosophers like him with an occasionally gay or contemplative manner. Does he merely break with all metaphysics? Does he break away from a path leading through the centuries? The fact that he develops no positive scientific research programme anywhere indicates also that his newly sung praise of 'science' must be regarded with some caution. Born from the secrets of sunrise.
Man worships his own creations. The scepticism directed against religion. Religion.The philosophy of the morning
Nietzsche's second period is perhaps most difficult to understand. he does not forget that science itself is also a problem. However. The leading thought guiding this unmasking asserts that man has lost himself. Life is an experiment. He operates with the cunning of the snake. All the important. but it uses science as a way to question religion. a change of man's fundamental stance. An affirmation of Nietzsche's true philosophy slowly rises from the negation of enlightenment. He refers repeatedly and variedly to the experimental character of life. an external mirage of the creative powers of man. It does not only turn away from the first. The free spirit is not free because it lives according to a scientific experience. to the creative risk or to the projections of one's own aims. adjusts his entire life in accordance with it and forgets that it is man himself who puts the Gods in his own divine heaven. art and morality and to transform the latter into 'question marks'. it triggers a human conversion. It does not believe in reason. with understanding and he unmasks. Nietzsche's enlightenment is enlightened about itself. More importantly.as Nietzsche believes their roots and exposes their timidly concealed and forgotten foundations scientifically. but it turns towards a third period. they precisely conceal this ambiguity. The 'free spirit' seems to be an enlightened mind. It does not only intend to 'unmask' and to demonstrate the falseness of religion. Nietzsche's philosophy of the morning is documented in a number of ambiguous books. Whenever Nietzsche's 'free spirit' sings the praise of science. One does not realize that his coldness and his suspicion symbolise a negation which will be replaced by affirmation. metaphysical and moral universe which man has erected beyond his existence. basic thoughts are becoming recognizable and appear on the horizon. Man worships the divine. The sobering revelation of the all-too-human foundations of all 'ideals' thus does not only lead to a collapse of the religious. metaphysics and morals. At first one does not realize that he is himself intoxicated. metaphysics and morality are the forms of his servitude. He selects so to speak a 'scientific perspective' because this corresponds to the fundamental mood which dominates the entire second phase of Nietzsche. It is free because it uses science to free itself from the existential imprisonment in the ideals by breaking the domination of religion. if in a concealed and mysterious manner. an evolution of his existence. metaphysics and morality. metaphysics and morality uncovers . They illuminate the attitude of the free-spirited enlightenment with the deeper. He has succumbed to the super-human. that the wisdom of this spirit is a bird's wisdom which transcends all fixed determinations. metaphysics. fuller light of the midday. Man must not search for transcendental aims but must
. The second phase appears to be largely transitional. in progress and in science with dead-seriousness. The divine is only an illusion of something human.
it is no longer bound. He plays with the scientific pathos and distils this pathos into the character of the 'free spirit'. but it has become free. It is not constricted by any superhuman powers. Life no longer has a pre-given meaning. He experiments scientifically. He compares himself more than once to Christopher Columbus from Genoa. He is no scholar. self-imposed servitude to seemingly strange ideals. as the moral law or as the thing itself. He is inspired by . However. it is no longer led by a divine will. An entirely new existential sentiment becomes possible in the form of the greatest spiritual boldness which is dependant on nothing. The heavenly constellations of idealism are only the projections of this self-transcendence. Nietzsche actualizes the experimental style of human existence himself. We quote just two verses: Mistral wind. Man understands that existence includes a risk.La Goya Scienza. He uses the methods regarded by him as scientific to destroy religion. He leaves all shores behind to voyage towards eternity itself. metaphysics and morality.. Nietzsche's fundamental mood expresses itself in the songs of the Prince Vogelfrei which conclude The Gay Science. you rain cloud leaper Sadness killer. He experiments with the existence of a scientist. because such a person . For Nietzsche.44
search inside himself. it is no longer determined by a metaphysical world transcending the world of appearance.and attuned to the radical emancipation of man from the age-old. heaven sweeper How I love you when you roar! Were we two not generated In one womb. entirely free to do anything and required to determine its own aim and path. solemn seriousness. He steers the human ship into new waters. It clears away the clouds. no researcher. which hovers no longer above man as the God. in particular in the dancing song 'To the mistraF. The science of the 'free spirit' is 'gay' .lives in the thematic engagement with his science. predestinated For one lot forever more
. The human being can transcend itself. this is precisely what Nietzsche does. it is no longer controlled by moral precepts. but he does not experiment with science itself. It does not have a heavy.unless he philosophizes . not the conceptual rigidity or the clear engagement with the concealment of being. Eternity is now discovered within man himself. dawn is the symbol for the power of his type of science. Nietzsche summons this mood of departure or of the highest risk in many ways. the deceptions of'superhuman' powers from the human sky. The natural scientist is absorbed by science. In doing this he already has some distance to such a 'science'. Life becomes possible as an experiment.
Nietzsche thus offers us many opportunities to argue against him. Nietzsche uses it to perfect a style of suspicion and a sophisticated polemic.The philosophy of the morning
Let us break from every flower One fine blossom for our power And two leaves to wind a wreath! Let us dance like troubadours Between holy men and whores Between God and world beneath!11 Unmasking the saint and reducing him to all-too-human needs and misunderstandings in his own 'scientific' way and with his revealing psychology enables Nietzsche to reconcile the difference between saint and whore within the one human dimension. the ideal through instinct or the greatness of existence through commonness. The essence of his thought lies elsewhere. of emancipation from the traditions for him. And yet. The characteristics of the daring and adventurous type of person who experiments with life become more pronounced. Whatever seemed divine or whatever seemed to transcend man and earth is merely a creation of human existence. It is only a means of liberation. The distance between God and world. the positivistic period has some consequences. a joyful prophecy. One should not be misled by his aggressive style. God and man are no longer separated. Nietzsche swiftly passes through positivism. his sophistry and his philosophy do not exist separately. namely the expression of a new human thinking which has become conscious of his own freedom. The methodical attitude of the positive sciences and the critical and historical perspective seem strongest in Human. Similarly. He perfects a high art of unsubstantiated allegations and unmasking. the figure of the free spirit becomes further and further removed from the image of the cold-blooded investigator. His exposition uses a genealogy ab inferiori. between saint and whore give rise to the dance. However. gross simplifications. However. Both are always connected. Nietzsche's second period is characterized by the fact that 'science' becomes increasingly more 'gay' and by an increasing transformation of the sceptical investigation into a new. This remains a fateful burden for his thinking as it turns towards sophistry. All his books are ambiguous. All Too Human. One should not take his battle slogans too seriously because his strife loves strong expressions. To distinguish both aspects is difficult and the real challenge of any Nietzsche
. the knockout and the poisoned arrow. The next step is the Zarathustra. takes sacrilegious pleasure in explaining the higher through the lower. Nietzsche fights like a sophist but he is nevertheless a philosopher. Greatness and baseness of human existence are embraced by the one arch. Dawn already brings a change which gains momentum in The Gay Science. one does not overcome Nietzsche if one can refute his psychology of unmasking.
All Too Human the mask of science appears still firm. Although Nietzsche's philosophy of the morning. The human emancipation from the servitude to transcendental ideals (God. repressed and misdirected instincts and needs create the saint and subconscious deceptions create the philosopher. In Human. It introduces a new attitude. the possibility of selftranscendence is not denied and man is not reduced to trivial instincts. Increasingly. the artist and the sage. morality and metaphysics. With it the view of human greatness returns and the profanation. while the transcendental meaning of human greatness is denied. instinctive conditions develops into the preposterous figures of the saint. The transcendental urges are put aside as mere obsessions. this cheap. the free spirit assumes the characteristics of the Prince Vogelfrei. The scientific perspective replaces the perspective of art dominating in the first phase. as the adventurous existence which experiments with a freedom without God. This leads to a human profanation. Basically we have to distinguish two forms of one fundamental characteristic in Nietzsche. and proportionally to the experience of science as a temporary disguise. He has an evil eye. however. The greatness of existence is now conceived as an attitude of daring projections. he is inadequately understood as a mere instinctive being which under certain particular and complex. The disguise of cold-blooded science conceals a new enthusiasm. that is man is mutilated. who kneels in front of God or who submits to the moral law and reflects and inquires beyond the appearances. The most basic and elementary instincts supposedly generate the selftranscendence of man and the 'greatness' of his existence. morality. On the other hand. Dawn and The Gay Science undeniably dissolves the human image derived through the unmasking psychology. towards all 'idealistic swindle' and 'otherworldliness'. Increasingly. towards transcendence and any divinity argues in a sophistical manner it is nevertheless guided by more profound philosophical thoughts. his cool scientific scepticism towards all ideals. Common needs generate morality. He illuminates the other-world of the divine. The 'free spirit' is the great sceptic who doubts whatever man has so far trusted most. metaphysically conceived otherworld) occurs on the one hand as a psychological unmasking. of truth and the Good and exposes peculiar things. all-toocheap unmasking recedes. It is rather a being who understands the super-human as a hidden dimension of his own existence and who becomes accordingly an 'overman'. It profanes humanity.46
interpretation. He sees the biological foundations of all 'ideals'. As long as Nietzsche's concept of science remains guided by positivism the result is enormously sobering. however. A new image of man emerges from the disillusionment. science becomes a conscious experiment and a means of emancipation. Instead
. This is no longer a being who bows to and worships superhuman powers.
That is morality suppresses the development of new and better customs. His science becomes 'gay'. Why do these stored experiences of advantage and disadvantage disguise themselves in a venerable aura? A similar deduction of morality ab inferiori reduces the former to an instinct for cruelty. His thesis is this: morality is formed entirely by assembling experiences in relation to advantage and disadvantage. This distinction is of fundamental importance. The two ways to view man. one wishes to make them feel the
. the moral sense does not relate to those experiences themselves but to the age. the sanctity. Positivism is only a guise behind which Nietzsche conceals himself for a while. the unquestionability of morals. Morality signifies the experiences of early man in regard to what is supposedly useful and harmful . it makes us stupid. for example when he deduces morality from the human experiences of the useful and harmful. that is as profane or as 'preserving the hero in his soul' relate to each other like sophistry and philosophy. a feeling of impotence and inferiority in them.do not think too highly of it. One aphorism speaks for many: Here is a morality. namely as a human self-alienation or as a projection beyond itself in which man forgets that he is responsible for the projection. The light of noon falls upon his philosophy of morning.however. this moral sense combats new experiences and the correction of customs. At first his arguments are hardly bearable. One can as it were recognize the device which Nietzsche employs in his profaning perspective. if somewhat indirectly expressed at this point. which rests solely on the drive for recognition . Nietzsche does not show why and whence such concealment occurs. But it shows itself differently to us. They are on the way towards the Zarathustra. According to this. And with this. He becomes increasingly fond of parables and more poetical. He soon starts to remove it. but the basic attitude of these two books is different. morality is supposedly sublimated cruelty.12 This short aphorism is telling. his rejection of positivism more decisive.The philosophy of the morning
the greatness of human existence remains but it is interpreted differently. And they are just mixed and connected in Nietzsche and can only be separated with some difficulty. a temporal and serpentine wisdom. Nietzsche's decisive and fundamental thoughts are initially. The phenomena conceal the utilitarian character of morality. Although he does not neglect these apparent characteristics he interprets them away. We find the method of profanation in many aphorisms of Dawn and The Gay Science. namely as an ancient tradition of the supposedly holy and venerable. What is this drive and what is its deeper meaning? One wishes that our presence hurts others and inspires their envy.
and the metaphysical philosopher with a 'self-consciousness'. They are only possible where man forgets his own role in creating his idols. The free spirit is rather a development of the saint. of asceticism and of artistry here. They rely on the fact that man does not become conscious of his secret creativity and that man believes God to be elsewhere. free spirit. the artist or the metaphysical sage. He only seems initially and superficially to have the characteristics of the positive scientist and Nietzsche tries hard to reinforce this appearance. How much pleasure for revenge is in these eyes! .he searches for those whom he has meant to torture for a long time in turn! You are certain to find them. The free spirit is the saint. of the sage and of the artist..how many bitter moments in other souls did this greatness cost! The celibacy of the nun: How punishing are her looks when she encounters the faces of the women who lead other lives. It is the return of these figures from their alienation. he does not deal with the same things as a positive scientist. of the saint. of the artist and of the sage. its critical objectivity. He emulates the scientific pathos. The great man is not just a disguised and concealed small man. The free spirit. The three basic human characters are not just put on trial by the positive sciences and Nietzsche does not arbitrarily leap into a new perspective.48
bitterness of their fate in dripping on their tongue a drop of the honey and looking into their eyes in a straight and triumphant manner when committing this act of charity. The fact that immodesty can disguise itself as humility is beyond doubt. This alone makes the free spirit philosophically important. nothing but the drive for recognition and cruelty against others misses the point. indeed strictly speaking not even man is the natural object of his psychology. Although these are existential modes of human greatness their existence is a form of self-alienation. However. . which dominates Nietzsche's second phase is not the counter image of the saint. In almost all respects Nietzsche's second phase is characterized by a profaning demolition of the three basic forms of human greatness. the artist. They regard morality as an external. The others have become humble and are most perfect in their humility . He does not deal with things. the revelation that all modesty should be nothing but hubris. binding moral law and devalue the real world as an appearance of the more essential. with being as presence or with the constitution of things. The free spirit is the truth of the
. It is their inversion.13 Nietzsche completely neglects the difference between the genuine and the false type of humility. the great man assumes now the form of the enlightened.but there are people on whom he just wanted to exercise his cruelty: The intuitive pleasure about rivals defeated by envy did not let his powers rest until he has become great . transcendental one. However. One shows pity towards animals and is admired for this . However. its radical dedication to truth and its intellectual rigour.
14 Human emancipation occurs thus through contemplation of the fact that the essence. the artist and the sage into the free spirit. We have withdrawn these attributes. from the ice-cold destruction of moral sentiments to an experimental existential attitude and to the daring lightness of the Prince Vogelfrei. It is rather a change of existence. The free spirit is the human emancipation towards an autonomous life. however there are psychological states in which we give the external and internal things such attributes. or at least have remembered that we have bestowed these attributes on them . This also implies that the free spirit is no attitude that one could assume and attain. All three modes of human greatness bound by their servitude to an apparent transcendence are approached through the concept of 'idealism'. Nietzsche's 'free spirit' is the self-consciousness of the saint. It stands for the emergence of human freedom within these all and for a gaining of a creative self-determination which is no longer reactive to the designs of a creation. beauty itself. The free spirit discovers himself as positing values. Dawn had the subtitle: 'Thoughts about the moral prejudices'. It has some similarity with Hegel's concept of self-consciousness. On the contrary: they believe in transcendence. This perspective of life remains Nietzsche's basic concern and is developed in various and radical ways.we must beware that this insight does not rob us of our ability to bestow. It is the human self-empowerment. One has reflected and finally realized that the Good as such. to a 'gay science'. ontological thinking in which the I or the subject recognizes itself in the object and in which the separation between both is sublated. the sublime itself. The free spirit stands for a radical contemplation of these characters. The 'free spirit' inverts the human self-forgetting in tracing the 'values themselves' back to the positing of value. Hegel calls self-consciousness only this step of the dialectic. It implies rather the overcoming of the most profound oblivion and the recovery of the transcendental tendencies of life into life itself.
. This insight gives rise to the possibility to revalue and newly create all values. The approach towards a philosophy of value belongs essentially to the development of the saint.The philosophy of the morning
alienated existence oblivious to itself. the transcendence of the Good. the artist and the philosopher. It is amplified further when Nietzsche turns from the merely critically-suspicious. bend their heads and submit to it. the recovery of the self from its transcendental overcoming and oblivion. But from this it does not follow that these living characters would understand themselves subjectively as free spirits. the evil itself do not exist. This contemplation is no simple thought. the beautiful and the holy are just appearances created and forgotten as such by the human being itself.
human existence retains its 'greatness'. idealism is not really inverted. of the moral and metaphysical other-world is attempted once in Nietzsche's psychological destruction. He is given thus the utmost freedom of a bold mission. The fundamental. The destruction of an idealistic world-view. the eternal return and the overman. They constitute the deeper meaning of these works: the death of God. The feeling that only the end of idealism provides the great human possibilities occupies Nietzsche and constitutes his gaya scienza. the will to power. Man recovers all transcendental attributes. It is the joyful message which increasingly finds its first careful expressions in Dawn and The Gay Science. In the second case. It is rather denied. the destruction of religion. Man is conceived as a self-transcending being and idealism is inverted. leading thoughts of Nietzsche's philosophy are already obvious in Dawn and The Gay Science. It is attempted again in a more profound and philosophically more important sense by inverting the human self-alienation.50
He accepts the inversion of idealism as his mission. They come fully to the fore in Zarathustra.
. In the first case.
FORM. It introduces the noon of his thinking in which his spiritual powers reach their climax.and an attack on . blurring its definition and corrupting the scientific attitude.his previous writings. The spirit of the daring risk and of an experimenting life resonates already through the 'free spirit'. however. STYLE AND STRUCTURE OF THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA
The third. however. Following the romantic approach of his earlier writings and the critical. From now on Nietzsche knows his goal. The hidden tendency of Nietzsche's 'philosophy of the morning' already endeavours to return man to freedom. The time after Zarathustra is merely an unfolding or an exposition of whatever is expressed there. It constitutes a great turn in his life. morality and transcendence which enclose. to throw off his oppressive weights such as God. Zarathustra does not suddenly erupt as an entirely new form of expression in response to a positivistic period. Their motifs are recognizable within his previous works. How is it possible that the most insistent proclamation of this strict scientific attitude with its repeated demand for soberness and cool critique is followed by such a passionate eruption embracing an entire spectrum of spiritual moods with all-encompassing and increasing pathos? Whatever remained submerged in Dawn and The Gay Science erupts with primal force in Zarathustra. there they are seemingly concealed beneath the concepts of Schopenhauer's metaphysics or beneath those of 'scientific' positivism.CHAPTER THREE
1. scientific turn a new identity is established. It was already prepared in the adventurous characteristics of the 'free spirit'. Nietzsche's thinking finds its authentic expression in Zarathustra. definite phase of Nietzsche's philosophy commences with Zamthustra. not in an unexpected or surprising manner. burden and determine man externally and to give human freedom a new scope in which it constitutes itself radically and completely and in which it progresses towards new experiments in life. in the songs of the Prince Vogelfrei and in the
. Zarathustra exposes the crucial fundamental thoughts. To the untrained eye this work appears to be a distinct break with .
that is the essential truth of the religious. free spirit and Zarathustra are aspects of the same idea.this is the least and does not give us an idea of the distance and the bluish solitude in which this work resides. the person. Perhaps the thinking which attempts to leave the path of metaphysical ontology requires a closeness to poetry? Perhaps the style of Nietzsche's Zarathustra is a result of a deep nonconceptual perplexity of a thinking blinded by the light of a new question of being? These are questions and question marks and not yet hypotheses. a fate . a loss of perspective or a mad overestimation of himself? Or does this only seem so since Nietzsche compares the Zarathustra with something
. In retrospect it seems to him in Ecce Homo that this part has been completed and that his aims have been fulfilled in this positive part. Nietzsche himself does not believe that Zarathustra requires further qualification through a theoretical exposition. taking the place given emphatically to science so far by Nietzsche. Does this express a lack of standard. It eludes ready. However. The yes-saying part of his philosophy is for him a poem of high or even highest quality.that the Vedic poets are priests and not even allowed to loosen Zarathustra's bootlaces . Genius. or his poetical talent and musical inspiration which had allegedly carried him away here. What is it? Is it philosophy disguised as poetry or poetry disguised as philosophy? Is it a religious or pseudo-religious prophecy or a world-view full of pathos? Does it contain sayings of profoundest meaning or jests and spiritual clowneries? Is it a new myth or Nietzsche's glorification of himself? These questions have often been posed. His poetry does not erupt suddenly. The work with the title Thus spoke Zarathustra is already difficult to formally define.52
hidden indications which contribute to the suspense in Dawn and The Gay Science. that Dante is merely a believer compared to Zarathustra and not someone who creates truth in the first place. He does not shrink from comparing it to those of the greatest western poets even with the implication to have surpassed these in Ecce Homo: That a Goethe. artistic and metaphysical genius or the key concept of his early romantic 'metaphysics of the artist' then the Zarathustra is the completion of the 'free spirit'. More questionable however is whether these alternatives are comprehensive in themselves and whether one can decide such an 'either-or'.1 One can only listen to such a statement with bewilderment. all too readily available categories. they are meant to protect us from the all too easy interpretations of Zarathustra which use Nietzsche. Shakespeare would not for one moment be able to breathe in the tremendous passion and height. Nietzsche refers to himself repeatedly as the 'poet of Zarathustra' and at the same time to the work as the 'yes-saying part' of his philosophy. a world ruling spirit. If the 'free spirit' is the self-consciousness of the great human existence.
Form. it is not even clearly posed. I will describe it. His deepest thoughts assume a concrete shape and form. With Nietzsche the duality and dichotomy of the essential understanding of the cosmos becomes questionable. Zarathustra is something between reflection and poetry. the question of the relationship between poetry and philosophy or the dual character of poetic reflection and reflective poetry is not addressed. but this rests with its parables. the final assertion of Nietzsche's authentic philosophical individuality takes the form of a volcanic eruption or of a revelation. He writes in Ecce Homo'. It is rather driven by a strong force and it is conceived through this driving power.is successful. After expressing his thoughts through the metaphysics of art. Although the previous writings prepared its basic themes. A new 'perspective of art' shows itself here. They solidify into the Zarathustra character. Image and thought remain mostly separated in Zarathustra. Only the occasional symbol . If one had
. indeed. It contains too much effect. For Nietzsche the poet is someone whose Poeisis aims towards primordial truth or towards the emergence of a new cosmic conception. 'He surprised me' he writes in Ecce Homo. Zarathustra's literary quality is certainly not as high as Nietzsche believes. this presence of a cosmically universal power . However. Nietzsche sees their closeness in the original creation of a new revelation of being in its entirety.this mysterious coincidence between the particular and the universal. word play and conscious effort. Nietzsche does not continue to theorize about art. And then there are sections of impeccable beauty. Does anyone at the end of the nineteenth century have any idea what the poets of the vital ages called inspiration? If not. The character of Zarathustra was not just invented by Nietzsche as an alternative to the traditional views of man. At times the exposition becomes an unbearable parody of the Bible with countless flaws in which the excessive style suddenly comes to grief. He moves within concrete images and not within speculative concepts which seem to him empty abstractions. Nietzsche expresses his intuitions in a flood of images and in countless parables which he often interprets himself subsequently. The poet is already close to the thinker. Formally. through his interpretation of classical art and Wagner's music. He does not use art as a tool. His thinking as such occurs in the form of images and visions. The image becomes a metaphor. Zarathustra is neither poetry nor philosophy as long as these are understood traditionally as conceptually opposite poles characterized by thinking and poeticizing. style and structure of Thus spoke Zarathustra
that it cannot be compared with anyway? The above quote contains the peculiar statement that the genuine poet is a creator of truth. Zarathustra cannot be denied some literary greatness. but he philosophizes artistically and he thinks poetically. Despite this the book does not seem to be a mere fiction.
however. Everything happens to the highest degree without free choice but through a tempest of liberating sentiment.at least this is how Nietzsche experiences it. with the force of necessity and without hesitation — I never had any choice. of power. . The necessity of the image. a medium of superhuman force. Nietzsche characterizes here with unprecedented lucidity an emerging new conception of the cosmos. Nietzsche expresses the pure essence of an ontological experience in autobiographical form. I do not doubt that one has to go back thousands of years to find someone who may also say: This is mine also.grotesque boastfulness. If. One no longer knows what is the metaphor and what is the image. The conviction of having this genuine experience however. . A thought appears like a flash. such an attack is not just an empty. if it is driven by a genuinely philosophical impulse and not by the vain desire to criticize while admiring itself in the role of a radical thinker and waiting for a position to emerge on which it can exercise its critical playfulness . indescribable.to use an example from Zarathustra. This is my experience of inspiration. meaningless suspicion. And if Nietzsche talks in millennia this is not .2 Is this merely a psychological statement by Nietzsche about his creative style? This famous statement about inspiration is often not exactly understood.as one may perhaps be inclined to think . A corresponding passage may be found in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Blood poisons the purest doctrine and turns it into an obsession and towards hateful hearts. Nietzsche himself argues against existential evidence. One hears without seeking to. against the blood of the martyrs in Zarathustra: Blood is the worst evidence for truth. of necessity.54
the slightest degree of superstition one could hardly reject the idea to be an incarnation. of divinity. does not decide the question of its truth. The term revelation used in the sense of a sudden. moved and overwhelmed. one takes without questioning the giver. certain and subtle vision. And what if someone
. It really seems as if the things themselves come close and offer themselves as metaphors . Everything offers itself as the closest. . a voice.if the scepticism is genuine in other words. If he questions and challenges western metaphysics as a whole. which shatters and moves one deeply describes this phenomenon simply. a perception of something. of this metaphor is most peculiar. Zarathustra is the original expression of a 'revelation' rich in image and parable . a sudden flash like inspiration in which all things and the thinker alike are changed. the most perfect and most simple expression. the ontological structure of the world becomes questionable after having been valid for more than two thousand years. then it already emerges from an intuition of a new cosmic emergence of being itself.
this question would really be the answer already. It will be impossible to interpret all speeches.since the immense uniqueness of this Persian in history is based on precisely the opposite. the increasing dramatism of the work cannot be missed. The image is no easier to understand than the concept but it seems rather otherwise which tends to mislead us. The fourth part constitutes a steep decline in which an allegorical and mythical type of exposition takes over and affects us often embarrassingly. A long period of conception had passed including the famous and much discussed. His thoughts had already been germinating in many guises such as the artist's metaphysics and his positivism. the metaphorical expression created in a twilight zone of poetry and conceptual thinking makes it difficult to follow Nietzsche's path although one might rather expect the opposite. Purely superficially Zarathustra appears to be a weak fable holding together a chain of parables. . cause. However. it seems to me equally impossible to talk about Zarathustra without at least attempting to interpret some sections. style and structure of Thus spoke Zarathustra
went through the fire for a doctrine. Zarathustra created this fatal
. It falls into four parts which are each created within the one tempestuous spirit. almost mystical experience at the rock near Silvaplana and Surlei in the Engadine 18 months ago where the thought of the eternal return took hold in his mind '6000 feet beyond man and time'. the mouth of the greatest a-moralist . we should briefly note that Nietzsche intended to refer to a historical turn with the allusion to the figure of Zarathustra. is his work.Form. Nietzsche calls them 'ten day works'.. Each one contains many thoughts and also some weaker speeches. Nietzsche can only be a challenge for us which is met in the attempt to follow his central thoughts. However.the transformation of morality into metaphysics through power. purpose as such. what does that show? It is more likely that the doctrine is produced by the destruction of the individual .point somehow to the closed. In total it took barely a year from its conception to its writing. there are big differences between these parts. Zarathustra was the first to see the real cog in the wheel of the things in the struggle between Good and Evil . However. In this regard the parts appear similar. one should have asked me what is the meaning of Zarathustra in my mouth. The style of Zarathustra. The first two parts culminate in the third as a climax which contains most of the profound speeches. Regarding the name. fragmentary character of his fundamental philosophical experience. He writes in Ecce Homo: One did not ask me.although highly suggestive to any particular interpretation . The conceptual structure of the work is not simple. Nietzsche left different drafts for a continuation and alternative conclusion of Zarathustra which . however.
the thinker also overcomes the 'higher man' although he celebrates the sacrilegiously mocking 'eucharist'. Accordingly he must be the first one to recognize it.in essence a short fable . Zarathustra creates the image of his hopes in the market-place. the great disgust. the symbols of strength and gentleness. yet he hesitates to proclaim his most abysmal thought. the self-overcoming of the moralist into its opposite . It deals with the overman and with the last man.this means in my mouth the name Zarathustra. At the cosmic hour of the last man the time has come to create the overman and to reach out to it as the highest hope. He returns again and makes a second set of allegorical speeches to his disciples. wish nothing. The first part opens with a prologue including Zarathustra's double-sided portray of man. His creative human powers are extinguished and burnt out and despite his extensive education he vegetates. But when his time comes he leaves 'his cave. a hope whose reality is the last man.. declining part shows the attempt to live the life of the 'higher person'.into me . Not only does he have more and a longer experience of it than any other thinker. into the solitude and with this into an essential closeness to the things.3 The basic plot . glowingly and strong like a morning sun which comes from the dark mountains'4 with the lion and the dove. that is of those who constitute the 'remnants of God' . The fourth. who no longer design the future and who are tired of the game because they are saturated with history. The book closes with the departure into the unknown which is perhaps its strongest if least intended parable. It is a possibility. However. These are not two rough extremes which exist side by side. He descends to the people to teach his doctrine proclaiming it firstly in the market-place and then to individuals. the self-overcoming of morality through truthfulness.. However. And thus he returns a third time to find himself and the central essence of his thought. The overman is not yet concrete at all. Nietzsche conceals this relationship by inverting their succession. .the idealists whose ideal heaven has collapsed and who now experience a great emptiness: 'all those people of the great yearning. their ears are neither open nor receptive to his message. It is more important that Zarathustra is more truthful than any other thinker. that is among the last men. namely the thought of the eternal return of the same.. This is the man of a passive nihilism who believes in nothing. He does not present any challenge to
. of the great tiredness' and the nihilist. among the people who have lost their idealism and their power of self-transcendence and of people who risk nothing. His doctrine alone designated truthfulness as the highest virtue .is told quickly: At the age of 30 (the age in which the corresponding figure of Jesus of Nazareth begins his teaching) the thinker commences his descent after withdrawing for another ten years into the mountains.56
The overman and the death of God
himself. Nietzsche illustrates Zarathustra's teaching with the help of a 'parable of the sun': Happiness for the sun is that its plentiful light is absorbed by the things for which it shines. that is the demise of all transcendental 'ideality'. He leads his dialogue with Him. He does not care about men and has no wisdom for them. THE OVERMAN AND THE DEATH OF GOD
On his descent towards the world of men following his decade-long solitude in the mountains Zarathustra encounters the saint in the forest. 'Beware! The time comes in which man no longer aims the arrow of his yearnings beyond himself and in which the sinew of his bow has ceased to know how to swirl. His isolated existence reaches towards God. The death of God. we who need the seductions of mass entertainment and the organized leisure in order to escape the temptation of boredom of a life which does not aim for anything or which aims for 'nothing'.
2. but one respects one's health. Neither the overman nor the last man exist concretely.' . This is the small man without any further burning fire of enthusiasm in his soul. we who believe in God on Sundays. With the death of God the true human expression is no longer the address of the Gods and the divine but the dialogue between men. the hermit who withdrew from a life among men to dedicate himself to God. We are all the last man. The hermit Zarathustra who says to himself: 'Should it be possible? This old saint has not heard in his forest that God is dead. He must teach if he wishes to say anything meaningful.This hermit without a dialogue with the divine must precisely lecture to men. It seems merely a prelude.'5 Nietzsche portrays modern life with astute accuracy. Their existential characterization has a preparatory importance. The time which Nietzsche foresaw and whose visions frightened him deeply has arrived. The death of God is accordingly the starting point for Zarathustra's teaching. The teacher of the overman turns into the 'light of the world' which replaces God. 'One has the pleasures for the day and the pleasures for the night. They are first indicators of the path of thinking which Nietzsche follows in Zarathustra. The articulation of the highest human possibility is now the doctrine of the overman. His essential discourse is the prayer or the human address of God. an upbeat to his philosophical attempt to understanding man's essence anew through the basic truth of the will to power and through the eternal return of the same.'6 Nietzsche's doctrine of the overman and of the last man contains aspects of a prologue. The thinker Zarathustra compares himself to the sun. of objective transcendence and the destruction of the heavenly stars above the living human
Nietzsche writes in Ecce Homo: What language will such a spirit speak if it speaks to itself? The language of the dithyramb. Since Nietzsche attempts this universal appeal. Nietzsche himself takes over one part passionately: he teaches the overman by illustrating the profoundly deplorable nature of the last man. However. since he aims to create a mood of human heroism and greatness in addition to facing the destruction of an 'ideal heaven' Zarathustra is overloaded with exaggerated
. as the transcendental God and His revealed orders . such a turquoise happiness.58
world. One should hear how Zarathustra speaks to himself before dawn. life becomes enlightened. they live audaciously with brief pleasures and do not conceive any aims beyond a day. I knew noblemen' . Of the Great Yearning. Now. But through my love and hope I beseech you: Do not expel the hero from your soul! Keep your highest hope sacred!'8 It is important to retain the heroic character of human existence even after the death of God and to incorporate into life what seemed as transcendent and as remote as a divinity. It vibrates with emotion and aims to inspire Zarathustra's speech to reach a hymn-like enthusiasm. such a divine tenderness has never been previously expressed. only Zarathustra's monologue is dithyrambic. rational and common. in particular songs such as the The Night Song. imitates his existential mood and his most direct experience. Zarathustra's poetical form can ultimately not be understood through Nietzsche's effort to express the inspiration of a new. 'Oh.'who lost their highest hopes. inverted idealism and to call fervently for a greatness of existence. The Seven Seals (The Yes-and-Amen Song). Nietzsche does not only teach through Zarathustra's sermons.says Zarathustra . The Grave Song. Zarathustra's speeches to the people and to his disciples are parables filled with the strongest pathos. Alternatively the idealistic tendency remains.the idealistic tendency becomes conscious of its creative essence and creates now consciously new and humanly created 'ideals'. Idealistic tendencies wither away. creates the danger of a tremendous impoverishment of humanity or of a dreadful trivialization if agnosticism becomes common and morality becomes absent. The last man and the overman are the two human possibilities following the death of God.7 Strictly speaking. but more so through his dithyrambic monologues where he portrays the kind of overman. And now they deny all high hopes. It does not loose itself by worshipping the self created as something alien. Before Dawn. And his teaching does not have the coolness of a theoretical exposition.
The hymn-like character of the language in Zarathustra does not simplify the approach to it but on the contrary makes it rather difficult. Man is a selfovercoming being because the universal essence of life as such. the will to power becomes conscious in him and conscious of itself.' However this is also generally. Man returns to the earth and grounds his freedom on the earth. He is the 'essence of the earth'. the source of all that emanates in the light and the time and endures in time and space. biologically expressed: 'All beings so far created something beyond themselves and you wish to be the low tide of this great flood and rather turn back towards the animal than overcome man?'10 Does this ultimately resemble Darwinism? Is Nietzsche's metaphysics based on a scientific hypothesis? Not at all! The thinker merely refers to common. To sin on earth is now the most terrifying. contempt for the body. The earth replaces the God of a self-alienated humanity. The overman is conscious of the death of God and of the end of an idealism connected to transcendence.The overman and the death of God
pathos. His freedom is no longer a freedom towards God or towards nonbeing but towards the earth. He returns what is borrowed and stolen from it to it. with appeals and mood flashes and with demands and aversions. The 'prologue' sketches a brief image of the overman. has so far only transcended himself towards the divine. to value the insides of the unknowable more than the meaning of the earth. familiar ideas to capture his problem. And yet it is there. From this he took his colours. But God died and with this the sinners. this self-transcending being. With it the human being gains a position despite all the risks. Asceticism. He farewells all transcendental dreams and turns to the earth with the same commitment which previously attached itself to the dream world. If one has once sensed it one marvels at the consistency of its structure. He recognizes the ideal otherworld as an Utopian reflection of the earth. self-overcoming aims at a transcendental world.9 Nietzsche starts directly with the transcendental characteristics of man: 'Man is something that must be overcome. overcoming
. his desire and his representations with which he furnished the transcendental realm of eternal light and of the imperishable ideas. The highest pinnacle of human freedom turns towards the great mother. Man. Denying the earth he abused it. The inner structure of the work and its path of thought cannot be detected easily beneath the many parables and speeches. the broad-breasted earth and finds in it the boundary and weight which balances all ideals. God is for Nietzsche the essence of all transcendental ideality. Once upon a time the divine sin was the greatest sin. Both thoughts have an inner connection. The realization of the will to power implies the recognition of the death of God and vice versa. Ignoring the death of God. Man has used and abused the earth to beautify the image of the otherworld.
of the sensual and the spiritual.'12 The image of the overman remains initially undefined. unhappy being. plant-like presence. diose who love their virtue and perish through it. into an opposition of body and soul. gives an approximation by describing the premises and precursors of this perfect and complete human being which he calls the overman. the disciples.'13 The precursors identified by Nietzsche are the bridge between man and the overman: the great despisers.'11 What does this mean? He is torn by the opposites of the here and the beyond. however. the workers and inventors. Nietzsche. The choice of pride and cleverness is intentional. One could show
. The overman focuses and prepares himself in any of these precursors. The spiritual is Utopian. What can be loved about man is that he is a transition and a decline. I am a prophet of lightning and a heavy drop in the sky. who sacrifice themselves to the earth. the apologists of the entire future and past. the lightning is called the overman. They are anti-Christian. the wasteful of the soul. the over-rich or the free spirits. The central theme of the first part of Zarathustra is the 'death of God'. They mix poison whether they realize this or not. that is. They present a conscious contrast to humility and the 'poverty of spirit' for which the wisdom of the world turns into foolishness. Zarathustra's first series of prophecies aims to invert idealism. the persecutors of God. They announce the coming of the lightning and they perish as prophets. The unfaithfulness to the earth splits man into a duality of sense and spirit. I love all those who are like heavy drops. All speeches must be related back to this essential focus of the death of God. See. He thus determines the overman further indirectly and by inference: 'What is great about man is that he is a bridge and no aim itself.60
of the finite or the sensual are a betrayal of the earth: 'But whoever is even the wisest among you is only a mixture and hybrid of plant and spirit. however what remains separated in these types is synthesized in him. Nietzsche takes his honey from many rare flowers of the human garden. The sensual is seemingly ignored by the spirit and has an animalistic. the eagle and the snake. those with depth of spirit. falling separately from a dark cloud which hovers above men. 'I beseech you my brothers. He wants to escape from diis prison. the bashful of happiness.14 Zarathustra starts his speeches to his companions with his animals. remain faithful to the earth and do not believe those who speak about transcendental hopes. It means the reconciliation in which the separation of body and soul is sublated. with pride and cleverness and commences his 'descent'. removed from the earth and fantastic. The inversion of idealism in the conception of the overman cures this rift which splits man and separates him. Idealism makes man a twofold. He despises the body to which his soul is chained.
He does not want an easy life.. so that I carry it and enjoy my strength. The spirit becomes a camel. He struggles with his 'last God'. no creative.. We concentrate on a few central aspects. He wills his duty and. The first speech entitled 'On the three metamorphoses'I5 indicates the basic concern: the transformation of the human being following the death of God that is the change from a self-alienation to a creative freedom of self-consciousness. 'I name three metamorphoses of spirit. man creates his freedom. 'To create freedom and a holy No also from duty . It implies the person of great respect. He despises the weightlessness of everyday. which are difficult for us and which burden us heavily. furthermore. namely objective morality and he recognizes his previous self-alienation. that is he throws off the weights which oppress and suppress him from 'outside'. freedom from but not freedom to." The human being burdened by the weight of transcendence. He uncovers his own latent freedom and overcomes his position of radical slavery. The camel which stands with its load in the desert experiences its change into a lion. this negative lion freedom which denies God.' The camel already implies the possible greatness of human existence.The overman and the death of God
this convincingly through a detached and continuous interpretation of the individual speeches. constructive productivity of a liberated humanity. changes from a camel to a lion and finally from a lion into the child. its 'intelligible world' and its divine will. Idealism destroys itself.' However. The submissive spirit finds its own greatness in obedience and submission. prosaic life.for this my brothers the lion is required. 'What is the heaviest. the objectivity of morals and the metaphysical thing in itself as mere illusions of idealistic self-alienation is not final. In the lion-fight against the morality of idealism and its transcendental basis. honoured values or rather more accurately the denial of the transcendence of these values or the liberation of human existence from this self-alienation is no new initiative. the human being of idealism resembles the camel of Zarathustra's speeches. He longs to fulfil stringent and arduous duties. And he struggles now against the thousand year old dragon and against apparently objective values. who submits to the superior powers of God and to the supremacy of the moral law.the enduring spirit asks. He sinks to his knee and carries great weights willingly. However. He longs instead for challenges. however. there is much opposition and
. you heroes . The lion confronts the 'thou shalt' which dominates the camel with its own masterful 'I will'. he seeks to obey God and submit himself to the meaning of life which is imposed on him. namely the determination of life through a given meaning of life which must be merely accepted. Imprisoned by a firm world of values he submits willingly and submissively to the commands of the 'thou shalt'. the denial of the old. The respectful and complicit spirit turns into a lion. It is only a negative freedom. Morality refutes itself through truthfulness and idealism is inverted by ideal motivations.
The play of creative valuation. The metaphors of the camel.62
effort in this 'I will' and much defiance and spite. corresponds to the lion. the lion and the child do not only present essential transformations of the freedom which comes to itself and thus generates the overman. These cited characters correspond to the order in which Nietzsche articulates his understanding of himself. a holy yes-saying/ Yes to the play of creation. The genius. they are in some ways steps of Nietzsche's path of thought. The free spirit. questionable. a world is gained by the one lost in the world. The fact that Nietzsche's own life went through stations and transformations which he demands for man himself only shows the seriousness and consistency of his thought. my brothers. the critic and revolutionary and the daring explorer of distant. The play is not yet the entire Dionysian world in this speech by Zarathustra. At the same time the message of the 'speech' is far removed from an autobiographical exposition. primordial essence of freedom as a creation of new values and realms of value is addressed in the metaphor of the play. however. The new will is itself still willed. risky dimension of human existence. makes the entire metaphysical structure of sensible and spiritual. such a distinction is superfluous. The death of God reveals the playful. the yes-saying spirit who posits new values corresponds to the playing child. of mundus sensibilis and mundus inteUigibilis or of this world and the other world. however. a wheel turning through itself. This progress is the development of finite freedom. Play is the essence of positive freedom. The true. we require a sacred affirmation: The spirit wills its will now. After the death of God. He leads an existence of a thinker who lives his thought and reflects on his life. the most subservient human being who becomes the medium of a superhuman power corresponds to the camel. This only belongs to the child. the transcendence of metaphysics is based on a living God. Play is here understood as the playful design of the worlds of value. a play. It must be pointed out that Nietzsche takes up the concept of play already in this first period in the attempted continuation of Heraclitus and uses it to focus on the fundamental concept of the Dionysian. a first motion. not as the primordial ground which constitutes and destroys the world of appearance. its retrieval from a self-alienation and the free emergence of the character of play. Human creativity is play. Like the transcendence of values. unknown shores. Innocence is the child and forgetting. a new beginning. It does not have the true ease of a creative will or of a new creation of values. And Zarathustra himself. The radical existential change expressing itself in
. The progress from man towards the overman is not an evolutionary leap of a biological kind in which a new kind of living being appears beyond the homo sapiens.
The teachers of virtue preach a sleep or the self-oblivion of freedom at play. not everyone has the right to such a search and desire for the self. The examination of human things must be true to it. The egoism of the creator does not have the characteristics of the small. ignorant tiredness. war. It is a playful. which aims to reach the ultimate with one leap. You call yourself free? I would like to hear your leading thought and not that you have escaped from a yoke. Solitude isolates us within ourselves. final speech of the first part Of the Giving Virtue19 expresses the genuine human existence and the liberation which commences with the knowledge of the death of God. The same view engages in an interpretation of death. The path of the creator leads to extreme solitude. your eye must announce: Free to do what? The decisive. self-transcending activity.The overman and the death of God
the first speech remains the condition of all subsequent transformations. the metaphysical thought of an 'otherworld' has a worldly origin for Nietzsche. from society and from love and pity. the sick egoism. The knowledge of the death of God expresses itself in a tripartite view of virtue. There is another egoism. friendship and love: all human fundamental concerns are revalued. which does not even will any longer. a poor. 'The path of the creator' is the title of one speech17 which again takes up the issue of an existential change. Since God is dead all is seen differently. it is pure self-sacrifice. However. petty egoism. From this perspective he can characterize the understanding of virtue as it occurs before such transformations as a sleep of life in which man has not yet awoken to himself. It is as it were merely a dream which seeks redemption from suffering. The earth becomes the final measure. It excludes us totally from living communities. a robber of values must such giving love become. examined and judged anew. 'Tiredness.the egoism of the sick. this created all Gods and other-worlds. Man is regarded abstractly as the creator. otherworld and contempt for the body. Are you one that was allowed to escape from a yoke? There are many that threw their last value away when they threw away their servitude. This time the measure for existence is not in God's hand. Truly.
. And similarly. but complete and sacred I call this egoism. Being oneself is no static preservation and assertion of self. which attempts to steal all the time .'16 In the idealistic contempt for the body Nietzsche sees consequently an unenlightened will for decline. with one deadly leap. in which he is caught in the appearance of transcendence and in which he forgets his own creative existence. an ail-too pure and hungry one. Free to do what? What concern is this to Zarathustra! Clearly however.
of increasing. . Man and the human earth are still untouched and undiscovered. but an abstract one without concrete form which is 'near but hard to grasp'. this search of the self for ever new self-overcoming and selftranscendence is the true mode of a human existence and of a creator who is liberated from God. The insanity of idealism is to be inverted precisely into the insight that God is dead.. Not only the reason of thousands of years .this may be our last wish at the great noon. a thousand healths and hidden islands of life. and if your will commands all things as the will of the lover. generous egoism does not intend possession but transformation into a richer. metaphysical or religious. Nietzsche does not place man within God's plan. a blessing and danger to your neighbours. The insanity of millennia is for Nietzsche the idealistic interpretation of man and world.64
The rich. This is the origin of your virtue. Nietzsche concludes the first book with a dedication of the parting Zarathustra to his disciples: 'All Gods are dead: Now let us wish that the overman lives . fuller and more powerful life or a life which overflows and shares its riches. It is dangerous to be an heir . namely as a creative self-transcendence of a freely creative existence. that is the thought of the 'will to power'. Idealism. seems to be the great human error. akin to a stream. A hundredfold did the spirit and virtue alike attempt and fail so far. then you have the source of your virtue. Perhaps this is also an ancient Goddess. The basic manner in which the creative. This drive of life. if this insurmountable wall no longer blocks the ascending human path and if the gigantic shadow of the master no longer falls on the human land.even its madness shows itself in us. be it moral. man was an attempt. He does not deify and worship finite existence. overflowing existence which searches for a supreme empowerment of life is determined here already indicates the basic thinking which will dominate the second part of Zarathustra. Only this will show the free human possibilities: 'There are a thousand paths. swelling life for more power and empowerment.' The possibilities of freedom are infinite if God no longer limits man. If your heart flows broadly and fully. Yes. The will to power is basically still conceived from a human perspective. If you stand above praise and reprimand. He puts the earth into the place of the Christian God and of the Platonic realm of ideas. which have not been used.'
. Oh how much ignorance and error do we embody.
hitherto unknown possibilities. transcendental conception of God presupposes a transcendence of space and time in which time does not really exist and is a mere appearance. It anticipates time in its intentions and its highest hopes precede it.The will to power
3. But who would drink all the pain of this assumption without dying? Is faith to be taken away from the creator and the love for distance from the eagle?'21 However. Nietzsche does not leap to a new thought. this you are supposed to have firstly created. but to the one who plays creatively. the thought of God is not the only restriction of human freedom on its path towards the open. Time is devalued. The only limit which is acceptable to the creative person is the earth. Because creation as such is essentially historical. God stands in opposition to human freedom. He posits new standards and values. It projects itself into the future. that is creatively. THE WILL TO POWER
The second part of Zamthustm reveals explicitly the cosmic force within the realm of human freedom. Freedom would be defined through instructions. 'God is an assumption. The creator does not recognize the existence of any ready-made world of sense perception to which he adapts or which he accepts. However. If it is properly understood the latter can no longer allow the thought of God. man's path in time and his projected aims make no sense. this is not introduced suddenly. The fundamental thought is now the doctrine of the will to power. laws and prohibitions.'20 This statement by Zarathustra is not intended to be blasphemous . The childlike. The 'creator' does not refer to the human being at work of course. your reason.'19 This radical. However. The freedom of the creative person cannot be restricted by divine freedom. who sets values and to the person focused on a great will who has created an aim for himself and who courageously risks a new vision. but the omnipresent power of the all. your will. It is excluded from true reality. creative stance would be limited and restricted if there are God and Gods. your images. He is the genuine and authentic man. history is meaningless. 'If there were Gods how could I bear not to be a God. that is not the power of an individuated. If time is ultimately not real.it is rather conceived from a perspective which contrasts finite freedom and the divine will. He develops it from previous material. The idealistic approach of the Christian transcendental conception denies the reality of time and constitutes for Nietzsche a deadly devaluation of the creator's will to a future. The creative person knows himself to be in harmony with the creative power of the earth in his creation. separate being. it is related to temporality. transfigured man has become the creator. 'And what you called world. It is committed to time. he re-invents human life and he exists in the most authentic sense 'historically'. your love are to become this. the metaphysical. The death of God
'Willing liberates: This is the true doctrine of the will and of freedom . All these doctrines of the one. His creation is itself created and destroyed. The creative person reveals the essence of finite being purified from all transcendental. The creative person who gains a radical freedom through the death of God and who discovers the earth. places himself consciously and intentionally within time. the inversion of the idealistic negation of time. the overman experiences and accepts his finitude: 'But the best metaphors are to report to us about time and becoming. The human transformation resulting from the experience that God is dead leads to the ascent of the earth which had been obscured and disfigured by misleading idealistic interpretations for too long. world negating overcoming of time and life but the overcoming of finite steps and of finite intentions. And the poets lie too much. We must see the connections much clearer here. in the turn towards the earthly dimension of all things. the eternal change or the rapid decline of all finite things is the only path for the creative person.this is taught by Zarathustra.66
implies accordingly for Nietzsche the demise of the denial of time and the recognition that time is an essential dimension of all being. He has his ethereal home in the finite and the earthly. metaphysical representations. 'I call it evil and anti-human.'23 The freedom of the creative person establishes itself through the vision of temporally finite possibilities or in other words through the will. Placing himself within time.'25 Looking at the ontology of creation. We are by no means dealing with an uncritical application of anthropocentric categories to being as such. accepts finitude and with it his own demise. not.'24 The creative person is always on the way between ascent and decline. of the full and immovable and the self-sufficient and the eternal. Nietzsche discovers as it were the characteristics of life itself. though an ascetic. They are to be praises and apologies for all finitude. which exorcized time from being. As opposed to idealism. All eternity is only a symbol. Nietzsche reinstates time within being as 'earth' and recognizes the fundamental relation between being and time. 'Yes. he participates in the play of cosmic time. the ascent and decline of the things.'22 The true. He does not only live within time. omnipresent. there must be much bitter death in your life. The commitment to time. all-encompassing time. You are consequently the advocates and apologists of finitude. The essence of creation is always an overcoming. He is the 'playing child' (Pais Paizori) of Heraclitus. The here and now of the world in space
. continuously self-transcending aims of the will establishes the humansuperhuman freedom of the creative person. temporally directed will of finite. destroys what he was and searches for what he is not yet. a vision of finite aims and their overcoming. The creative person transcends himself through time. you creators. the temporal.
Nietzsche does not ignore the obvious differences between the diverse ontological modalities of things in the world. We can merely indicate that Nietzsche does not think of earth as merely present-at-hand but as that which allows emergence. The stone. in God and the divine sphere. The body or the earthly manifestation of our existence is the only reality. the essential human characteristics are conceived as creativity and creative freedom. The true world is no longer found beyond space and time in the thing-in-itself. as the bearer of all things or as the dynamic of bearing lending shape. The chapter entitled On the Tarantulas exposes this argument more clearly and prepares the important message of this second part.from the perspective of human creativity. The impotence of their life takes
. not to leave it behind but to rely on it as the sustaining ground for all finite being. It is always present but never itself an object. He does not arbitrarily equate the creative person with the pebble. redundant and inauthentic appearance.The will to power
and time that is the realm of life is no longer devalued as a superficial. as poieisis. however. against the priests and against the virtuous and against the riff-raff. of those who have missed out on greatness and well-being in life. The earth. Nietzsche accordingly gains an insight into the creative nature of earth . We are no citizens of an intelligible world and no members of a spiritual realm. however.and with this into the cosmic principle of all things . Nietzsche uses the metaphor of the tarantulas to characterize the spirit of revenge. Spirit and freedom return to the earth in the existential transformation of man into overman and recognizes itself as part of the earth and as united with the earth. In the following chapters he takes a position (from the perspective of the creator) against the compassionate. Only the inversion of idealism presents Nietzsche with the possibility to identify humanity and being as such and to find the key to life and even to all being in the human essence. The tarantulas are the preachers of equality. The concept of the earth as it shows itself in Nietzsche's thinking is hard to grasp. Nietzsche invents for this the comparison which is frequently perceived to be objectionable that spirit and soul are only physical. The earth is omnipresent but not near or distant like things. There are differences of what-ness and that-ness. the animal and the human being are certainly not identical. is not just the present stuff and not just the mere totality of things. We are wholly and totally earthbound. The second part of Zarathustra sketches the image of the creator and his relationship to time and his inevitable atheism in the chapter On the blessed islands. The thing or the existing individual has already emerged from the earth. nature and duration to the manifold of individuated and contingent being. in the realm of the ideas. Nietzsche does not obliterate these differences. And similarly. Nietzsche thinks earth as a creative force. He rather links them in a deeper sense: Despite their difference of appearance they are similar in so far as they are 'forces' or 'products' of the earth.
the more it will assimilate the inequality of men into its own system of values and posit a hierarchy and a spiritual aristocracy. socialism and democracy. humans or animals. but equally against Christianity with its understanding of human equality in the face of God. The main relation is that between earth and life. It is described in ever changing images. Earth lives. Life has to be conceived in a multi-dimensional context. It builds itself up with pillars and steps. The tarantula weaves its web and chokes life in it. Nietzsche's central intuition does not succeed in becoming conceptualized. The ordinary notions of justice harbour revenge. And vice-versa: the more impotent and powerless a life. Nietzsche does not only argue here polemically against modern trends. Nietzsche attempts to reveal here that the apparent idea of justice is merely a frustrated will to power concealing itself while abusing the appearance of virtue and moral honesty in order to succeed.notwithstanding the frequent accusation . high and low and all kinds of values . Rousseau. Good and evil. Life wishes to climb and to overcome itself in climbing. The will to equality is accordingly only the impotent yearning of the weak for power. Nietzsche's fundamental conception of life is not very developed conceptually. this difference which remains a human one or these different conceptions of 'justice' are not the essential point. mediocre level.68
revenge at all powerful and accordingly unequal forms of life. Nietzsche points here already to the big theme of a 'master and slave morality' which is going to play a central role following Zarathustm. Life here does not mean the essence of organic life as in the plant. All things. creative or influential a life. The more powerful. However. It cannot yield insights into essential characteristics of all things. life itself: It wishes to enjoy a distant view and view blessed beauties . Earth grants presence to all beings.26 Earth is addressed as 'life' in its absence and as the generating force. the more it will insist on equality attempting to drag the exceptional individual person down to an average. Life as organic life is merely a part of being. that is the move to the will to power.these are to be weapons and resounding characteristics that life must always overcome itself anew. Nietzsche places himself in distinct opposition to western tradition and to the traditional views of justice. And yet .he is far from vague or nebulous. or even simple stones are children of the earth and
.that is why it needs height! And because it requires height it needs steps and conflict between the steps and its climbers. rich and poor. It will view greatness as a crime against equality and it will attempt to take revenge at those who are powerful and well adjusted in life. The crucial point is Nietzsche's move from the battle of value systems or from the battle between the ideas of good and evil to the battle of life itself. that is against the French Revolution. the animal and man.
it appears to be a pure. now all bubbling fountains speak. Nietzsche states that precisely this is a will to power. Nietzsche reflects on creativity itself. It may be that such experiences have given Zarathustra's songs a certain colour and atmosphere.29 In The Grave Song Zarathustra remembers the graves of his youth or of the past life and he experiences the pain of finitude against which he summons his 'rock-shattering' will. Zarathustra's 'wild wisdom' is a woman and is somehow infinite life itself. arrests the flow of becoming and solidifies what does not essentially remain static. Night appears to be feminine or to be Ariadne.night.as it were . The framework of words and concepts casts . of Dionysos. And this life of the earth is .The will to power
generated from its bearing. Nietzsche commences again with man. Are they expressing moods and is it in fact futile to investigate their deeper meaning? The Night Song is a love song. the abyss and the shelter in the sunlight of his understanding.the will to power. Thinking appears to be free of any will to power. 'Into your eye I looked recently.' Life appears in the form of a woman: 'But I am only fickle and wild and a woman in all respects . disinterested human attention to Being itself. the will to make Being conceivable. However. 'It is night.and not a virtuous one either .. you are still the destroyer of graves.for Nietzsche . 'Yes. o life! And I seemed to disappear into the infinite. The Dancing Song. death and lust . they are found at a decisive point of the work and they are more than existential confessions. The meaning of these songs is not easily established.'30 Love. causality. In the chapter On self-overcoming the basic characteristic of the second part is exposed. with the thinker and with the creator of value.. The answer to such a dithyramb of solar solitude in the light would be Ariadne . a song of yearning of the solitary thinker who longs for the night. etc. addresses life. Nietzsche interrupts the internal train of thought moving towards a conception of the will to power with three songs: The Night Song.
.' And similarly. This is the suffering of a God.all this is implied in the songlike address of the feminine. .a net into the river of time and only catches fishes after all which it had released itself into it in the form of substance. And my soul too is a song of a lover. . infinity and grave . however.'27 In Ecce Homo Nietzsche comments on the night song: 'This has never before been written. of the woman of all women or of the all-bearing earth. Hail thee my will! And only where graves are can there be resurrections. never before been felt. However. on the earth's will to power itself from the point of view of human creativity. The Dancing Song and The Grave Song. and my soul is also a bubbling fountain/ It is night: only now the songs of all lovers awake. who knows except for me who Ariadne is!'28 The Night Song sings of the light's yearning for the night. giving life. The thinker organizes being through concepts. never before been endured. One has been tempted to interpret these songs as expressing Nietzsche's personal experiences.
as a will to power. that it contains a risk and a danger. The living value many things more than life itself.you wisest of men.. its limits are not fixed as the one attempts to overcome the other. However. however. . 'Wherever I find life. It creates forms of power and never comes to rest in itself. . even though you may talk about good and evil and about values. but the valuing exposes this the will to power. Nietzsche characterizes life with it. This is your entire will . It rather resembles an enormous and ever-growing tower.' Self-overcoming does not refer on this occasion to an ascetic meaning but to the precise opposite of this. And even in the will of the servant I found the will to be master. This will does not exist. it said. It does not resemble the play of the waves in which form is created and destroyed. Nietzsche turns explicitly against Schopenhauer: 'Whoever coined the phrase of the "will to being" did certainly not hit the truth. . And as the smaller submits to the larger so that this may have enjoyment and use of the smaller: so the larger submits itself and looses . It is existential excitation and motion. the totality of things does not merely disappear and dissolve in an amorphous.. Every achieved position becomes the starting point for a further ascent. However.for the sake of power . and a gambling with death.its life. the basic conceptual importance of the will to power is not easily understood. But because Nietzsche progresses from human life to life itself in the Zarathustra. Life has the tendency to 'climb'. I found the will to power. is no mere biological category which defines the 'animated' as opposed to the dead matter.70
'You wish to make Being conceivable because you are rightly suspicious if it is already thinkable. Life. This is the dedication of the greatest. and this secret life itself confided to me: see. Nietzsche conceives with it the constitution of all finite things and their dynamic: the interplay of opposition and strife. but it is always the will to overpower and to transcend power. all-embracing life but the things are driven towards opposition and strife. It is rather the permanent struggle and the conflict of all individual beings with each other.' Nietzsche departs again from the human will to power and proceeds to a universal will to power determining all being. Will to power is not the attempt to remain within a position of power once achieved.' The fundamental ontological meaning of the will to power is not explicated by the Zarathustra. I am that which needs to continuously overcome itself. Life is no all-embracing flood. The play of life contains the difference which limits and creates a disharmony between the particular things. The second part of Zarathustra
. but precisely not a linear motion which would not transcend itself. It constitutes so to speak the opposing poles in which all struggles with all and yet all embraces all.
Every step already prepares the next. against metaphysics itself which he conceives as a rejection of the concrete world and places the overman. It can also not progress into infinity. That he cannot overcome time and the desire of time . It wills the possible or the not yet realized. The question here is this: Is time really a succession of moments where the past is completely determined and only the
. which manifests itself in the determinations of the past to achieve the reconciliation with time? Can the will only progress infinitely and never turn back? The chapter Of redemption ends with the indication of this problem. Nietzsche arrives at a major riddle. against it. Can the game of overcoming and ascending be continued into infinity? Does an infinite tower of the self-overcoming life not contradict the essence of time? In thinking the will to power. All human fragmentation appears justified to him by the future and is consequently 'redeemed'. The aspiring. The present and the past are its limits. It can only progress not regress. How does this ever increasing and continuously self-overcoming will to power relate to time? This is obviously a serious question.that is the most isolated regret of the will. Nietzsche views redemption within the context of power and time. Life ascends to ever-higher forms of power in the flow of time. The aspiring will to life is not only limited by the unchangeable past. And life itself is now again brought into view as the aspiring human life. However. this will can only redeem in the future. It appears doubtful that that there can be an infinite overoverman or an overman of infinite potency. The will to power is the principle of the ambitious life. In the chapter Of redemption Nietzsche does not only turn with scathing sharpness against the idea of Christian redemption. The will to a complete and unified human being or to the overman condenses into one what is presently 'a fragment and a riddle and a terrifying chance'. in a tension towards the future which drives him on. There has to be a more radical reflection about 'will to power' and time. He accordingly lives in the will to the future. Within this context a solution would need to oppose all Christian and metaphysical conceptions of a transcendental world and of a negation of time itself. Zarathustra moves among men as among 'human fragments and husks'.The will to power
leads from the creator to the fundamental concept of the will to power. progress of life cannot lead to a self-transcendence into infinity. 'The will cannot turn back. but he shows that the deeper issue is the relationship between the future when the overman is realized and the presence or between the presence and the past. This is at first conceived in the will to power. infinitely overcoming itself. He would not be able to live if he was not the seer of the future and if he did not live with a hope for the overman. The creative spirit is only possible in a serious relationship to time. Does the will to power merely need to accept the higher power of time. his form of redemption. He finds the present and past human being most unbearable and rejects him in the creative will to the overman.' The absolute character of time limits any power of the will.
It is intended to be more important. however. The silent hours. It is so quiet because it reveals the conditions of all sound and noise. the clocks chime and the sand flows quietly through the hourglass . about the death of God and the will to power to fewer and about the eternal return of the same really only to himself. The parable does not merely serve to enrich a seemingly monotonous collection of doctrines. THE ETERNAL RETURN: OF THE VISION AND THE RIDDLE. In the chapter The quietest hour which concludes the second part31. on the way to his last and highest solitude where he confronts his most abysmal thought which leads to his last transformation. its powerful mistress speaks to Zarathustra: 'You know it. He addresses the 'buffoon' of the great city which he passes in more than one way. Zarathustra speaks about the overman to all. It is rather his most intimate thought. into pasts and future? Is it true that the past can never be the future and vice-versa? Or is there a 'deeper understanding' of time? Zarathustra has such an understanding . Zarathustra is on the way to his cave in the mountains. Nietzsche does not just use them to make the story more interesting or exciting.he has a premonition of it at least. Although he addresses the sailors who carry him across the sea. The forests hum. the trains rattle. This knowledge of time which forms the basis for any relation between time and will to power is the fundamental thought of Zarathustra and at the same time the climax of the entire book: the doctrine of the eternal return of the same. Zarathustra experiences the call of this intimate. it is not yet a conceptual understanding. his speech is couched in riddles. However. His speech is essentially not directed at others but constitutes a monologue.72
future is subject to the will? Is time comparable to an infinite line which is split into two heterogeneous parts by the present.' But what does he know? What seems to exceed his powers driving him back onto his solitude and separating him from his disciples is the new and secret knowledge of the essence of time which no longer holds fast to the inevitable difference between past and future. This obviously implies a rank order of his
. BEFORE SUNRISE
The third part of Zarathustra is the centre and heart of the work not only in the formal sense and in relation to its composition. Following the proclamation on the doctrine of the overman in the market-place and the teaching of the 'death of God' and the 'will to power' to his disciples the third part does not constitute a teaching doctrine. concealed truth. The quietest hour reveals time in its essence.time is the quietest. The story certainly builds up consciously towards the third part.
4. the stylistic and formal elements are not unimportant or arbitrary.
their sequence of development cannot be reversed. the possible and the yet undetermined. constitutes the path of the will to power which extends into the future. The will to power wills essentially the future. We are used to distinguishing different kinds according to their difference in observable appearance inanimate stones. All being is will to power in so far as it is temporal. This cannot be observed as such. the thought of the eternal return. Only the focus on the ontological dynamic of becoming and passing away or of ascent and decay referred to in the concept of 'life' by Nietzsche leads to an understanding of the will to power. The sequence of Nietzsche's fundamental thoughts is not arbitrary. Existing things appear to be highly different to us. Considered as a whole. this highest formula of affirmation which can be reached at all. As long as one looks towards difference from the aspect of difference in appearance one will be unable to bring the will to power into view. For Nietzsche. fundamental connection between Nietzsche's four basic thoughts. The will cannot turn back. belongs to the August of 1881 . The overman depends on the death of God.' And the death of God itself. states) and again things like number and shape. we will now that the overman may live. the inversion of idealism can occur and Zarathustra can state: 'All Gods are dead. the insight that the ideal does not exist is in turn only possible because Zarathustra questions life. the will to power is the ontological substance. Although they are related and mutually explicative overall. It rather refers to subsisting in the literal sense or to an ontological dynamic. morality and the other world are dimensions of human self-alienation. The temporality as struggle and strife for power. It is bound to the passage of time. as overpowering and as progress. Alternatively we distinguish the things which exist through themselves and those created things (tools. investigates the immanent constitution of life and discovers the will to power. living plants. The will to power is grounded in the passage of time. Substance is here not understood to mean 'essential'. we find a peculiar. As the dynamic and as the directed temporality of all being the will to power is subject to the determination of time which opens the possibilities of the future and closes any possibilities of an already determined past. It has to conform to the latter. The death of God depends on the will to power and the will to power depends
.'32 This seems to identify the eternal return decisively and explicitly as his essential concern. houses. All being is will to power. The overman which is initially only posited as a human possibility is intimately dependent on the death of God. Only when it is recognized that the transcendental God. The basic conception of the work. The formal structure of Zarathustra's story emphasizes this.The eternal return
fundamental thoughts. it must progress and it cannot regress. animals and humans. Nietzsche says about Zarathustra in Ecce Homo: T am now relating the story to Zarathustra. the static formation of the appearance or of the image or idea.
He is on the way to his last summit. We attempt to follow the inner structure of the third part. The secret of his fundamental thought remains for him itself in mysterious darkness. It is a secret understanding. He has to become loneliest in order to see into the heart of the world. Nietzsche appears almost afraid to articulate it. Nietzsche hesitates and conceals his secret behind increasing walls because his most profound intuition eludes a conceptual grasp. ascend until you even leave your stars beneath you. Initially we find peculiar indications and hints. wanted to see the ground and background of all things. the eternal return is its only concern. You.33 The climax of Zarathustra's thinking is reached where even the self-overcoming and the will to power are transcended and where the conditions of the latter become conscious. A superficial reading could easily and erroneously assume that the eternal return represents the central and essential topic of the third part of Zarathustm. In essence his reflection defies the word. Zarathustra. Perhaps he escapes thus initially from the metaphysical path and finds his place without any path and in a state of perplexity in a new dimension. The direction of the second part which closes with Zarathustra's most silent hour in which the abysmal thought and knowledge of temporality approaches him is continued: Zarathustra returns. you have to ascend beyond yourself.74
on the flow of time. however. He ascends into even higher regions of the mountains and draws circles and divine boundaries around himself. to look down upon myself and even upon my stars. This thought is more implied than truly explicated. this remains my final summit. Zarathustra's ascent to his last summit is at the same time paradoxically the steepest descent. He turns from man and God via the becoming of all things to the cosmos as a whole. His progress reflecting about inner-worldly being to the embracing and circumscribing world itself distinguishes him perhaps most from the metaphysical tradition. It seems as if it is only one among many aspects holding the balance with equally important ones such as Of old and new laws and Of the three evils. Nietzsche's thought has the character of a peculiar rereflection or of a remarkable return. however. Go on. The substance of the revaluation of values is re-examined through it. I learnt that they come from the sea/ this testimony is written into their rock
. He conceives the totality of the cosmos as the thought of the eternal return of the same. that only is my summit. In thinking the deepest thought Zarathustra comes to his highest height: Where do the highest mountains come from? This is what I once asked. In truth. Yes.
Empty infinity repels. paralyses and creates a 'dizziness' in the thinker who reflects upon the greatest human possibilities. his superhuman greatness consists in the conception of the all-embracing ground. Zarathustra summons his courage against the paralysing thought of the dwarf to conceive the 'most abysmal thought'. all risk becomes wasted and all greatness shrinks. The most individual thinks the most unusual. Zarathustra tells his vision to the sailors. In view of infinite time all meaning becomes meaningless.34 This means: Zarathustra's last transformation.but every stone once thrown must fall. The greatness of the overman is based on the understanding of the sea of time. Time dominates the strongest will and it breaks the back of the most powerful hopes. The view into the abyss of time and accordingly into the futility of all hopes. You threw yourself too high . The dwarf jumps off
. Only the lonely man is exposed to the vastness of the universe and relates to it in the 'great yearning'. Just like gravity which exhausts the finite power of the thrower and destroys it ultimately. This ascent is accomplished against the resistance of the spirit of heaviness. The chapter Of the vision and the riddl^5 contains the first metaphoric expression of the eternal return. because this is prevented by infinite time. The loneliest man has a vision and intuition of the eternal return. An infinite ascent is not possible. Against the lead drops of thinking by the dwarf he proposes the most courageous human thought. of the creative will which always projects itself ahead of itself. Zarathustra's ascent is the human path. the ascent to the highest humanity or to the overman. half mole. He ascends to defy this spirit and despite the weight of his thoughts which are heavy like drops of lead. Zarathustra reports the 'intuition of the hermit' to the 'daring searchers and seducers' or to the seafarers and to those enjoying riddles.' All human projections must finally sink. the infinite power of time exhausts and destroys all the powers of human self-overcoming which follow its path. you destroyer of stars. It is the path of the creator. He relates a metaphorical experience: once upon a time he climbed a mountain. On his shoulders sat the spirit of heaviness. half dwarf. you stone of wisdom. you sling-stone. The highest gains its height from the deepest. The spirit of heaviness prevents the genuine exposition of the human being to the openness of the cosmos. This courage kills death and facing life itself expresses a will to repetition. This tension between solitude and the world in its entirety dominates the highest reflection of Zarathustra. All power exhausts itself in it.The eternal return
and into the walls of their summits. But can this continue ever further and higher? Can the creator ascend continuously beyond itself and yet never reach an end? The spirit of heaviness whispers the defeating thought to Zarathustra which breaks all will to the future: 'O Zarathustra. Whatever hopes the spirit of heaviness attracts he converts them to fall.
However. They present an 'eternity' in the past and a future infinity. One may remember that the will to power was limited by the path of time. who. The gateway 'moment' is a junction between two long paths. Time is conceived as a sequence of moments. The determined. The essentially different paths continue into infinity from this elusive. This question implies if the conception of temporality which is based on the two paths of time is the last and decisive truth about time. They contradict each other. However. immovably fixed past is not subject to any effort of the will. He is redeemed from the spirit of heaviness. One can only will the future. The difference of these paths is initially characterized with striking clarity. the future is as yet undetermined. Past and future are fundamentally different. The past is determined. does this sequence really extend into infinity? Do both temporal paths really extend into opposite directions? Is every distant past preceded by a more distant past and so on ad infinitum? And how about the future? Is the furthest future followed by an even more distant future? Is human thought not utterly destroyed by such dimensions? Is such an infinity of time really conceivable? Zarathustra asks the dwarf if the two opposing paths of time contradict each other for ever. It becomes clear that Zarathustra approaches time immanently. on a fundamental level Schiller's idea is not even vaguely approximate to Nietzsche's novel conception of time. A given moment is preceded by an infinite sequence of moments in the past and followed by a similarly infinite sequence of future moments. The incompatibles meet at their borders. and this is the crucial question. And yet they meet in the present moment. One can sublate the deterministic aspects of the fact through an intentional acceptance of the fact and achieve thus a reconciliation of freedom and necessity by submitting freely to necessity. One can merely 'accept' it and affirm its inevitability in particular. What does 'eternal' mean in reference to 'eternity' and the unfathomable past and the inconceivable future? Do we really have a conception of 'eternity'? Or do we merely imply here an ordinary notion of an infinite sequence? The answer from the dwarf is from Nietzsche's point of view correct. withdrawing border of the now. represents a particular understanding of time which Zarathustra in fact uses as his premise. however. They oppose each other where and when they meet. In this respect it is possible after all to take an intentional attitude towards the past. One can change one's will to sublate that which cannot be changed. Schiller has expressed this idea as the reconciliation of fate and freedom. And finally the conversation about the flow of time can take place between them. as we have seen.76
his shoulder. In the dialogue with the dwarf Zarathustra argues from the basis of a new understanding of time against the dwarf. These extend forward and backward into unfathomable infinity. it is also much too
which crawls in the moonlight and this moonlight itself and you and I on the gateway. Nietzsche himself continuously falls into the mode of thought of the dwarf and into metaphors which are borrowed from the sequence of time. In other words: an infinite past is not conceivable as an infinite chain of ever-new events. If any moment is preceded by an eternity then all 'the things which have run must already have run this path once before'. But perhaps it is impossible to do otherwise since we have initially no concepts or representations which belong to time itself. This however distorts an important meaning of the thought of the eternal return. muttered the dwarf. It is important that the issue is approached from within an ordinary understanding of time. eternal future demand the future realization of all inner-temp oral events. as a cycle of moments of time.is this not paradoxical? Nietzsche's Zarathustra is led to the doctrine of the eternal return of the same. All our concepts of time have an inner-worldly perspective.The eternal return
simple: 'All straightness is a lie. whispering about eternal
. time itself is a circle. Perhaps the conception of the entirety of time is as it were only possible in a permanent rejection of an inner-temporal conception. Zarathustra exposes the difference of the paths of past and future within this horizon and refers to their infinity in order to question the opposition and exclusivity of these two kinds of eternity. The circle of time is conceived as an ontic round. The completion of the totality of time and similarly an infinite. all inner-temporal things and anything temporal have already occurred and must occur again if past and future are supposedly totalities. all truth is crooked. Twice the same tune . The conception that the past and the future are eternities necessarily includes the totality of both possible temporal events. Everything must have occurred and must occur again: And this slow spider. All things. He expresses the eternal return through the image of the ring. If there is an infinite past then all that can happen must have happened and nothing can be a mere possibility or future any further. The infinity of the past demands that the possible has already occurred. An eternal past cannot remain incomplete. Past and future are connected inconceivably like a snake which bites its own tail. We do not think of time in its entirety because this is an essential aspect of the world as a whole.' What is too easy here? Time is circular. The eternal return of the same is based on the infinity of time. If the depth of the past contains an infinity of actual events nothing can any longer be excluded from it and any possibility must have already become actuality. It is indicated and implied in a preliminary way. In the chapter Of the vision and the riddle the thought of the eternal return is not fully developed. What does it mean to speak about infinity of time or about an eternity of the past and future time? Zarathustra draws a conclusion from the twofold eternity of time which contradicts all common conceptions. whispering together.
a transformed. no longer man .that the doctrine of the eternal return poses a new centre of gravity for human existence.have we not already been there and come again . The thought of the eternal return sublates the difference between past and future or better it imbues the past with the open possibilities of the future and the future with the determinations of the past. human efforts are futile. But one could equally say this: all is still to be done.78
things . Strictly speaking. Just like the worldly existence determines the transcendental fate of the soul in the Christian conception. both aspects. this only seems so. The thought of the eternal return has seemingly two aspects. It does not only determine the foreseeable future but also the future of future recurrences.do we not have to eternally recur? When Zarathustra progresses so far he hears a scream and fiends a shepherd who has swallowed a snake. The importance of eternity rests on the moment. have become questionable. All doing. a transcended being who laughs. Every moment has an importance which extends beyond any individual life. Never before did man laugh as he laughed. all risk is senseless and futile since everything is already determined. If everything recurs. they are already decided and they need to still be decided. All risk appears wasted. It merely repeats what has already occurred. The steep path towards the overman is a senseless folly because the small. the thought of the eternal return contradict the will to power and the selfovercoming of life. Even more than before the spirit of heaviness. It can be viewed primarily from the perspectives of the past or from that of the future. the worldly decisions of the moment determine all unforeseeable recurrences of the worldly existence. Both characteristics blend together in a peculiar way: events in time are on the one hand already determined and on the other hand not yet determined. contemptible man returns forever. the fatalism and the weight of eternity on the decision of the moment.' The endurance and the acceptance of the thought of eternal return effects a decisive existential transformation. we will need to decide over and over again. this long. There is truly nothing new under the sun . It is a suffocating thought. terrifying path .the predetermined future unfolds itself inevitably.and run the other path ahead in front of us. Zarathustra calls upon the shepherd to bite the snake's head off in his mouth: 'No longer shepherd. If all events are merely repetitions of the past. This means: the thought of the eternal return crawls into the human throat to provoke a disgusting convulsion. However. The past shares the characteristics of the future
. Nietzsche refers frequently to the thought that the moment determines eternity . whatever we decide now. the future is obviously also already determined. It results in a transformation of all seriousness and heaviness into a lightness or into the superhuman lightness of laughing.
The profundity of his thinking depends on the extent to which he succeeds to expose himself to the openness of the light which transcends all things within the light. But this would be a severe misunderstanding. Nietzsche's images are always symbols of his thoughts. The above mentioned chapter Of the vision and the riddle seemingly interrupts the proclamation of the eternal return. this interruption only leads to emphasize the importance. The will cannot only wish to progress now.this is my innocence. the heaven of exuberance.' The thinker becomes attuned to the vast heaven of light. One could see it as a lyrical expression or as an ecstatic jubilation of the soul transfigured by the silent beauty of the morning sky.The eternal return
and the future those of the past. the great noon. 'guilt' and 'punishment' disappear. However.this is my depth. This is the centre of time where time reveals itself. The reflection in the third part of Zarathustra has a peculiar form. 'Innocence' of being . 'Since all things are baptized at the well of eternity and beyond good and evil . the shimmering and open expanse of the cosmos. Ouranos in its splendour. Time loses its unambiguous direction. the heaven of innocence. We cannot yet grasp if Nietzsche only thinks a fanciful thought which dissolves any understanding of time or if he gains a more profound understanding of time and the world as a whole or if he conceives time essentially according to the unambiguous path of the cosmic direction of becoming or if he transcends this dimension altogether. where all-embracing time which constitutes a dimension for all being becomes itself openly exposed. The chapter Before sunrise^ is of utmost importance. human words darkening the pure sky like clouds disappear and the wrath of the Gods and their governance of the cosmos disappears. Before sunrise Zarathustra encounters the abyss of light. Wherever the cosmos with its space and time opens itself up to reflection the realm of the transcendental spirit is dissolved and the moral and metaphysical interpretation of being collapses. the heaven of approximation. As Zarathustra predicts in several chapters: 'See it will come.
. Wherever the world is conceived. To hide myself in your purity .' Cosmic time and the temporal cosmos are the heaven which transcends all things. The firm characteristics of the ordinary understanding of time are being shifted.' The 'noon' is the proclamation of the eternal return. but in willing progress it also wills regress. unifies and collects the manifold individuals. which lends visibility to all things beneath it and circumscribes. 'To throw myself into your light .Good and evil are themselves only intermediary shadows and damp and sad trickles and clouds.' Things are described as baptized at the well of eternity not because they have a supernatural essence over and above their earthly significance and finite being or because they are 'things-in-themselves'. it is close.this is for him the light which the cosmos throws on all things. 'All things are surpassed by the heaven of chance. We tend to find this all very confusing.
metaphysics and religion. THE RECURRENCE OF THE SAME
The 'eternal return of the same'. however. Zarathustra is the teacher of the 'eternal return'. It rather resembles a sombre prophecy or an oracular and mystical revelation than a rational conception.
5. distant heaven! This is your purity to me. To see being in the light of the world means to divest the latter from all categories such as 'divine premonition'. it will be more likely to succumb to the spirit of heaviness and its creations of morality. THE ETERNAL RETURN: THE COSMOLOGICAL CONCEPTION OF THE PROBLEM OF MORALITY. 'O heaven above me. that you are my divine fable for divine dice and gamblers. the attunement to the cosmos is a precondition of understanding the eternal return more primordially.that you are my dance floor for divine coincidences. It seems that the thought lacks a clear conceptual definition and form. however. that there are no spider and cobweb of reason . is no ambiguous enjoy-
. he does not really teach it. His vision of the abyss of time expresses itself in a riddle.80
Eternity and temporality are not different. is accordingly beyond good and evil and close to the whole. Nietzsche's most abysmal thought appears to be ambiguous. Perhaps. Yes. It will also be more likely to misunderstand the essence of time and to conceive it as a linear. they are truly one. It is the ordinary way of encountering objects through an objectifying thought and within a vast horizon in which objects are encountered. moral importance or rationality of the cosmic unfolding within time and to interpret this unfolding as a 'dance' or as a round in which everything connects and turns. This. who is exposed to the expanse of the heavens of light and to the expanse of the cosmos. It is the way in which the world itself approaches the thinker. however.' The play of being is here understood to be divine and the thinker. dual formation with a distinct difference between an unchangeable past and a not yet determined future. Time is eternal as the eternal return. The entire problem of the revaluation of values is in this third part dominated by a leading fundamental thought which attempts to question the character of time as the eternal return of the same. expresses itself to him and concerns him. And vice versa one could perhaps say in Nietzsche's sense: If human understanding is blind to the cosmos and if it is captured by the urgency of being. he can question the heaven: 'Are you not the light to my fire? Do you not have the sister-soul for my insight?' Zarathustra's cosmic attunement is not a mere mood which comes to him by chance. you pure. It is essentially a fundamental attunement. if it fails to expose itself and to be exposed to the light-heaven above all things. he merely indicates it.
His inability to develop the doctrine of the eternal return conceptually is no individual shortcoming but that of the philosophical tradition to which Nietzsche is bound. Wherever world is thought as transcending things. all other chapters avoid the eternal return. He opens himself towards the unsayable and still-nameless. the limits of the logos. However. The first one is Of the vision and the riddle and the other one is The recovery. as surpassing and embracing all being. With the eternal return Nietzsche questions the world in its entirety. All aspects (the overman. He inverts it and he thinks anti-idealistically and yet still uses metaphysical and conceptual methods. It progresses to sublating this distinction by questioning the infinity of time and its eternity in a novel and peculiar manner. However.The eternal return
ment of the mask and of concealment and disguise leading him to speak in riddles.'37 Nietzsche is the explorer of a thought which attempts to grasp the world beyond all things. Nietzsche's doctrine of the eternal return commences with linear time. whoever is first will be sacrificed. The fact that there are no concepts. the death of God and the will to power) are now considered and reflected upon from the perspective of the eternal return. 'Oh my brothers. Human greatness depends on its measure of
. only two chapters out of sixteen deal with it directly. his opposition is still dependent on it. The world as such is understood as the totality of time. Nietzsche's conception of the eternal return stretches the limits of expression. namely with the temporal sequence and its firm distinction between the past and the future. His backwardlooking struggle against Platonism. The thought of the eternal return dominates the entire third part of Zarathustra. Although he opposes traditional metaphysics. Christianity and slave-morality or against an interpretation based on human self-alienation follows largely a path of metaphysical categories and inverted modes of thought. Nietzsche looks ahead. Nietzsche is an ambiguous figure. Zarathustra fails to clarify the eternal return adequately. The interpretation of being or the interpretation of things in the world remains his main focus. He conceives it temporally. However. of reason and of method. as the eternity of time and as the eternal temporal existence of the world. it is still conceived from an ontic perspective even though this might be done negatively. Cosmic harmony and the cosmic stance of human existence become the scale which measures everything now. One must yet ask and show if he means by eternity just the infinite continuation of the temporal sequence or if he articulates a substantial understanding about the nature of the world. Nietzsche's doctrine of the eternal return turns on this conception of eternity. because he attempts to reflect beyond the things and beyond inner-worldly being his cosmic conception remains trapped within the realm which he wishes to transcend. that he remains truly suspended above the abyss only means that he is innovative.
Zarathustra's decisive rejection of
. This mediocrity is understood as a 'shrinking'. who cowers and cringes and hides in his living room. silent winter's sky. dead and resentful souls'. if he only desires the little happiness. The vastness of this realm relates to the limited. icy realm which surrounds all warmth and closeness. he does not abandon the path of reflecting on the cosmos and does not even . is followed by the chapter 'Of the diminishing virtue'. He rather approaches the problem of morality cosmologically. No yearning tears and drives him into the terrifying eeriness. Zarathustra remains in the stream of the cosmos. Nietzsche contrasts again the man poor of world with the man open to the world. The chapter Of passing39 does not only contain Zarathustra's rejection of the big city. Quite the opposite! Both belong fundamentally together. which expresses cosmic transcendence metaphorically as the ether of light. Nietzsche does not loose the problem. Exposing itself to the vastness of the world does not extinguish the self. Human existence approaches the overman the more it is torn away from the concrete presence and the more it is open to the abyss of light. finite warmth like silence to noise and like the great man who lives within the breath of the world to the small man who is no longer exposed to infinity. It rather endures the vast. Open to the world he is also truly autonomous and full of character. In the chapter On the olive mountain36 Zarathustra praises the silent wintry sky. in the house or the city or in the business of comforting company. You round-eyed white head above me! You divine symbol of my soul and its desire!' Zarathustra conceives himself as the opposing possibility of the 'smoky. The overman exposes himself most to the entirety of the world and understands this entirety as a temporal infinity or as the eternal return of the same. Only from this perspective does it make sense that the chapter Before sunrise. 'You snow-bearded.82
openness to the world. The great man can merely pass by such poverty. It is for him a symbol of the great man. cosy. It opens itself widely. The big city is just a metaphor for an extreme loss of world. He sees that the common notions of morality contain a loss of world. used. The 'diminishing virtue' is a symptom of the world-poverty of human existence. The life most exposed to the world has the highest rank. his contentment and comfort or if he lowers himself and arranges himself in a familiar realm or if he becomes weak and tame he has done so because the expanse of the world no longer resonates through his life. It does not seek warmth from the 'neighbour' and it does not shelter in mutual brotherly love. With its possibility to expose itself to the vastness of the world and to experience and think the eternity the human being can also close itself to it and can seemingly shrink and become small. If man accommodates himself in the near and nearest or if he limits himself to attend only to the finite and the presence.as one may be inclined to assume tackle the issue of morality now.
that is essential closeness to the things and trusting love for the earth exists when human existence is granted an immediacy from the vastness of the cosmos. The life of the child does not only experience the close and immediate things. in this we misconstrue home and childhood. 'One misunderstands man if one lives amongst them. examines the three most condemned things critically. Home is earthy ground or the familiar closeness to the earth within the openness of the world. Not only does Nietzsche oppose the traditional Christian values of chastity. but he is also guided by the question if and in what
. He examines whether they are modes of existence in which the human being opens or closes itself towards the world. hunger for power and egotism. Man is not at home in the human hustle and bustle of the big city. We need to approach this chapter through the argument of the third part. namely bodily lust. However.The eternal return
all kinds of world-poor humanity causes the return to his freedom in the mountains and to his home in solitude. He has no home among the mediocre and the weak. this analytical examination is guided in a hidden manner and tacitly by the problem of the world. the ball and the doll. In an existential sense world would be just one aspect of human existence. We require yearning eyes as well in order to see this. The focus of the entire third part is the question of the world. Nietzsche profoundly understands that home is not only where there is world. The chapter Of the three evils*0. which appears initially to be dealing with moral questions. How do desire. However. which in retrospect appears so small and insignificant. but also the shimmering distance. The world resonates in it. which discusses and dissects everything and which does not allow the silence of the world to come forth in which human existence prepares itself for its purpose. Nietzsche addresses Zarathustra's solitude as his home. hunger for power and egoism relate to the world? One could answer that these three evils are traditionally considered to be aspects of a 'secular attitude' as opposed to a transcendental and ascetic one. They live too much in the foreground. Beneath him among the many men dwells a noise. this would conceive the cosmos merely as a human orientation or as a tendency and an instinctive delusion. among the selfless and those poor of world. What use are far-sighted and far-reaching eyes?' Zarathustra has a yearning vision or a vision of the great yearning. In the solitude of the mountains Zarathustra is embraced by the great 'blissful silence'. However. Home. Nietzsche examines lust. humility and altruism. However. which reaches into the universal realm and searches for the man with the greatest openness to the world and for the man with the knowledge of the eternal return. the clouds in the sky and the eeriness of the night. hunger for power and egoism according to their cosmic relevance. We usually fail to grasp the essence of home when we think it is only the closest realm of experience such as for example the small realm of house and garden and of childhood. but not as the All which embraces all being.
the worldliness of human existence can experience a peculiar perversion
.' All three reveal for Zarathustra a mode of essential engagement with the world if they are not understood in a vulgar sense. Lust is for him 'the pleasure of the earthly garden. Lust elevates the individual existence beyond itself towards the infinite chain of sexes. There can be no absolute loss of world because man is essentially in the world. He elevates himself. Dominance is the driving and hunting aspect and it is time as history. It is the principle of restlessness that stirs up individuals and people and pushes them on to the path of history. Lust is as it were the natural existence in the entirety of time or the excess of gratitude of the entire future or of all time. With this it refers towards the openness and towards the unpredictable. Nietzsche summarizes here seemingly all negative aspects of the human existence which closes itself to the cosmos. It is the opposite of the diminishing virtue and of all modesty and satisfaction. The highest immanence of life is the immanence in the world. Dominance does not loose itself in what becomes familiar by being achieved. The spirit of heaviness is the tendency to limit human existence and to chain it to being and the inner-worldly things with the consequence of forgetting the world. deadly archenemy'. but a generous virtue of an overflowing soul and of a soul which needs the world and finds a ground and basis if it is surrounded by the harmony of the most distant worlds. What perhaps had been earlier the enthusiasm or the oneness with God or the idealistic dissolution in a merely fictional other-world becomes for Nietzsche the profound and real human relationship with the cosmos. It exists in the wholeness of time although it appears to perish in the ecstasy of the moment. The hunger for power seems to be the historical force for Zarathustra which aims to reach beyond any rest and pause. The desire for the self is no desperate egoism of a petty life. The finite moment includes time in its entirety. It never stops. the excess of future gratitude for the now'. Zarathustra's character is that of a bird. egoism: These three have hitherto been at best cursed and at worst misrepresented and falsified. These three I wish to debate well from the human point of view. All three evils contain an explicit relationship to the world. hunger for power. 'Lust. This becomes even clearer in the following chapter Of the spirit of heaviness*1. If one wishes to speak of a 'revaluation of all values' here it must be clear that the principle of this revaluation implies only the greatness or smallness of the relationship to the cosmos.84
respect they reveal an openness to the world or a transcendence towards the whole. However. He is the person of the cosmic transcendence. Zarathustra sees himself as the enemy of the spirit of heaviness for whom he is the 'original. Every epoch transcends itself towards ever further distances and futures in the desire for dominance. he transcends himself and he exposes himself to the universe.
The forgetting of world and the loss of self correspond to their opposites. The fulfilment of the self is achieved in an excessive existence of freedom and creativity. Man liberates himself through creativity from the weight and load which commonly oppresses him. self-realisation and the cosmos. The stone is not blind since it lacks the possibility to see. Zarathustra's wisdom is 'wild'. The spirit of heaviness contrasts with all of these. However. The metaphysical infinity is a denial of finitude. the earth will be renamed as "the light one". a thing-itself or a God. a 'great winged yearning'. the chapter Of old and new tables*2 goes even further. this is not a metaphysical infinity. It condemns man to self-alienation. The more open to the world the more man realizes himself. It carries itself pompously with an expression of sombre seriousness. He addresses the human forgetting of the cosmos like a tempest: 'Whoever teaches man to fly moves all border stones. Their infinity is not beyond them and it does not transcend the things. The space. Nietzsche sees the essential connection between lightness. time and light of the world grant appearance to the things.' Flying becomes the symbol of world-transcendence and of the exposition of the self to the spatio-temporal expanse of the universe. Blindness is a personal mode of being. It is immanent within them and embraces them. Zarathustra approaches the difference between two value systems now from the aspect of the relationship between human existence and the cosmos. Zarathustra contradicts the spirit of heaviness with an extreme passion. Gravity becomes the symbol of an oppressed life for which everything is heavy and which carries the burden of morality. The world is the infinite which embraces all finite things. an other-world. However. the realisation of the self and its openness to the world. The existence which forgets world is at the same time 'selfless'. Life and earth seem light to the creative person. The new
. creative excess. The contrast of the light and heavy life.The eternal return
with a cosmic denial which is only possible for a cosmic being. The connection between man and the cosmos is exposed in a fundamental way. All limits will be blown up. There can only be forgetting of world where world belongs to the ontological mode of existence. The explicit relationship with the world leads to an overcoming of all ontic distinctions and separations. of realization and loss of self. World and self are related in an overarching tension. burdens him with the weight of a transcendental God and morality and chains him to the ontic world. when his existence extends and expands into infinity and when he transcends finitude towards infinity. of opening to and forgetting of the world becomes now the distinctive principle between 'old and new tables'. other-world and religion like a camel. His cosmically open wisdom reflects on the dance of becoming in which the world abandons itself and returns to itself. The limits dividing finite things from each other and the opposition of good and evil created by the spirit of heaviness are drawn into a vortex as soon as man senses the cosmos.
Zarathustra is struck down for seven days.. yearning and love for the world. Here too we find a submerged form of exposition. On the contrary. The most expansive soul which can run the furthest and err and roam. All things flow in it because it is conscious of the eternal return. The soul is not the highest kind of being because it is more powerful or richer than other beings. He summons it. their low and high tide . The animals speak of being itself which circles within time. It is the most embracing being because it is open to the existence of the world. Man is suspended within a suspended time. it is no mere stylistic decision adding tension to the plot. The moment contains the entire time in so far as it is the infinitely repeated moment. The thinker of the eternal return chokes with deepest disgust. time has a suspended. this does not occur. The past. appearing to be dead. Everything that is there is present at hand. The abyss must speak. According to the Christian account of creation. The animals. He has learnt how to fly and he is flying. . The earth appears as a garden to him. God created the world in seven days. the most necessary one which takes pleasure in plunging itself into chance. . The possessive soul which wills the will and the desire . Such a knowledge does not dissolve into a universal sympathy.86
tables contain those of love for the farthest and those of the creative yearning for the overman. Nietzsche is indeed unable to articulate his most radical thought directly. One may be tempted to view this event as a kind of dramatic trick designed to emphasize its importance. And now all is transfigured. the living soul which dives into becoming. All limits are removed.'. Zarathustra wishes to confront his most abysmal thought finally in his solitude.
. given and is elevated from the burden of its individual concreteness. Nietzsche develops an even more profound understanding of the existence open to the world in the chapter Of the great yearning. present and future are no longer irrevocably separated and divested from each other. The future has already occurred and the past has yet to occur. In so far as it is understood as the eternal return. It does not dissolve his individuality. He can just indicate it and he can only articulate it indirectly and by reference. Zarathustra experiences the godless world in seven days. thematic exposition of the doctrine of the eternal return precedes it in the chapter entitled The recovery*3.. However. light and dancing character. . It appears in a context of repetition as that which occurs always again in the eternal return. They are tables of value created by excess. the soul which loves itself best. The second. . The soul is seen as the highest kind of being 'with the longest ladder and which descends the furthest. in which all things have their flow and counter-flow.. The power of the spirit of heaviness is broken. What could this mean? All things are transfigured through their appearance in the light of the world. articulate the true content. Zarathustra insists on the human solitude even though he grasps the eternal return. In his discussion with the animals however. However. not Zarathustra.
Everything moves. everything welcomes itself again and the ring of being remains true to itself eternally.' The eternal return is revealed differently to the animals than to humans. However.all this is conceived finitely. Strictly speaking Nietzsche does not believe in unique or concrete time precisely because the acquaintance with the present time in which we live does not reflect a true consciousness of time. The character of repetitiveness is not found within time. Nietzsche attributes a deeper dimension to time over and above its phenomenal uniqueness and factuality. In every now being commences. everything returns and eternally the wheel of being turns. Everything parts. they do not play against it like man. What does this speech of the animals say? What does it aim at? It does not mention time itself but rather its path. The middle is everywhere. Everything dies and everything flowers and the age of being is eternal. Whatever the animals themselves say about the eternal return is seen from the aspect of being itself. There is no first life which is not itself a repetition and which could form the original basis for all repetitions. The most similar is best betrayed by semblance. Every soul considers any other soul to be an other-world. an infinite number of such years must have occurred and must still occur. Every 'here' captures the ball 'there'. The path of eternity is crooked. He attempts to conceive of time and
. Or in other words: recurrence is not generated in time. Everything that comes and goes. not through the repetition of a primordial event. And hence the sequence must recur after all events have occurred. Everything decays. The relation of immanent temporality to time or the immanence of temporal being within time are now the topic. Nietzsche's doctrine of the eternal return implies great conceptual difficulties. everything is newly formed and being builds the same house forever. decays and is formed anew . The temporal within time is finite. Time itself however. Our present life has already been repeated. They are involved in the play of being. Although the manifold of being is inconceivable it is nevertheless not infinite. The path of time is brought into view as the path of the things within time. 'Every soul owns a different world. It is time itself. It must recur and it must have recurred an infinite number of times and it must repeat itself ad infinhum. It is not the case that from now on our life and the generation of things are repeated eternally. The transition of the things through time is a year of being. dies and flourishes. that is.The eternal return
he only finds himself through it. within which all things occur is not finite. because the smallest distance is hardest to cross. They are embraced by change and do not confront it. While time runs through our ringers and we realize the unique and the fleeting transition of our existence our experience of decay conceals the premonition of eternity.
. the sounds of our speech. that all things recur eternally and we too and that we have already been present eternally and all things with us. He has aims. not he himself. Zarathustra's highest achievement is his reconciliation of freedom and necessity. This must turn eternally around like an hourglass so that it continues to flow. the past and the future. Time is the power of letting be and it is simultaneously constructive and destructive. We use the same linguistic expressions for our requests. he relates to it. it is the beginning and ending itself. Nietzsche has finally separated the thought of the eternal return from a metaphysical framework. which has been overcome. have the same meaning.88
eternity as a unity and to attribute eternal characteristics to time.' Time however is not only the realm. how you know what had to fulfil itself in seven days. that is. express the doctrine: See. An apparently singular event is already an infinite recurrence.' And yet there is an essential distinction between him and his animals. the different sounds. In the face of all recurrent being he retains the will to will. This makes Nietzsche's thought even more difficult and obscure or more paradoxical so to speak. The superficial perspective separates the distinctions between the present. Zarathustra accepts the presentation of the eternal recurrence given by the animals conditionally: 'Oh you cunning jesters and hurdy gurdies. These are driven by the current of time. so that all these years resemble each other in the biggest and smallest way. we express it repeatedly. We do not utter the same sounds but always different ones. we know what you teach. You teach that there is a great year of becoming. ideas and he is his own task. they have no aim. Man's fate resembles that of Sysiphos. the path on which all things begin and end. . a monstrous great year. between the 'here' and the 'there'. Although man himself too is subject to time like any being. It is the Dionysian play of the world. dissolve and form. The multiple requests with their identical
. Zarathustra replies . The animals call him the teacher of the eternal recurrence and they. What do we usually mean by the recurrence of the same? For example: we repeat the same request. However. The apparently linear direction of time is circular. The human task is the overman. Temporal individuality of a moment is merely an appearance. These sentences do not just state the recurrence but they state the recurrence of the same. The fear gripping the human conception of the eternal recurrence as the temporality of the world is the premonition that everything. To Zarathustra's deeper perspective they are one: 'The centre is everywhere. Unlike man. is going to return and will need to be overcome again. so that we too remain the same in every great year in the greatest and smallest sense.
Any future can only unfold as an infinite
. The sequence of the repeated turns of the hourglass requires time in itself. When Nietzsche uses the parable of the hourglass he borrows it initially from an ordinary conception of time. Nietzsche approaches it through the common understanding of time. It occurs within an embracing temporality which consists of temporal extensions measured by the hourglass. however. The problems emerge through the question of the relation between the finite temporal content and time itself as Nietzsche defines the extension of these paths as eternity and eternity itself as infinite temporality. No possibility remains unrealized. We distinguish that which is sooner from that which is later. There is no longer a difference between the three dimensions of time. Does Nietzsche believe that the recurrence of the great year of being or the passing of the things in time occurs in an embracing time? Does he believe. as it were. the original. at different points in time.
6.the concepts of ontic temporality. everything concrete at any moment is essentially a recurrence and. that there is a time in which the cosmic years pass? The answer to this is not easy to find. however. One is the first.The eternal recurrence
meanings are distinguished from each other. THE ETERNAL RECURRENCE: OF THE GREAT YEARNING
The doctrine of the eternal recurrence of the same is not developed beyond a meagre exposition of basic concepts in Zarathustra. Accordingly. an infinite recurrence. An ordinary understanding of recurrence presupposes a direction in time. He focuses on the given moment as the gateway between the two long temporal paths with opposing characteristics. The flow of the sand is a temporal occurrence which can be repeated infinitely ad libitum. It is. as it were. This is most evident in a chapter which is perhaps the most beautiful of the entire work: 'Of the great yearning'. The others are repetitions.or flight from . The thought of the eternal recurrence. And accordingly we cannot conceive the recurrence of the same within a linear time. The crucial problem is that a thinking which turns from the dimension of temporality to the temporality of the world itself can do so only in a constant rejection of. however. the other the first repetition. the next the second repetition of the 'same'. precisely destroys this distinction. as it were. The repetition of the same presupposes a real. The first one occurs first. Identity of meaning is not the same as numerical identity. It is not surprising that the reflections of the third part of Zarathustra express the relation between the human existence and the world and its attunement to the world in a language resonanting with a passion for distance. If every temporal event is finite then an infinite past must have already passed the entire ontic past. temporal difference.
However. not beyond time. There is no explicit elucidation of any concept of time.not to a new life or to a better life or to a similar life . All finite succession of events however can only occur in an infinite time as a recurrence. the knot of causes in which I am tied recurs . However. However. with this snake . the unfolding and destruction of being recur. if every event is finite and if time transcends any temporality is it a necessary conclusion that the temporal sequence or the entirety of the temporal events is also finite? For Nietzsche 'all possible events' has a finite meaning. The temporality of being is called the great year. the coming and going. Eternity is within time. The souls are as mortal as the bodies. I myself am a cause of the eternal return. 'All that can endure' commences in a now and endures for a sequence of moments. it must have been preceded by a past. together with this earth. 'recurrence'. path of time and temporality in Zarathustra make Nietzsche's doctrine of the eternal recurrence questionable and ambiguous. Time itself transcends any given temporal content.90
future in continuous recurrence. In the recurrence of the great year the same returns or the recurrence of the same occurs. But since Nietzsche clings to the classical conception of being as presence despite his inverted Platonism and since all being threatens to disappear in the receding time he can think presence just as an eternal recurrence of decay and generation.I recur in this very same life. No actual year is a recurrence of n +1 potency. there are no longer two distinct eternities of the past and the future since the conception of eternity as an eternal repetition of a temporal content sublates the difference between past and future altogether. with this eagle. Time as it were is larger than any inter-temporal becoming.It will re-create me. however. in all greatest and smallest respects so that I again teach the eternal recurrence of all things. Does an eternal recurrence contradict itself? Can one speak about recurrence even in this context? The obscurity of concepts such as 'eternity'. One has rather the impression that Nietzsche attempts to express a tremendous inner vision which oppresses him and which trembles through the terror of its experience. All events have their duration. The possible consists of a tremendously large but nevertheless finite number of constellations. not only does the sequence of events. Is it not circular when Nietzsche infers the finitude of the entire temporal content from the finitude of all temporal being? All events and facts commence and terminate in time. However. the creation and decay. The great year is the finite totality of all events.44
. I recur. If it is to commence. The recurrence of the great year also recurs itself. The limited amount of sand in the hourglass can only continue to flow if the latter is constantly turned around. The years are countless. The guiding interpretation pervading all his thought of the connection between temporality and time is itself perhaps most questionable.
The eternal recurrence is Nietzsche's doctrine of the entirety of being. Nietzsche's intuitive and visionary style is usually not received very congenially. It shows that every word and every expression in Zarathustra is meaningful and it shows that Nietzsche's metaphorical language is everywhere full of important thoughts. overloaded. the uniquely individual and simple point is in precisely this time and at this point in space simply not repeatable. He rather conceives of time as eternal in positing transience as permanence and singularity as recurrence. Nietzsche attempts to conceive the eternity of the transient. singular path which we travel in the light. All his concepts that he uses in the development of the doctrine of the eternal return sublate each other. We are here and now: in this one. It refers quite obviously to a desire. This is most obvious in the chapter 'Of the great yearning'45. As long as one understands the thought of the eternal recurrence as an unrelenting repetition like the great records of all possible events being played over and over again or as a never-ending perpetuum mobile of infinite monotony and boredom the paradoxical aspect of Nietzsche's conception is not recognized. We all understand this human emotion. Spatio-temporal being (that is being in the openness of the world) occurs only once. however. We will need to work hard to understand the powerful images of his thoughts in his language. To cite an earlier example: I can repeat the same request using the same words and the same manner of expression but not the identical sounds of language. not. The chapter to which we are going to turn now deals with the great yearning. namely a desire for something absent. We do not feel yearning for that which is in front of our hands and eyes or for that which we can see and touch. One has not read the Zamthustra if one has merely heard an opulent.The eternal recurrence
Here Nietzsche augments the recurrence to include the recurrence of the presence and thus achieves a complete paradox. We may
. occurrences and facts and transcends all finite temporality infinitely. Recurrence is not supposed to oppose singularity but to eternalize it and to give it concrete and factual existence and an infinite dimension. This provides man conscious of transience with an intense attention towards his own life. An eternal return which has no original that recurs is just as paradoxical a conception as a recurrence of singularity with the recurrent characteristics of singularity. and loquacious voice rich in metaphor or if one is not able to translate the metaphors into thoughts. unique life which appears to be so short compared to the immense expanse of time. It is luminously clear and it radiates through almost all the chapters of the third part that Nietzsche refers to the world by referring to eternity which transcends all temporal events. by pointing to an eternity beyond time following death and by reducing time to a mere appearance. Everywhere we find the resonance of an aura of distance which only grounds the essential closeness of being. Everything that happens is unique and is inevitably lost in the flow of time. The 'this-there'. Birth and death are the boundaries of the unique.
They are the three dimensions of time. We are also all familiar with the yearning for the indefinite and with a yearning without aim. We are far removed from all oppressive closeness. the difference between here and there is relative to the perspective of the observer. To be sure.' God is the object of his yearning. The desiderium is not fulfilled by finite objects. The small yearning is a desire for being which reaches into the distance. presence and future are distinctly and definitely separated from each other. For Nietzsche this distance is no longer the divine Christian creator who transcends the visible and created realm but the distance which embraces all that is visible and tangible as the distance of space and time of the cosmos that grants all closeness. It has a mysterious and hidden tendency to keep the object of yearning at the same time out of our actual reach. The desiderium implies that the distance is kept intuitively at a distance. for the days of childhood and for death. is an attitude which accepts distance itself. Zarathustra converses with his soul: 'O my soul.' The common human ontological understanding conceives being within the horizon of time in such a way that today. The great yearning. Yearning liberates us from the present context and from its limited aims and purposes. it reaches for distance itself. they cannot loose their distinctness. there and that.. Yearning implies an active waiting for distant realms and times. It does not only permeate distance. space is separable: here and there are in different realms. It exists differently in time than a short event. are in a way removed like Iphigenie who looks yearningly across the sea on the beach of Tauris and searches with her soul for the land of the Greeks. The chapter deals with the cosmic openness in so far as it has the character of an understanding of the eternal recurrence of the same. Yearning implies the extension of the desire into the distance. yesterday and once-upon-a-time are separated and divided. But independently of these two modes of temporal existence it is clear that past. Just like time. The fact however that here and there apply in a definite sense is not based on its relation to any particular situation
. We yearn for the distant lover. A rock endures a long time. with the soul's yearning for the distance or with the gaze towards the open sea. I taught you to say "now" like "once upon a time" and "in the past" and to dance over all here. for example a flash of lightning. The great yearning is the human exposure to space and time or his openness to the world. All existing things are dispersed through different spatial realms and have particular locations. Whatever is here for one person is 'there' for another. Augustine states 'inquietum cor nostrum . Yearning does not imply the desire to concretely fulfil itself. The presence is separated from the past and from the future.92
desire whatever is present and desire it perhaps vehemently and passionately but we do not yearn for it. however. . Only the infinite God can fulfil the yearning of the human hearts. If something exists today then it has ceased to exist yesterday or in the distant past.
other-world and cosmic empowerment eventuates. Clouds conceal the luminous expanse of the heavens. He taught it to see the today. It is placed among the things and is itself a kind of object. God is. The future is then also always the past and vice-versa. you remain silent like the light and you pass through negating tempests. The soul which is thus enlightened can dance beyond the ontic determinations of spatial location and realms because it dwells in an universal realm. like dark shadows which. of here and there seriously in order to free himself from the spirit of heaviness which creates all such limitations. Zarathustra. as it were. other-worldly God and with it the entire interpretation of life as guilt. the yesterday and the once-upon-a-time as identical. Only as long as the human soul closes itself to the world. In a sense it acquires omnipresence. I removed the dust. the differences between today. The true human spirit resembles the tempest which clears all clouds. clings to the given and obvious and only as long as it hides itself. It is found in the body. I gave you the right to negate like the tempest and affirm like the open sky. however. can the dark knowledge of the cosmos remain concealed in a divine belief. the spiders and the twilight from you . If the entire past is also the entire future the soul
. I liberated you from all corners. All basic concepts of the Christian tradition are like clouds. are based on a basic human stance which forgets and is blind to the world. yesterday and once-upon-a-time. It exposes itself to the presence of the all in which the differences of the temporal dimensions disappear. The soul which has extended itself into the universal realm and yearns for the great yearning now stands within the open light and finds itself under the heaven of'innocence and chance'.' And Zarathustra continues to converse with his soul. As long as the soul is subject to an ordinary understanding of space and time or to a defined situation it is tied to an ego.'. the shadow of a world where human existence is diminished and does not dare to expose itself. . According to Zarathustra man has to face the sun 'naked'. He demonstrates how the doctrine of the eternal recurrence does not limit freedom but liberates the soul from the inevitable past. If the eternal recurrence is the essence of time then the difference between past and future collapses. Wherever the exposure towards the open realm and the yearning extension into the deep cosmic dimensions of space and time occurs the tempest of the human spirit rages and the human liberation from God. according to Nietzsche. 'Oh my soul.The eternal recurrence
but on the real spatial location. . has taught his soul (in the doctrine of the eternal recurrence of the same) not to take the fixed differences between space and time. If the human existence does not truly transcend itself this shadow appears in the form of a transcendent. The soul exists in the entirely of time if it 'devalues' the irrelevant differences of events. sin and shame. How are these identical? They are identical to the thought of the eternal return. 'Oh my soul.
Man has been liberated because he dwells in the freedom and openness of the cosmic play itself. He feels contempt for man as he is now. it has a secret connection with the creative and forming essence of the world which lets a being be in the eternal return of the same. Transcending ontic being he reencounters them in a primordial sense. He is the most loved and the most condemned as a path to the overman. the loving contempt loves most where it despises most. he is contemptible to Zarathustra yet at the same time also lovable. Indeed. In the understanding of the eternal return human existence joins into the play of the world and becomes a participant of the great game. The human being which is tied to ontic being can become conscious of this attachment and can feel contempt for itself as a servant to the things. Because man mostly hides away. however. that is the human creativity. 'Oh my soul. And Zarathustra speaks about contempt.'
. the mirage of a God to which he has to submit disappears. As long as destiny is understood like this. the great. This contempt 'does not arrive like an infestation of worms. is nothing but the human being in the mode of the great yearning. Man is the finite being who has a premonition of the infinite. he returns from the open cosmos to the things. indeed. Just like the past acquiring characteristics of the future and the future characteristics of the past. The overman. even constructs the sculptured image of the transcendental God or because he is not what he could be. He approaches the cosmos through a paradoxical sublation of ontic contrasts.' Such contempt is no dismissive ignorance. He loves in man the ideal of the overman. freedom is included in necessity and necessity within freedom.94
has the freedom to determine the 'created and uncreated'. He has become necessary because the difference between will and necessity has become superfluous. The creativity of the creator. I gave you new names and coloured toys. The last and the greatest will is to will the necessary.' If man is transformed into the overman through the understanding of the eternal return and exists yearningly in the cosmos as a whole. All human servitude ends. 'Oh my soul I took from you all obedience. however. is given free reign like never before. submission and worship of a lord. The soul itself is 'fate' for Zarathustra. The person conscious of the eternal recurrence is elevated above the attachment to and immersion in ontic being. because whatever is willed must be realized anyway through the eternal recurrence. The separation between freedom and necessity is sublated. for this torso and this pitiful cross between nothingness and infinity. Here again we see Nietzsche's desire for paradoxical expressions. I gave you the name "turn of need" and "fate". man cannot identify himself with it. Nietzsche conceives a completely different concept of fate. However. this is not the acceptance of a predetermined will for Nietzsche. I called you "fate" and "circles of circles" and "umbilical cord of time" and "azure bell". fails to expose himself truly to infinity and remains rather distant to infinity.
It exposes itself and waits for space and time. 'Oh my soul. It is the 'umbilical cord of time'. Called upon by the whole cosmos man nevertheless remains among the things. It is itself related to all-pervasive. The human soul which is transfigured through the eternal recurrence resembles the vine which grows from the earth towards the light. They are no finite limits. Having become as deep as the world it resembles the vine heavy with golden-brown grapes.' All cosmic yearning waits. the soul itself. It embraces the world in its ecstatic yearning. its appearance. 'Your richness gazes across the roaring seas and searches and wants. the human being exists within the world and yet it is able to expose itself yearningly towards that which is further afar than any thing could ever be. The fatherly ether embraces mother earth eternally. The lonely earth supporting all things lies beneath the blue sky embracing all being. The soul has become overripe. Where is the future and the past joined closer than in you?' However.' The primordial opposition and marriage of heaven and earth created all things that endure on earth and come forth into the light. It is like the azure sphere of the sky above all things. Nietzsche conjures up some basic mythical ideas which are as old as mankind. with all the energy of its yearning thus open to the cosmos the soul expresses a melancholy. Heaven and earth are the farthest ends and distances of the soul's yearning reach. thrown into this cosmic marriage by the great yearning itself. It can no longer bear its excess riches and its worldliness in a calm way. the old sacrifice and the old sacrament. The infinity of the world confronts him with his own finitude.The eternal recurrence
What is the point of such metaphorical language? The change to the human existence created by the thought of the eternal recurrence also changes the entire ontological understanding. Understanding the infinite he remains trapped in the finite. in an all-embracing light or in a light of an all-pervasive game in which all ontic being receives its form. It has to sing
. which carries fruit and which is a joint creation of heaven and earth. Exposed to the all-embracing play of the world. This is no longer primarily an understanding of being in its being. universal time like the child to the mother. 'Oh my soul. the soul itself becomes cosmic and becomes similar to the world. Precisely the ecstatic openness to the world throws him back towards the things. Such suffering creates the song to the world or the reflective poetic song. Man stands between heaven and earth. Like the world it is in some respects the 'circle of circles'. more embracing and more embraced. I poured all suns on you and all nights and all silences and all yearning. Similarly. You grew for me like a vine. It is sky and earth in one. there is no soul anywhere which was more loving. Like all other ontic things. Heavy with a yearning the soul resembles the vine. its duration and direction. but an understanding of being in the light of the world. Zarathustra's soul has to sing unless it wishes to perish in the suffering of the great yearning. is ambiguous.
for whom future songs need to yet find names. It is the God of tragedy and comedy.also many great and small animals and all that has miraculous feet so that it can tread on paths lined with blue pansies towards the golden miracle. Dionysos is the answer to the great human yearning. you are drinking from all deep wells of comfort. you are dreaming already. The eternal recurrence is not final. He brings all being into presence and absence. Although Dionysos' name is not mentioned here. The master of the boat. You great reliever. He is the cut of time itself. builds and destroys. oh my soul. The centre of being is addressed in a metaphor of a golden miracle. however.. Your melancholy rests already in the bliss of future songs. The great human yearning which understands the eternal recurrence as the cosmic essence and exposes itself receptively is to be fulfilled. He cuts with the hardest knife. is the winemaker who waits with the diamond-studded knife . You are glowing already. Wherever the Dionysian. The doctrine of the eternal return knows time as eternal recurrence.. is Dionysos. creates and decays. the god of intoxication. appears itself the arrival of the world has occurred. Zarathustra's soul has come home. He is the master of all becoming. the free boat and towards its master. however. That which is conceived within the yearning reach is to arrive by itself. This. the knife indicates the master
. Yearning for cosmic expansion. mysterious things . . . What. Dionysos is Nietzsche's last word. This is the ultimate centre of being. the eternal recurrence is in itself Nietzsche's Zarathustra expresses only through song. the master of the tragic and at the same time of the light-hearted cosmic play. it is no God that appears in finite form among the ontic beings within the world. good. which takes all that it has used. 'The heart of the earth is made of gold' an earlier chapter stated. however. so that they attend to your yearning . He has no epiphany in any defined form. The soul which reaches patiently across the silent. It gives and takes. He liberates the vine from oppression with the redemption of the knife.. the master of all things changing in time. yearning seas encounters the boat which floats on the water of becoming. yearning seas.96
with roaring song. which reigns and rules all change. of love and of death and the God of play. However. the nameless . Dionysos is the donor and thief of the eternal recurrence. And he is the God of vine or Dionysos Bacchus. with a pruning knife made of diamonds. the gold being surrounded by the dance of the evil. until all seas become calm. All things dance around this boat like dolphins around a boat.until the boat floats across all calm. He is a formless creator and the play of Being itself. the golden wonder.
as it were. If Zarathustra intends to die soon he has to continuously return an infinite number of times in the ring of eternal recurrence. Suffering sees only the passing of time. The dream perishes. We live in it like a dream. Everything is devoured by it. . Perhaps the style is less successful than Nietzsche believes. Life. It does not only emphasize the contrasting aspect of the passing' time. however. I know that you are planning to leave me soon. He does not reveal what he says. To understand transience is to understand the deep suffering of the world. O Zarathustra . the world must appear deeper. however. The human being open to the cosmos is supposed to approach this ultimate goal in song: 'Oh my soul. intoxicating appearances hardly allows us to understand the eerie breeze of transience. it
. The suffering of the world is deep. The description of it as an abyss and a labyrinth is the decisive feature here: 'I recently looked into your eyes.life answers . I saw gold shimmering in your dark eyes. You are not true enough to me! . usually. we can make a guess. now I gave you all and even my last and all my hands are empty for you. Pleasure. His understanding of time is expressed through the number of strokes of the bell. if we awake and do not sleep the ordinary sleep. . in the silence of the night. Wherever anything flourishes death already lurks in the wings. is more profound. silly plaits of hair'. In particular the attempts to rhyme disturb in the first third of the chapter. . Life appears in the seductive guise of a woman who is a witch and a snake or a tempest and an abysmal night. 'You know that. whereas the noise of the day with its colourful.' And Zarathustra whispers into the ear of life. the decay of being in time. He remains the nameless of any future songs.' After such a conversation Zarathustra strikes the bell of time twelve times. The Other Dancing Song*6 is a peculiarly suspended hymn to life in its concealment and obscurity. more mysterious and more questionable to us where it supports us.' Zarathustra appears to sing a maenadic song about life.' The Dionysian song occurs in the last two chapters of the third part of Zarathustra. We hear the silent passing of time. O life. But Nietzsche contrasts the suffering of the world with pleasure and its greater depth. It is not at all possible to leave life in any absolute sense.what nobody knows. It is the air we breathe but we are not conscious of this. We are usually immersed in time. the seductive witch 'right into the midst of her tangled. . that was the ultimate. says to Zarathustra: ' . At the same time Nietzsche's reticence is very important. the medium of our life.The eternal recurrence
of the vineyard. Time becomes a problem in such a way that the depth of the world is recognized. Everything perishes and nothing seems to endure. If we reflect upon time. The arrival of Dionysos rather than his actual presence is proclaimed. It is the path of our existence. However. my heart stood still with such lust. we can wake from such a dream and suddenly startle at midnight. That I made you sing. However.
It is a mode of excessive understanding. luminous distance of the heavens and the closure of the earth and which grants space and time to all being. unquestionable and unchallengeable being in the
recognizes the eternal return of the same or the eternity within the nature of time. Nothing can resist it. The Buddhist or Christian interpretation of the cosmos and also Schopenhauer's pessimistic metaphysics are based on the notion of suffering. of course. time and eternity are here thought in a connection. Time shows itself to Nietzsche in two ways. Pleasure does not refer here to the petty entertainment. take care/ what speaks the deep midnight/1 slept. It experiences absence and the nothingness of all being in time. For Nietzsche suffering is also an essential experience of the essence of time. Pleasure provides him with a deeper insight. Nietzsche's thinking surrounds the unsayable and still nameless which is the harmony of the open. The heartfelt hurt is the elegiac. Time removes. pleasure. Suffering. It devours its children. ZARATHUSTRA AND THE HIGHER MAN
The development of our preliminary interpretation of the eternal recurrence was guided by the question whether Nietzsche's understanding of time is informed by ontic time. full and complete. I slept/ from deep dreams did I awake/ Deep is the suffering/ Pleasure deeper than heartfelt suffering/ Suffering says: perish!/ But all pleasure desires eternity. desires deep. world. the disappearance of the presence. On the one hand we view time from the aspect of suffering. He recognizes it. Pleasure is a way in which man opens himself to the world. The focus on suffering regards time only as the inevitable loss. O man. The Other Dancing Song closes with the chimes of the bell. Suffering or hurt does not refer here to the encounter with pain or unhappiness. deep eternity!
7. THE ETERNAL RECURRENCE: THE SEVEN SEALS. but refers to a basic structure of human existence. Nietzsche does not ignore and he does not neglect the elegiac conception of time provided to us by heartfelt suffering. but he takes it to be limited and contingent. Hedone is the blessedness of the dust and the blessedness of man. The mountains erode and the heavenly fires extinguish. to the excitement or to the sensual stimulation. It constitutes decay. fundamental experience of transience. All is subject to the erosion of change. It should have become clear from our interpretative attempts that the cosmos resonates through the third part of Zarathustra. Nothing can endure. by the temporal extension or by ontological time itself. Man disappears and decays in time but experiences pure. the departure and the path into nothingness.
Is the eternity of the eternal return accordingly to be approached through this knowledge of the earth or does he merely dogmatically assert a paradoxical view on the eternity of time? Nietzsche's understanding of pleasure is revealed in the last chapter of the third part. The highest will joins with necessity itself. It does not will what he desires. This carries the heading The Seven Seals (or: The Yes-and-Amen Song)". Eating bread he tastes the calm and enduring earth in which the wheat ripens in the wind in which all things have their own place. we are not on a high yoke like Zarathustra here. long must the heavy weather
. Cosmic pleasure is the fundamental stance of the thinker who is 'full of this prophetic spirit. However transient the things may be in the flux of time the earth endures. He wills the great will. Even in the dull and blunt way of everyday life we are always standing between two seas. Precisely because he knows the eternal significance of the moment. Human pleasure is not merely the enjoyment of perceptions. not in a blind hope for a distant past which. 'Truly. The pleasures of food and sexual love were seen as symbolic experiences revealing the permanence within transience and passing away.' The question whether Nietzsche was guided by a knowledge of the permanence of the earth which is the stage and dimension of all transience when he attributes a deeper understanding of time to pleasure will have to remain open. deep eternity. He stands high above two seas. it wills what must occur. Bread and wine are body and blood of the great mother. It is no stimulation of the senses and of sensuality but the experience of the concrete. However. for deep. the eternal recurrence and the eternal return of the same. he can experience the moment more profoundly and significantly. pleasure provides a deeper insight into time. We live in the present moment with an unforeseeable future ahead and an infinite past behind us. Pleasure is cosmic pleasure or the trembling experience of eternity. And yet they do not flow into one. Inspired by the eternal return both seas are not different to him. 'Since all pleasure strives for eternity. For Nietzsche. We do not eat bread and drink wine as if these were separate things. The mystery cults of antiquity understood the symbolism of bread and wine. who wanders on the high mountain path between two seas'. embodied existence of the things and of the firm rootedness of being on the earth. They grant us revelation of Demeter's silent peace. They show how the earth resists in the wind of time and how despite the transience life itself remains indestructible. is yet undetermined.The eternal recurrence
embrace. They understood the reference of these finite things to the infinity of the earth. however. We constantly celebrate the sacrament of our belonging to the earth. He does not only live within the path of time he shapes time. It even realizes. albeit in a subconscious manner. All seven seals with which Nietzsche intends to seal his book giving it an esoteric character are addresses of the cosmos and its eternity.
Man can say: the 'earth is a divine table and shaking with new creative words and divine inventions'. The disappearance of God enables the divination of man. eternal God dies or when he is killed the reflection of eternity can appear in this concrete. which even overcomes chance in order to dance starry rounds'. When I sit jubilantly where old Gods are buried. I sit with pleasure on the broken churches like grass and red poppy. They do not express an uprising of human prophets against any divine domination.' However. with the creativity of the creator. The desire for the world kills God. And the third seal commences with the divine human characteristics.100
remain in the mountains that is to illuminate the future in times to come. The world unifies and combines all. This highest form of the will and the path towards a new humanity create and excite an infinite cosmic pleasure. blessing the world. Man becomes divine through creativity. unites the opposites and provides the good with the taste of evil and vice versa. The second seal relates the death of God to the thought of the eternal return. unrestrained hatred of God. precisely the long and difficult will to the future understands the latter not as a realm of possibilities but as necessity. The cosmic desire is a 'yearning desire which sails towards the unknown' like the desire of the sailor. These words do not express a mad. Human and cosmic infinity cannot tolerate a separate divine infinity. If we think beyond the obvious and firm opposition or if we understand that opposites relate to each other like the tension of bow and lyre in Heraclitus' grand metaphor we understand the existence of the cosmos. The melting pot is an ancient symbol for the world. 'God' was the expression for any attempt to elevate the infinite beyond real time. The creative will to the future burns with the passion for the eternal return. The strongest and most beautiful expression of achieving cosmic openness through pleasure is given in the last three seals. with 'the divine need. The transcendence of the existence which yearns for the world is expressed with almost uncanny metaphorical precision and imagination: 'if my rejoicing ever
. The fourth seal refers to the melting pot into which all things are thrown. The eternal Gods must die so that finite man can understand his finitude as eternity and as eternal recurrence. I love even the churches and the graves of God. This thinking transcends finitude and opposition towards the all-comprising whole and towards the' great fusion which joins all opposites. The fifth seal invokes the image of the sea. loving the world next to the monuments of those who renounced the world. transient world. Only when the transcendental. This creative dynamic has its deeper root in the desire for the world. if the heavens become clearly visible through their broken roofs.
The space around us is always denned. We do not usually think about space and time which are more primordial than their determinations. who I love. The seventh seal explicitly speaks about the way in which human existence turns towards the world. The love for infinity is compared to erotic love. We do not think about the open expanse of the cosmos. The turn towards the world is. space and time glow far beyond" . limited and separated by boundaries. O eternity.and I tell you this is my alphabet.infinity thunders around me. Is this just accidental? Does Nietzsche use a metaphor which could easily be replaced? Or does the love for eternity compare with erotic love? Does this metaphor perhaps indicate that similar to earlier
. with whom 1 would like children. Zarathustra speaks about the lightness of an existence which is at home in the openness of the world in the sixth seal. All things dance for it because it itself dances above the wide expanse of the world: 'And if this is my alphabet. that all bodies become dancers and that all spirits become birds .' The self-expansion of human existence towards its own heavens and towards its farthest reaches of light is a way of turning towards the world. not for an infinity beyond the world or not for an other-worldly infinity. It transcends all boundaries like a bird and knows no up and down. unless it is this woman. within self-limitation. His lightness is only achieved where life is seized by a thought of and by a desire for the world. because I love you. The radiance of the luminous openness reveals the essence of space and time more originally than the limitations of the things within space and time.' We live ordinarily in a manner in which the vastness of the world remains obscure. Space is limited and measured . however. All seven seals conclude thus: 0 how would I not lust for eternity and the wedding ring of marriage . however.' Nietzsche does not praise the happy soul who leads a carefree and easygoing life. .time as well. The pleasure of distance and infinity resonates with the cosmic splendour or space and time. where the coast and the limitations disappear and space and time shine into the distance.the ring of the eternal return. And where we dare to venture outside into the open we stay close to the coast. The open sea is only the distant horizon for us. the ring of eternal return is a wedding ring. We live within the limitations of finitude. 'If I ever suspended quiet heavens above me and flew with my own wings into my own heaven/ If I swam playfully in deep reaches of light and came to the freedom of my bird's wisdom . . but for the infinity of the world itself. I have not found the woman who I love. . that all heavy things are light. Infinity is a woman.The eternal recurrence
cried: "the coast is disappearing now my last chain is falling off . . always a love for infinity for Nietzsche.
so to speak. Perhaps this is a task for the future? It may be that Nietzsche's theory of the cosmos would gain a meaning then that is far removed from the hypothesis of infinite time and the finite temporal occurrences. introduces new stylistic elements. These are the doctrine of the will to power. like a satire. victorious. The immense passion with which Nietzsche clings to this thought makes it central to the Zarathustra and develops it accordingly into a central thought of his philosophy. The Zarathustra reaches its climax in the third part. On the whole the fourth part is a failure. The philosophical concept does not reach the complete dimension of this oldest of myths. There are some terrible and embarrassing mistakes. of heaven to earth and of the light to the sealed ground? Does it refer to the mythical dimension of a union between Ouranos and Gaza? Is this the real source for the marriage ring of rings or the ring of eternal return? This question does not have a ready and simple answer. The parable proclaims a new basic philosophical theory. it would display a logical unity and style.this fable becomes further and even oppressively emphasized. perhaps. The Night Song and The Grave Song. Nietzsche refers here to the woman of all women or the mother earth when he refers to eternity? Does this highest and deepest thought not invoke ancient myth? Is the eternal recurrence of the same only explicable. This passion would appear extremely strange if it constituted no more than a view of time.' If Nietzsche had finished the book with the third part. obscure relation of time and space. however. This part would be a natural end of the book. Nietzsche originally intended it to be so as well. The poeticphilosophical vision appears to be somewhat exhausted. The fable which was merely a superficial thread running through the first three parts and is only developed in so far as it is addressed to all. through a reflection on the essence of time? Or does this question refer to the puzzling. which only repeat themselves within it. kind and confident among all the
. the death of God and the overman. However. then to fewer and finally only to Zarathustra himself in the soliloquy and song of his soul . It concludes a gradual development of Nietzsche's central thoughts. The thought of the eternal return is the foundation for Nietzsche's main thoughts. which contradicted all pre-theoretical experiences and also the traditional conceptual analysis of time but failed to reach itself a rigourous conceptual level of analysis of time.102
occasions. He is portrayed as magnanimous. The fourth part is attached to this work which reveals a new and tragic view of the world. just this fails and it remains a mere posture. The fourth part. namely in The Dancing Song. It was meant to portray Zarathustra's greatness in relation to the traditional forms of human greatness and to show his superiority over all kinds of 'higher beings'. The chapter The Recovery concluded with the view of the animals that the proclamation of the eternal return was the end of their master: 'Thus concludes Zarathustra's descent.
they do not achieve a new truth. the magician. to ascend to him. The existence of Zarathustra.the hour of his last and final descent to mankind. The magician is the artist who has become an actor. They are the late grandchildren of warriors. His art to portray existential moods and stances fails here. They are searching for Zarathustra who preaches war and for whom the will to power is the essence of life. He is keen to act. Yet. but the direction in which he attempts this is now empty. He does not enjoy the solitude and its blessings. While man projected his yearning and his innermost longing beyond itself the death of God did not kill the yearning and longing human heart. The nothingness still inspires these higher men. The soothsayer of the great tiredness is the prophet of a future nihilism. They too suffer from a falseness of life. Zarathustra's character does not gain significant depth or existential clarity through its superiority over the higher beings. The scream of the highest men lures Zarathustra from his cave and roaming through his territory he finds many types of higher men whom he sends up to his cave. The two kings are tired of the false character of their royalty. the pedant of the spirit. He merely imitates truth and lives with a mask of a former. They are not yet truly transformed like Zarathustra. except this has now an uncanny. the old pope who lost his job when God died. the voluntary beggar and Zarathustra's shadow. His thrust amounts to nothing. They are still trapped within a kind of self-alienation. the ugly man. He has no genuine life and no truth. Zarathustra eludes Nietzsche's psychology as a thinker of new thoughts. 'the most evil of all human pied-pipers' still waits on his high mountain peak. They are all searching for Zarathustra. they have no will to power and they are no warriors. from false concepts of power and mastery valid in modern life. And yet he is only waiting for his hour . the two kings. of the hermit who endures the solitude or of the atheist who can live without God tempts the 'higher men' or the men of the great disgust who can no longer live among the mass of their small and oppressive fellow men and who can no longer endure the spiritual divide and emptiness of modern life. The pedant of the spirit suffers from this falsity as
. of the will to power and of the eternal return. They despise the false representation of a power which is no longer real. They are not masters. genuine existence. private happiness and with his mountain freedom. His hair has turned white. However. Man still wishes to transcend himself. A peculiar society assembles there: the soothsayer of the great tiredness. Zarathustra has been living in solitude for some time. These higher men are the 'remnants of God' on earth. he. God has been replaced by the silence of nothingness. they only despise this falsity. Nietzsche does not succeed to show how this being lives with its knowledge of the death of God.The eternal recurrence
fragmented existences which form the higher being. The fourth part commences after many years have passed. They are screaming for help. He baits the human fishes with the sweetness of his silent. negative character.
well. flapping wings.his shadow is not. a wandering will. He researches only the brain of the leech. The pedant distrusts all theological and metaphysical hypotheses that merely pretend to connect objects of knowledge. Only the self-satisfied man. He only researches one thing. He is homeless and a wanderer and ultimately destroyed by his homelessness: 'What have I got left? A tired and daring heart. He rather prefers to remain limited but precise than deceived by seemingly higher knowledge. however. something highly specialized or even something particular within the particular. who is no longer driven and who has lost hope and dissatisfaction is the last man. really knowing anything truly. A similar thing can be said about the voluntary beggar and Zarathustra's shadow. The ugliest man symbolizes the disgust of man with himself. The pedant prefers to remain ignorant rather than pretend to know or know falsely. Nietzsche declares thus that the limitations of the positive sciences are a sacrifice and an indication of the necessary and true knowledge of the whole. All genuine knowledge eats into the flesh of life. The old pope is the venerable man who embodies blessedness and veneration even though he knows that the being in whose name he blesses is dead. the entire Alexandrian culture of learning which enjoys knowledge. Zarathustra is rooted . no substance and no halt beyond his negation. he has no firm base on which he could stand. The eternal nihilist is only Zarathustra's shadow. . There is no position. As long as the fragmented and the twisted aspects of human existence are clear or as long as man suffers from himself and desires to transcend himself he retains a trace of greatness.'. collects and gathers it in many communicable forms without. He is Nietzsche's symbol for the positive sciences that have lost the connection with the whole and have sunk into an extreme specialization while refusing to know anything where one can only appear to know. The beggar who voluntarily gives up all his possessions and goes around as the preacher of the mountain preaching gentleness and forgiveness is also searching and yearning. The person who grieves for God has a higher rank than the worms of every day who accept the death of God readily and who pursue their little pleasures. He allows the leeches to suck his arm. He negates and attacks. a broken back . He despises the falsity of apparent knowledge. . The grief makes his life great although he is unable to transform it into an existence liberated from God. he lives experimentally and even searches for evil and danger.48 Nietzsche's characterization of Zarathustra's shadow is a
. He is homeless and without a home. The pedant of the spirit despises the knowledge which does not flow from a real sacrifice and risk of understanding. He even loves the dead God and grieves for him in sadness. however. For Zarathustra even the strongest attacks and the most determined and stubborn denials flow from a personal and rooted view of existence. A profound respect expresses itself in this one-sided attitude. Zarathustra's 'shadow' is the 'free spirit' who daringly and recklessly abandons all safety.
the will to power and the eternal return. I love you because you are unable to love these days.than give up. this can only be the case because Zarathustra suffers with the higher men and because their suffering is in some ways also his suffering . the uncanny desire for a lack of commitment.are you not all failures? Have courage .'50 Human greatness reveals itself as a failure. The higher men are accordingly not just contrasting characters designed to clarify
. The higher men in Zarathustra's care are all failures . the issue here is not only the tragi-comic nature of art which pretends to be truthful and is in reality only a blissful vision of a fool and poet who is 'banished from all truth. The higher men are characters in whom he conceals himself. Zarathustra distinguishes himself from them. Zarathustra is by no means the only representative for Nietzsche. A step-towards and a bridge are not yet the essence. which sees the comedy of human life in the light of the beauty of the overman. The higher men learn only slowly and painfully to make fun of themselves.learn to laugh. 'This crown of the laughing. And truly. The old magician sings a sombre song. you higher men.or at least Nietzsche's suffering. It is no accident that the higher men are Zarathustra's 'last sin'.he says to the higher men . Compared to the mob they are great men. Zarathustra's knowledge of the death of God is no melancholy or sombre grief for a lost meaning of life. merely a fool. He honours the higher men as a bridge to the overman. Learn to laugh about each other . They are all desperate.what does it matter? How much is still possible. the crown of thorns .The eternal recurrence
constant danger for his own substance: the daring free-spiritedness. 'And rather despair .however they are failures if one compares them to the overman. His pity for them is his sin. Nietzsche makes the higher man a mouthpiece for his own message to articulate things that apply to himself. His knowledge is joyful because it is conscious of the overman. Paying homage to the higher men. the rarer its success. They are searching for Zarathustra who has overcome human desperation and for whom God is dead.'49 'The higher the kind. a song of melancholy in which he tries to ridicule himself. The entire set of the 'higher men' shows a common aspect.I throw this crown to you my brothers. The higher men are higher because they are distinguished from the mob. They are addicted and yearning . Zarathustra talks to them and invites them to eat but he does not receive them as equals. You higher men . The higher men receive hope and joy in Zarathustra's cave in the face of the one upright person who overcame the death of God. merely a poet'.52 This song of melancholy throws a dark shadow on Zarathustra's soul.'31 Zarathustra's advice is only partially understood. However.he however stands on the earth. However. I declare laughter to be holy you higher men . Zarathustra loves them because he can no longer live in today's age of the mob.as one should laugh. Zarathustra advises these failures to liberate themselves through laughter.
the laughing lion and the flock of doves and he commences his task. of the death of God. He becomes weak where he speaks about Zarathustra. develops an existential vision as in the fourth part in order to make the persona of Zarathustra come to concrete existence. speaks and teaches like Zarathustra. This concludes the book. He is not sufficiently of a poet for this. the work looses in quality. In overcoming his pity for the higher men Zarathustra achieves his last and highest maturity. They are all concealed shadows of Zarathustra's psychic possibilities. He leaves the cave 'glowing and strong like the morning sun which shines from dark mountains'53.106
the character of Zarathustra. Where he.
. One remains uncertain whether Zarathustra embarks on new revelations of his doctrines or on the fulfilment of a great deed. The Zarathustra is powerful and possesses an original power of language and thought as long as Nietzsche philosophizes. Nietzsche made a number of different sketches of this end which remained unrealized. logical end to follow the fourth part. however. Nietzsche is awesome where he thinks. The pathos of the work is exhausted and this does not permit a powerful. perhaps possibilities which have been overcome. His sign arrives. of the will to power and of the eternal return. while he develops his thoughts of the overman. It is a strange ending which leaves behind a peculiar void. that is.
Oh.'1 It is certainly not the case that the time following Zarathustra is dedicated to a theoretical analysis of its aspects in order to determine the death of God. 'It is' .CHAPTER FOUR
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
1. The time following Zarathustra is dedicated to the 'denying and rejecting half of Nietzsche's task. the image of all images. He attacks traditional philosophy. He realizes the philosophy of the hammer here. he sidesteps the issue and choses an existential expression in the Zarathustra. Nietzsche did not venture beyond Zarathustra. If the Zarathustra is the constructive part of his philosophy. BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL
In thinking critically about western metaphysics and in denying the traditional conceptual forms of thinking Nietzsche does not achieve to overcome metaphysics himself conceptually. He wishes to destroy and annihilate these disciplines in order to put the creative existence onto a new path. THE TRANSCENDENTAL CREATION OF VALUE. The image of the overman slumbers within man. the hammer of critique rages against man as he is and as he understands himself.'the yes-saying aspect of his task. the will to power and the eternal return more accurately and profoundly. religion and morality with the blows of his critical hammer. Existentialism is a sign of a profound conceptual need. It is innovative where it achieves the highest level and does not degenerate into philosophical chatter. Oh you humans. the stone conceals an image. that it has to slumber in the hardest and ugliest stone!/ My hammer rages
. Not even the late and last unpublished work The Will to Power extends Nietzsche's ideas beyond those of Zarathustra significantly. This detour via a thought embodied in the lived life is in Nietzsche's case accompanied by a re-interpretation of all ontological questions and questions of value. Instead. The destructive critique of concrete man is the bitter path to the future. the works following it are its destructive part.as he says in Ecce Homo . Just like the chisel of the artist which rages against the stone to uncover the image which slumbers in the block of marble. Nietzsche's Zarathustra is an existential philosophy in the form of a preliminary way of expressing thoughts which elude traditional concepts.
If the human being lives within a coherent system of values. rejecting part' of Nietzsche's project is mainly rhetorical. He attacks a psychological fiction of Christianity. Firstly. This . This means that he does not overcome his real enemy. He does not overcome Christianity because he attacks a caricature of Christianity. as 'Zarathustra's empire of 1000 years'3).what do I care!/1 wish to complete it because a shadow appeared to me . The 'denying. He battles with psychological means. The denial and rejection take shape as a 'revaluation of all values' and this occurs through a psychological analysis. However. the will to power and the eternal return is to appear and is to become the future of humanity (as 'our great Hazar1. It ought not to include psychological suspicion of the enemy but it should solely show the falsity of the metaphysical and the Christian world-view. its considerable quality makes it more dangerous. the peculiar manner in which Nietzsche leads this attack is highly questionable.makes a new value path and a new start to life possible. he refers to a change of value as such. the humanity of the western tradition must be destroyed. Nietzsche.the quietest and lightest of all things came to me!/ The beauty of the overman came to me as a shadow. Only when the community dissolves within a system of value and the final stages of an extreme individuation become evident. values are things as such. This requires a relentless attack on Platonism and Christianity. However. is based on a psychological transformation of all ontological questions into questions of value. however. Assuming that philosophy was required to advance against traditional metaphysics. It may have seen the destruction of value tables and the establishment of new ones. If Christianity is God's own revelation no philosophy can harm it. Splinters fly from the stone .he believes . morality and Christianity. If the 'gates of hell' themselves could not overcome it any finite human wisdom is doomed to fail at the word of God's son. His subtle. If values are universally and eternally binding they are 'objective'.108
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
cruelly against its prison. What do I care about the Gods now?2
Nietzsche's approach is basically consistent. It is not questionable that Nietzsche attacks Christianity. that is his psychological analysis. If the overman who is conscious of the death of God. implies a more radical revaluation. He does not overcome metaphysics because he does not question its truth conceptually but simply accuses it. It is only questionable how he does this. Nietzsche believes that he can support and establish his by discrediting and dissolving the traditional system of values. cunning and clever psychology destroys the tradition. History may have seen many revaluations of value. the values become relative to the
. His sophistry. this battle would have to be fought on its own ontological terms and without armour.
which presupposes and directs all individual acts of valuation. His philosophy is thus an ultimate turning point. Nietzsche intends to discover the subconscious productivity of a life which creates values and value tables. Nietzsche believes that the real segments of world history are subject to changing transcendental creations of value. for the first time the apparent objectivity of value and its dependence on value-positing life. Man does not awaken from the slumber of dogmatism if he becomes a discerning individual who lives according to his whim and 'values' things highly individually. It breaks the dogmatic slumber which usually envelops the creative powers of human existence. as he states. Nietzsche intends to radically suspend value theoretical dogmatism. Nietzsche arrives at a view of life itself against the self-alienation of life and by returning to the forgotten creation underpinning all value systems. Human life implies the positing of value. This would criticize these values for their naivety and inauthenticity. however. is not a firm. Nietzsche's theory of the subjectivity of value is far removed from a cheap relativism based on individual choice. Doubt and subjectivity threaten the unquestioned basis of social life. Nietzsche's philosophical reflection on value goes further: it targets the transcendental positing of value which occurs normally subconsciously. a people or culture all have 'a priori values' or a basic valuation which establishes it within being and life. Nietzsche believes that so-called objectivity is precisely nothing but an invention of the human being which has been forgotten as such. Nietzsche does not consider the individual act of valuing but the creative one. the centre of time. Humanity. transcendental invention of human existence. This appears to him as the will to power which returns eternally in the circle of time. Are these values not all of a similar rank? Are they not simply ways with which life experiments temporally? Or is there a
. Revaluation of value means thus sublating the self-alienation of human existence. All values are based on the great game of life itself. the great noon. In most cases it forgets its posits. It means the liberation towards a higher self-consciousness of life and an awakening from the theoretical dogmatism of value. This 'a priori'. because it uncovers. Man transcends himself in positing value and encounters his invention as a foreign object imbued with all properties of venerable being as such. A universal critique of traditional systems of value could be undertaken to throw light on the projection of value which created them in the first place. Human existence transcends itself where it projects the aspects of value ahead of its existence under which it then only encounters the things. genetically fixed knowledge of value but it has its own dynamic and history. The posited is encountered as the binding power of the moral law. One may even say that his theory of subjectivity does not deny the phenomenal objectivity of values but discloses this as a forgotten.The transcendental creation of value
He appears to be able to distinguish systems of value substantially which are consistent with the essence of life and systems which deny life . fights with desperate passion and with diabolical hatred. but he continues with a substantial and a material interpretation of life. imply that man avoids the terrifying. this reflection about the way in which values are posited does not negate the values themselves. of the present and the all-too-topical after the overview of the future of humanity in the
. It is conceivable to criticize this morality as a kind of inauthentic life. He turns away. that is. He does not overcome this ambiguity. Strength of life rests in the knowledge of the will to power and weakness in the avoidance of it. The return to life as value-giving becomes the new principle for creating values because he implicitly judges life itself according to its 'strength' and 'weakness'. However. In this context everything is will to power including the heroic-tragic attitude and the Christian morality. where both are affirmed and where the constructive and the destructive power or the Dionysian play is experienced as will to power and eternal return. On the other hand he takes a more substantive approach to the 'will to power' and sees in it a heroic mode of existence. by disease and by a decline of life. however. he avoids the fight and the war and he searches for peace. Nietzsche uses these common biological concepts in a completely new manner.110
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
possibility to judge systems of value themselves? We encounter a decisive move in Nietzsche here. Strength and health of life seem to him to be present where there is a simultaneous consciousness of both the dreadful and the beautiful aspects of existence. One may imagine a critique of Christianity. Weakness and sickness. imposed on the human being through external demands. however. Nietzsche launches an attack. for calm. for brotherly love and security. he also denies their substance. dreadfully beautiful abyss of existence. This move is perhaps one of the most contentious aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy. He has always been a master of aggression. The difference between the systems of values which are based on the unauthentic alienation and the authentic empowerment of life and those which are derived through a strength or weakness of life become intermingled. Nietzsche's unreflected conceptual ambiguity is dangerous. The questionable and ambiguous approach determines the writings after Zarathustra. He uses all weapons. He is not satisfied with a philosophical reflection of the transcendental projection of value by the human being where life takes the final responsibility and risk in regard to any value. of Christian morality which criticizes the foundation of all values in the existence of God in so far as this makes all values a given. However. It seems initially peculiar that Nietzsche returns to a critique of modernity.moral systems created by weakness. does not only deny the objectivity of Christian values. On the one hand he sees the will to power as the fundamental drive in the unfolding of all finite being. The justification for the values would merely differ. Nietzsche. he now attempts to land his most fatal blow.
It comprises the books Beyond Good and Evil. The Twilight of the Idols. Furthermore. Nietzsche perceives that the ultimate epistemological phenomena. this is only partially accurate. Beyond Good and Evil is the book following Zarathustra. that is. inhibited. It is important that Nietzsche takes up the basic theme of Human. blinded and perverted it. positivism or Cartesian fundamentalism. Traditional philosophy is for him essentially a flight from the real and concrete world towards a 'true' world. I realized gradually what all philosophy has so far been.and has (this goes without saying) damaged.5 Nietzsche sees in all traditional philosophy what he does himself: reducing the ontological questions to questions of value: he investigates them all according to their implicit value judgements. the Ego. . It appears in 1886. 'The power of moral prejudice has deeply penetrated the most spiritual. Nietzsche who chose the free spirit as a persona and as a mask offers now in the later life a more intense free spirit. in logic with its supposed rigour and other so-called 'immediate certainties'. In some ways it represents a re-engagement with ideas from Human. The Antichrist. of modern ideas. the moral (and immoral) intentions of a philosophy form their true living seed from which the whole plant has always grown. In this context the past is a false track. Nietzsche polemically ridicules the uncritical belief in the ego.'6 Nietzsche objects to this perversion and damage of life. the psychology is applied with unashamed toughness and cruelty'4 he even states about the last period of his work. namely. a more daring wandering and a more courageous experimentation of possibilities. the selfrevelation of its creator and a kind of unintentional and unconscious memory. of objectivity. He embarks on the indirect way of a psychological destruction: ' . All Too Human. . of history and the scientific spirit in Ecce Homo. It is a symbol for a denial of the world even if it takes a modern approach like Kantianism. Philosophy is a symptom for him. He views it through the perspective of life and as a sign of a particular attitude towards life. He rejects traditional
. Nietzsche contrasts his vision of the future with man's destiny so far. Nietzsche does not attempt to show the errors of this wrong path through an explicit examination of its stated truths. Nietzsche describes the work as a critique of modernity. philosophy and morality. And he discovers within philosophy the worship of the life-denying instincts. the most sober and the most presuppositionless sphere . However. All Too Human on a higher level: he develops a critique of religion. a Ecce Homo (in addition to two smaller essays which deal once again with Wagner). However. the will and the ability to synthesize are nothing but 'power relationships of life'. Philosophers are all unconsciously subject to particular moral decisions.The transcendental creation of value
Zarathustra. On the Genealogy of Morals. formations of the will to power.
more nocturnal. 'In the end things must be as they always were: The great things remain reserved for the great people. It is a religious neurosis and a sickness of life. Christianity leads the classical world towards the orient. The free spirit appears to be more abysmal. 'Never before have daring travellers and adventurers gained a deeper insight into the world of the "prejudices of philosophy" ' . All Too Human. Unlike Descartes. Nietzsche uses psychology to establish this. of health and sickness of life. From this point of view Nietzsche finds some commendable aspects of religion: 'Asceticism and Puritanism are almost indispensable means of the education and improvement
. The pathos of truthfulness is no longer stated naively and directly.'9 Nietzsche conceives the free spirit in a more concealed. mysterious and peculiar manner than he had in Human. A religion is an instrument with which he plays independently and aesthetically.on the whole and in brief. They would find it tasteless if their truth were a truth for anyone. the abysmal ones for the profound.he states at the end of the paragraph .I 12
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
philosophy because it dominates through moral prejudice even where it appears to be completely pure cognition. They would dare to gather knowledge in dangerous ways and they would have secrets.'10 The chapter 'The religious existence' reveals a critique which contains those critical aspects hurled against Christianity with a fiery eloquence already earlier. It is the uprising of the oriental slave against his master.anything rare for anyone rare. His history of philosophy is sophistical because it declares a psychology which operates with ambiguous notions of strength and weakness. these philosophers do not need the truthfulness of God in order to recognize the transcendental things. The free spirit regards religion in any case only ever as an instrument of the will to power. the tender ones for the sophisticated and . Nietzsche rejects Christianity on the basis of its plebeian character and on the basis of the supremacy claimed by the values of the masses. He experiments with it in his creation and manipulation of man which is directed by the will to power.'and the psychologist must at least be able to demand that psychology is again recognized as the master of the sciences and that the other sciences are serving it and are preparatory to it. 'Whatever is deep loves the mask. As an alternative to the morally dominated traditional philosophers Nietzsche demands 'philosophers of the future' who admit that the 'falsification of the world' is still the 'most certain and secure'8 aspect available to us. A greater and more determined scepticism awakens against the moral prejudice within the will to truth. the deepest things even hate the image and the metaphor. Nietzsche calls them 'experimenters'.'7 It is hardly possible to state more clearly that Nietzsche's psychology takes over the role of metaphysics. It is the simple inversion of the noble Roman and Greek values. He uses it as a 'punitive and didactic device'. Because psychology is now again the way towards the fundamental questions. to be the decisive judge.
are religions of the suffering. It respects members of a community in which the superior person is among equals and those of equal rank. furthermore. All systems of moral value conceal a rank order of life-dominating instincts. The master morality operates with the distinction between 'good' and 'bad'. This includes the great brotherhood of mankind. Buddhism and Christianity.12 The same could be said about Alcibiades. The two greatest religions. clarify little. The masterful life which is conscious of its power and ability is
. . on a revolution against rank order and on a will for equality.'13 In the chapter 'What is noble' he finally introduces the essential distinction between the morality of the master and the morality of the slave.'. the sick and the weak. The noble master-morality grows from the pathos of distance and from a proud. Slave-morality uses the distinctions between good and evil. It is a morality of rank order. It is a chivalrous morality. do not just refer to life-promoting and life-weakening aspects. It is inspired by the instinct for revenge against higher forms of life. The hero and the warrior are good. these instruments are lethal if they are not controlled by the philosopher but operate autonomously. all the lower minded people who follow their ordinary desires and no longer extend themselves. It intends to level everything. Anything low is bad. All present instance of the great life. In the chapter 'On the natural history of morality' Nietzsche interprets morality as a 'sign language of the affects'. about Caesar and about Frederick the Great. . Outrage and disgust. elevated spiritual condition. Nietzsche distinguishes particularly between individual morality and the morality of the herd. however. However. Whatever elevates the individual and leads it towards its own life and authenticity is good. The slave morality is different. He believes that the appearance of Napoleon is a 'beneficial deed' and a 'liberation from an ever-more oppressive need': Napoleon was the 'unconditional master' of the 'herd-animals of Europe'. A new focus is added. Eighteen hundred years of Christianity have turned European man according to Nietzsche into a sublime cripple. The two opposing kinds of morality. the sick and the poor of spirit. between the morality of timidness and the morality as a self-discipline of a daring and powerful will. These notions are often criticized as signs of unbelievable and unjustified arrogance and of an impertinence which has the audacity to call itself moral. the noble and the ignoble. It glorifies whatever makes life bearable for the poor. In conclusion Nietzsche states: 'Today's morality is the morality of the herd. is based on a levelling tendency.n However. Whatever makes human existence noble and great is good. the love of kin and the love of peace. it despises all lower ranks. The slave morality. however. It ostracizes the exception and judges it to be immoral. They may be promoting or weakening life. The master morality is first and foremost a morality of war.The transcendental creation of value
if a race wishes to conquer its fate of being derived from the mob .
. by the God of temptation and the born pied-piper of conscience. The slave morality accepts values.I. none other than the God Dionysos. All philosophical questions are questions of value for him. Nietzsche overcomes the open question of the truth of value with the seemingly more radical one of the value of truth. This means initially that Nietzsche thinks along clearly defined lines which are themselves no longer subject to an inquiry. masterful life and the powerful existence which exhausts itself in an allegorical manner.among those in particular the one just mentioned and always that one. . whose mastery includes his ability to appear. The genius of the heart. This points the entire distinction ultimately towards a distinction between existential self-alienation and self-determination within a context of a system of values. the last disciple and initiated of the God Dionysos. however. whose voice knows how to descend to any soul of the underworld. THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS
All the writings following Zarathustra are dominated by the thought of the 'revaluation of all values'. the latter reactive. this great ambivalent God of temptation to whom I dedicated once upon a time in all secret and awe my first-born.14
2. The truth whose value he questions is the truth of things.secretly guided by considerations of value. Evil is despised because it is a fearful and a hateful danger. In the meantime I have learnt much. Towards the end Nietzsche expresses the essence of the noble. is not made explicitly and it adds a further dimension of ambiguity to Nietzsche's already ambiguous works following Zarathustra. The former is active..I 14
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
dangerous and evil for the slave. who has encountered many strange and dangerous spirits along the way .. Nietzsche draws a detailed picture of these two opposing moralities. It wishes to escape from 'becoming'.. In this it is crucial that he uses a limited notion of truth which remains primarily guided by objective-scientific knowledge. too much about the philosophy of this God and as stated from mouth to mouth . it values the firm and enduring higher and considers it more valuable than the original. He calls it the 'genius of the heart'.according to Nietzsche .. who does not cast a look without sensitivity and trace of temptation. The ontological nature of value itself does not become problematic. Truth as
. Wherever the philosophy of the past pursued ontology this is . One important detail is that the noble morality creates and posits values. Just like anyone who has been away and abroad from childhood on. as possessed by the great concealed. not because it is inferior. who does not say a word. This connection. the truth of the sciences and the truth of metaphysics which concerns the foundation of being.
At the same time the ambiguity of the notion of the will to power is never overcome by Nietzsche. to plants. The ontic model for this ontological conception is found by Nietzsche within organic nature.. Man relates to himself either authentically (adopting the mastermorality) or unauthentically (adopting the slave-morality). Power can thus have characteristics of strong drives. towards assimilation and domination of the other. as will to power and as eternal return is. The lack
. animals and humans. however. The will to power is conceived ontologically here. Here we find the struggle for power and super-power. Power and powerlessness are conceived here through an ontic model. the basis for Nietzsche's universal perspective of value and can itself not be a phenomenon of value. This means that the question of morality is in the final analysis also a question of truth for Nietzsche or a question how relevant the will to power is as the essence of life. Here we find the drive towards self-realization. of uninhibited aggressive instincts or of high vitality. Nietzsche remains highly ambiguous. like growth and decay and the creation of one costs the destruction of the other. is not limited to the region of organic nature. that is by the way in which it uses the will to power as a measure and recognizes it as a principle of value-judgements. however. It conceals a profound doubt if he is a part of metaphysics or if he has transcended it. This is not accidental and no limitation that could be explained biographically. The will to power. however. Values exist only because they are posited by life. that is. The will to power is primarily an ontological concept which refers to the way in which all things are in flux. The quality of morality is determined according to Nietzsche by its truth. Anything organic behaves in essence like auxesis and phthisis. in relation to morality in so far as he uses the concept of power in a shadowy way both as an ontological universal and also as an ontic model. The ambiguity in the essence of the truth of 'life'. There are morals of a flourishing or of a powerful life and morals of a declining or of a powerless life. It appears to be a peculiar spectacle that Nietzsche explains all traditional conceptions of truth through the will to power and its perspectives of value but fails in return to clarify the truthfulness of the will to power itself. The human creation of values within life is a manifestation of the will to power. Wherever this opposition is mentioned within the context of the will to power. The will to power has so to speak a twofold appearance as power and lack of power. The essence of the truth which underpins his own philosophy is not completely clarified. All morals are formations of power. The being of beings is a drive towards overpowering. of the truth of the will to power and of the eternal return hides Nietzsche's ambiguous position towards metaphysics.The Geneotogy of Morals
the revelation of the teeming life. It refers for Nietzsche to the ontological dynamic of being. Nietzsche gains an insight into life as the basis of all value by sublating the self-alienation of the human existence. power and its opposite are understood in the ontic sense.
sober science or later the experiment of life itself with metaphysical dreams and turned towards the concrete presence in a positivistic move. philosophy and morality in the second stage. The historically conceived interpretation of master. Under the cover of the night he is abducted by the God whose disciple and apostle he was. a lack of blood and a lack of power and vitality. of the sick. his Great War against all kinds of self-alienation and enslaved human existence. The life within the new morality of the master realizes the death of God.I 16
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
of power can likewise assume the appearance of a loss of drive. overflowing and richly oozing life and attributes which are the result of the need and the suffering of those whose life has not been favoured. the elite. The Zarathustra is the implied foundation of all subsequent treatises. strong and vibrant masters. The new view of the slave-morality reveals that human servitude consists in the idea of a God. There are attitudes of judgement which flow from an excessive. Nietzsche had already embarked on developing a critique of religion. However. the servitude of the servant and the real longing for servitude in humans are understood more radically. It is the result of the 'fear of God'.and slave-morality has only a preparatory importance for Nietzsche. this difference between the master. They must not be understood (as frequently the case) as Nietzsche's new ideal and counter-ideal. the weak. real mastery and true master-morality possible. And similarly. The overman and the man who worships God are now the two opposites. After Zarathustra the
. but they also surrender to God. of a loss of instinct and of a bloodlessness. All Too Human. Their mastery is innocent. The noble. During this struggle he collapses. unreflected and subconscious. His central issue is the articulation of the historical opposition between masters and slaves within in the context of a highly polarized antagonism between the atheism of the overman and any form of divine worship. Dawn and The Gay Science were largely enlightening critiques which contrast the pathos of a rigorous.and slave-morality exists for times immemorial. However.and slave-morality remains so to speak 'blind' within the traditional history of morality. One should remember this context if one wishes to understand the disputations and writings after Zarathustra. Power and lack of power are explained through biological categories. the warriors and the aristocracy 'do not know who they are'. The supremacy of the master is now grounded in the knowledge of the will to power and the eternal return. Only Nietzsche's value-theoretical reflection about the transcendental source of the apparent objectivity of all values makes genuine governance. He intends to struggle for human liberation. Not only do they reveal a lack of instinct. the suffering and the burdened. The master-morality is the value system of the overman. The difference between master. Zarathustra rejected positivism and thought about the 'here and now' more profoundly. Human. Nietzsche wages a war.
The priest invents the 'spirit'. It corrupts because it generalizes the understanding of particular cases. The most dreadful suspicion has taken hold of him. One might just as well ask what it means if someone finds only revenge in the morality of brotherly love and only neurosis in divine worship? Is such a residual psychology itself the sign of a crippled and valueless life? Nietzsche intends to clarify Beyond Good and Evil in On the Genealogy of Morals. The warrior possesses the virtues of the body. Vengefulness can find its way into morality. Nietzsche is struck by a terrifying insight. Was the traditional interpretation of life not the work of an essentially unified. .The Genea/ogy of Morals
critique of religion. intended to choke the strong and inspire their bad conscience and to take away the confidence and trust in their drives and instincts? Beyond Good and Evil is written from the perspective of this suspicion. However. with more substance and richness through his subtle and sublime psychology. Nietzsche believes that he can endow his thoughts with better clarity and differentiation.to the slave-morality. Philosophy. He believes that he can prove his philosophy through a sophistical method. . The first is a psychology of Christianity. appears to the ontological experience as a single massive error. It is no longer part of an 'enlightened' attitude but a struggle for life or death. However. suffering and deformed against the warriors. He shows that the traditional philosophers are led by moral prejudices and that the believers are neurotic and moralists full of revenge. they are also the most spirited haters'.15 The rivalry between the casts of the warriors and priests gives birth to the change from the master. philosophy and morality assumes a more radical meaning. Neurosis can be disguised as religious belief.and slave-morality and refers to a subdivision of master-morality into a warrior-like and a priest-like one. His basic assumptions of the will to power. as an interpretation which violates life and as the greatest lie and untruth. Nietzsche believes that the 'Jews' are the indirect manifestation of
. healthy and strong life but rather the work of a powerless hatred of death intended to make life bearable for the weak. metaphysics and ethics. The priests are the defeated masters who mobilize the weak. this method of proof can always be increased and overcome. This book falls into three parts. The traditional ontological interpretation with its religion. They are his philosophical thoughts. the death of God and the eternal return of the same are the product of his psychology. It commences with the well known distinction between master. as a horrific monstrosity. That means his thinking is determined by the new conception of life without being objectively and critically examined. It is characteristic for Nietzsche's method that the suspicion does not only dominate it instrumentally but that its presence justifies itself. religion and morality as we know them pollute life. But this does not mean that all religion is neurosis and all morality vengeful. Priests are 'the really great haters of world history . For Nietzsche himself at least Zarathustra is the beginning of a new ontological experience.
'20 It remains unclear how the immanence constitutes itself as a consequence and dimension of inhibited instincts. The Jews have dared to invert with awe-inspiring logic the aristocratic equation of values (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = happy = beloved by God) and have clung with their teeth of abysmal hatred (the hatred of impotence) to this: Namely.I 18
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
spiritual power. the poor. sick. Nietzsche simplifies the history of western culture incredibly. into this
. An even more decisive victory of slave-morality in Europe is the French Revolution. impotent. The second treatise contains a psychology of conscience. noble person. They are the masters of revenge for Nietzsche. Nietzsche believes that Christianity suffuses even the most secular phenomena. He merely believes that the Jews are the 'priestly people' and lead the revolution against anything masterful and noble. this triumph of mediocrity and the birth of modern ideas. not as a doctrine and not as a divine revelation. Here too. Nietzsche does not start with an analysis of the phenomenon of conscience but jumps straight to a psychological explanation. receives depth. height. It occupies Rome in the form of Christianity. where the human being is externally inhibited. Christianity is just the most striking symptom of something more universal. ugly. The Renaissance appears to him to be a brief awakening of the classical values which. Nietzsche believes that through Judaism 'resentment becomes creative and creates values'... however. He rather throws an ingenious thought into the field..17 Defeated and subjugated by Rome Judaism rises against Rome and inverts the values of antiquity.. for Nietzsche. The entire inner world which is originally thin as if stretched between two skins. Nietzsche is no anti-Semite. Neither the immanent way of the existential experience of the self nor the nature of the call of conscience come into view. short-changed. This is the decisive reason for his struggle against it. 'due to the radically plebeian (German and English) movements ofressentiment called reformation'18 soon returns to th 'old peace of the grave of classical Rome'.16 The inversion of all noble values creates the slave uprising of morality.. What is meant by 'external' which supposedly exists before any opposition between external and internal? Nietzsche clarifies his psychological preconceptions and the structure of the psyche itself nowhere clearly. low . width. Christianity is slave morality. It creates the birth of Christianity. Among this raging uprising of the mob only Napoleon ('this synthesis of overman and monster'19) embodies for a brief historical moment the great. He understands it primarily as a system of values. the suffering. the miserable alone are good. 'Immanence' is the result of a perversion of instincts: 'All instincts which do not relieve themselves externally become internalized.
Even the punitive practices of a cultured society conceal the instinct for cruelty. The case is different and highly dubious in the case of the ascetic ideal of the priest. It asks 'What are the ascetic ideals?' Ascetic ideals can imply a form of self-discipline and economy of powers as in the philosopher for example.. Cruelty is a hidden foundation of human culture. Nietzsche's hypothesis about the origin of conscience is as follows: It is only the instinct for cruelty which has been prevented to release itself externally and turns inward. to a pleasure to see and produce suffering and to a pleasure which is an aspect of the joy of life of strong and natural people. He develops thus in this second treatise an insight into the nature and importance of cruelty.The Genealogy of Morals
obscure.'22 It is for this reason that Nietzsche believes that philosophy has never completely recognized ascetic ideals as a pollution of the sources of life. it flows from 'the protective and regenerative instincts of a degenerate life'. Man imprisoned by the oppressive confines and regularity of customs lacks external enemies and resistance and impatiently rips himself apart. mauls himself. Nietzsche's psychology is substantially richer than its conceptual structure.23 Asceticism is itself a way in which the weak and the sick life survives. Nietzsche refers in an obscure and general manner to drives and further to the masking of drives because he argues rhetorically against the Ego and its function and against the conception of a psychic substance without developing a philosophical alternative to the reifying psychological conception of man. It does not stand in opposition to life. Man is always a beast. a place of torture. to a basic instinct. However. this yearning and desperate prisoner became the inventor of the 'bad conscience'. It has to
. It seems to him to belong to human nature.21 Nietzsche interprets what is really only a kind of submerged bestiality as an ideal bestiality.. 'A certain asceticism . Philosophers have certain ascetic experiences. this animal which has wounded itself on the bars of its cage because one wishes to tame it. an unsafe and dangerous wilderness . murky field of psychology which despite all its subtlety remains unable to grasp the ontological character of the human soul. startles himself.this fool. in the case of the philosopher it is the creative impulse of life which constrains the person. A long-term interest in thinking or a perspective stretching over years or even decades requires self-discipline and strength. who had to make himself into an adventure. persecutes himself. The third treatise contains a psychology of the priest. abuses himself. Here. either externally or internally through the self-torture of conscience. a tough and joyful renunciation of best intention belongs to the most productive conditions of highest spirituality. this suffering person destroyed by its yearning for the desert.
He must see the stars shine. this was the only ideal.'. He must erect ideals which refer beyond himself. It denies the here and now.this all implies . the earthly life and the lived life. wish. that is.26 This means. have hitherto been transcendental. It must subjugate the passions if it wishes to scrape through. Nietzsche believes that the priest 'redirects resentment'. Where does this fascination with the nothing come from? Nietzsche states: 'Man would rather will nothing than not will at all . pitiful and short-sighted life or the suffering life in its suffering and who heals the wounds of such a shortchanged life while poisoning it at the same time to create an eternally open wound. becoming. however is free. for reason itself. They constituted a tough path of the will which gained its highest power through its tension with nature within the human being and became complete will. more so against the material. They have been inventions of priests and ideals opposed to nature. he confronts his instincts with his will. There has never been one in conformity with nature. In some way all will implies asceticism. The difference between reality and ideality becomes only possible in the opposition to nature. For Nietzsche the priest is the 'false doctor and healer' who prolongs the lower. All stars. . An infinite hiatus opens itself which provides a path to the
. The human being. a rejection of life. He wills against them. Nietzsche thus combines will and ascetic ideal. that so far there has never been an alternative to the ascetic ideal which denies nature. wherever he desires. He cannot merely vegetate. death. more so against the animate. Wherever man transcends the simple. He comforts him and sells him the ascetic ideals. He convinces the sick person that he is responsible for his own sickness. desire itself behind . This fear of happiness and of beauty.24 Nietzsche answers the question of the power of the ascetic ideals as follows. One can simply not conceal what is expressed by the will as a whole which had been directed by the ascetic ideal. It wills the transcendental nothingness or the nothing of the other-world and of the moral ideas. change. animalistic instinctive formation. This disdain for the senses. This desire to leave appearance. an uprising against the basic conditions of life. he must will where he awakens from the a-historical peace with nature towards history.120
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
refrain from an explosion of the passions and the great sentiments. The will was a will for nothing or a nihilistic tendency of life. a will for nothingness. This hatred against humanity. it is and remains a will. However. . So far. However. . . however.25 The ascetically charged will wills nothing. All historical ideas have been ascetic. what did the will intend if it pursued ascetic ideals? Nietzsche's answer is: nothingness.
The Antichrist and The Twilight of the Idols
will. From this point of view the ascetic ideal has even a tremendously positive meaning. It firstly creates a rift and chasm which the will attempts to overcome. The human being becomes a bridge. Nietzsche inverts this existential tension now. He is, however, not concerned to reject the ideal but to identify it closer with life. Man becomes the bridge to the overman. Ideality must be understood anew through the self-overcoming of life and through the gradual progress of the will to power. The ascetic ideal was so far the only ideal. The Zarathustra proposes an alternative. Nietzsche places himself into a radical, determined and burning opposition to anything considered 'valuable' so far. However, his choice is not an expression of stubbornness, pleasure for resentment or an arbitrary oppositional attitude. It follows from a thinking which grasps the essence of value in a fundamentally new way as an expression of the power of life and as a positing of value by the will to power. Rethinking the nature of value gives Nietzsche the reasons to invert the table of values and to bless what has been cursed so far and to curse what has been blessed. The 'revaluation of values' remains fatefully burdened by the thought of an 'inversion'.
3. THE ANTICHRIST AND THE TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS
In the book The Antichrist (An attempt at a Critique of Christianity) Nietzsche struggles with unprecedented hate and hurls a flood of insults and suspicions against Christianity. His virtuosity to fight with all means excels. The lack of measure, however, is self-defeating. One does not persuade if one foams at the mouth. The book does not offer anything substantially new. Nietzsche summarizes what he has already stated about the morality of pity and the psychology of the priest. However, he now articulates his thoughts with an unprecedented sharpness. He intends to hurt, intends to hit out at tradition and intends to 'revalue' in anti-Christian ways. Christianity seems to him to be the 'deadly war against the higher kind of man'. It is simply corrupt, namely the corruption of the human instincts. It is an unnatural religion and the seducer of European philosophy which now has theological blood in its veins. The Christian concept of God is one of the most corrupt concepts of God on earth: It presents perhaps the lowest form of a concept of God in the declining development of divinities. God is degenerated into an enemy of life instead of being its transfiguration and its eternal affirmation. To declare war on life, on nature, on the will to life with the help of God! God, the formula for any insult of the 'concrete presence', the formula for any lie of a 'beyond'. God sanctifies nothingness and declares the will to nothingness to be holy.27
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
This quote shows particularly what underpins Nietzsche's critique of Christianity. Christianity is for him only the spiritually most significant symptom of a European error of the instinct which shows itself as the invention of an ideal, transcendental world and with this devalues the real, concrete world. Christianity is an objectionable form of Platonism for Nietzsche. Nietzsche presupposes atheism. He no longer even questions this presupposition of his critique of Christianity. He avoids the Christian claim to be the revelation not only of the human son but also of the son of God. Let us assume firstly that Christianity did not invent God through a human, all-too-human tendency of life, through the sick, resentful and declining life which opposes a life full of power and secure instincts. Let us further assume that God himself served the low and the fallen, the despised, the burdened and the suffering and those who are pure of heart. Let us suppose that he selected those who had been rejected by the world to be the vehicles of his revelation to turn the wisdom of the world into foolishness. Based on these assumptions, a critique of the tendencies of life could never touch Christianity. Nietzsche's atheistic prejudice prevents him from considering this possibility at all and excludes it without further thought from the beginning. Atheism is selfjustifying for him. He does not consider it appropriate to even doubt it for a moment. However, this means that he has lost sight of religion altogether. Nietzsche's critique of Christianity is not met by showing the strong, courageous aspects of Christianity or by asserting that Nietzsche only considered a weak, pietistic and moralistic form of a Christianity of pity. His dogmatic atheism or his fundamental conception of the death of God have to be questioned. Only if these are justified then all religions are indeed concealed tendencies of life and nothing else. And if they are not justified no religion can be touched by a critique of an existential ideal constructed according to the standards of the will to power. Religion and in particular Christianity is for Nietzsche a particular way of life, a relationship towards existence and an attitude towards life. Christ is not the Son of God for him. He does not take this seriously at all. He is the great weakling, the gentle person and the 'saint'. His instincts are weak. He carries the heavenly paradise in his heart, in his gentle and weak heart. However, this redeemer is no founder of a church, quite the contrary. He is the plain denial of any organization, of any culture and of any work. He only carries the message of salvation, the message of peace, gentleness and forgiveness. Jesus of Nazareth is a new way of life. He rejects the hierarchical structures of Judaism. He denies any structure and organization of life. He is the extreme introversion of the immanence of the soul which does not require any institution because it carries the kingdom of God within itself. Nietzsche thus contrasts the evangelical Jesus with the church-founding Paulus. Christianity is even more the work of Paul than that of Jesus. Jesus is no fanatic. He is an innocent person.
The Antichrist and The Twilight of the Idols 123
The joyful message is just this, that there are no differences any longer. The heavenly kingdom belongs to the children. The belief which becomes evident here is nothing that has been achieved. It is simply there from the beginning. It is, as it were, a spiritual naivety.... Such a belief is never furious, it does not criticize, it does not defend itself. It does not bring the sword. It does not suspect how much it may once separate. It does not prove itself neither through miracles, nor through rewards, nor through promises or even 'through the book'. It is itself its own miracle, its own reward, its own proof, its 'kingdom of God'.28 Nietzsche thus constructs Jesus as a kind of harmless salvation-army guy who goes through life with a gentle and concilliatory smile on his face. On this background of the evangelical Jesus Paul becomes the intentional misunderstanding of Christianity. Paul changes the pure-hearted way of life into a church with miracles, with priests and with a system of rewards and punishments. He changes Jesus into the Son of God who sacrifices himself for the sins of the world and invents the other-world, final judgement, resurrection and any other so-called 'ultimate matter'. Paul magically removes the only reality of Christianity, the blessedness, the kingdom of God within the gentle soul, that is, the joy of gentleness. He shifts human blessedness to the life after death to make it a future reward. Paul is the victory of Orthodox Judaism. He is the victory of the Jewish priest over Jesus of Nazareth. 'The joyful message was immediately followed by the worst one: that of Paul. Paul embodies a contrasting type to the type of "joyful messenger", the genius of hatred, a vision of hatred with an untiring logic ofhatred.'29 Paul is the creator of the doctrine of judgement. It was his way to form a herd and to establish again and more radically than before the tyranny of the priests. Paul concluded the demise of Christianity which commenced with the death of the Messiah with the logical cynicism of a rabbi. Paul represents the dominance of all decaying values in the name of God. The Christian concept of sin is the greatest human self-mutilation. It is an attack by the priest and by the parasite on life itself. Nietzsche sees in Paul the simultaneous uprising of the priests and the decline of all values. Priests assume power where life declines. Christian and nihilist rhyme, he thinks, and they do not only rhyme but form a necessary connection. Christianity brought about the end of the classical world not just historically, though, but also by destroying a noble way and value of life. This is fateful. Nietzsche's pathos is nourished by the belief that his philosophy is similarly fateful as it is the reconstruction of values in accordance with life which Christianity had completely perverted and ruined. Anti-Christianity is accordingly the revaluation of all values in the form of an opposition against the millennia of a decline of life. In the court of life, which is conceived as will to power,
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
Nietzsche raises 'the most terrifying accusations which have come across the lips of any accuser'. the concretely experienced in the light of the ideas and in the light of the transcendental. historical manifestation of such metaphysics. I have letters which can even make the blind see. the one great internal perversion and the one great instinct for revenge to whom no mean is poisonous..the thought of another world with its denial of any reality. One will have to keep this context in mind to see the limitations and the importance of Nietzsche's final works. morality and metaphysics are for Nietzsche connected. The revaluation of all values is more profound than an 'anti-Christianity' or an anti-Platonism.According to the first day of Christianity. however. spirit. against life itself. He refers to this as 'Platonism'. 'true' and the real world as a preliminary or unauthentic appearance. Why not according to its last? According to today? Revaluation of all values!31 One may find Nietzsche's sacrilegiously ranting language peculiar. It stands for the set of western ontological values which interprets the sensual. is as he calls it an 'inverted Platonism'33. He attacks Christianity in the final analysis because it is a 'Platonism for the people'32. against beauty. I call Christianity the one great curse. I call it the one immortal embarrassment of mankind... Religion. the here-and-now. the cross as the symbolic identification for the most hidden conspiracy ever . not just another metaphysics or any set of values. destroys real rank order through the 'equality of the souls in the face of God' thus providing the explosive material for the mob-uprisings of European history. He calls Christianity 'a form of parasitism which lives from the emergencies in the human soul . This is Nietzsche's entire interpretation of religion. their essence and objectivity which is ultimately grounded in God as the highest existing Good or as the summum ens. however. fitness and courage. Nietzsche passionately attacks primarily metaphysics and a way of judgement in Christianity. He is. / And one establishes the calendar according to the dies nefastus who brought about this fate. They do not have a separate or an independent relationship to man. it is a common form of metaphysics. concealed and small enough. generosity. God only represents the transcendentality of values.against health.' Nietzsche concludes his diatribe: I intend to write this constant accusation of Christianity on to walls wherever there are any. not concerned with religion in the genuine sense. His philosophy. Christianity represents something universal. secretive. Christianity represents a factual.30 For him Christianity is the worst of all conceivable corruptions with its revaluation of any value into a non-value and of all truth into a lie and viceversa. Man idealizes his highest
. It poisons life with the thought of sin. .
We find the interpretation of his fundamental thoughts derived from a particular ontological conception. There is no being beyond space and time. calmness and foundations. And yet. The inverted Platonism is indeed still a form of Platonism. that is it is will to power and 'nothing beyond'34. Nietzsche inverts the foundations of the entire traditional metaphysics. living and moving world which is driven by the will to power does not know fastness. But he simplifies on the way in a very dubious manner. becoming alone is. Although this had been frequently indicated he clearly and unmistakably articulates it here. this only. no intelligible realm of things as such and no world of eternal ideas. Although Nietzsche shows off results of his sophistic psychological investigation he surpasses them in substance. If.the earth beneath the heaven with its infinite manifold things 'beneath heaven and earth'. It is dynamic. the leading values are derived from impotence. Nietzsche's universal perspective of values or his thought of the revaluation of values is perhaps still connected to the metaphysics against which it turns. everyday meaning. Yet. despite all the shortcomings of his ontological speculations he nevertheless has an incredible instinct for the deep and genuine questions akin to his intuition of the importance of the Pre-Socratics whom he interpreted entirely inadequately. This becomes clear in the treatise with the title The Twilight of the Idols. His basic formula is this: traditional metaphysical ontology regards as 'being' what is in truth merely an illusion and a fiction and rejects non-being as unauthentic existence when it is in truth the only effectively real being. If affirmative values dominate the way of life the Gods are accordingly like Greek Gods. 'Being' as opposed to 'becoming' is not. There is only a sensually experienced world which reveals itself within space and time . namely affirmative and idealizing Gods. The real heart of The Twilight of the Idols is the section 'Reason within
. then God becomes crucified. real. He uses the simplest contrast between being and becoming without developing these concepts at any stage properly and without elevating them above their common. as a 'precursor'. The transcendental God who condemns the natural instincts and drives of life as sins is the outcome.The Antichrist and The Twilight of the Idols
values through God and through the Gods and imbues them with personal existence. What has been regarded so far to be nothing is the only truly real being. active. The death of God thus means for Nietzsche the revocation of the transcendental nature of value and the discovery that values are human creations. it is time and space and nothing else. as a messenger of a future philosophical path and as a prophet of the 'change of being' Nietzsche is more important and greater than as a thinker who completes conceptual work. however. We find in it the most important fundamental ontological thoughts. As a facilitator. What is regarded as essentially existing is nothing.
Socrates is a commoner and plebeian by birth and in spirit. It is preceded by an interpretation of Socrates which is a brilliant example of Nietzsche's sophistry: I myself realized this fatal dishonesty that the great characters are instances of decline in one particular case which contrasts especially with the learned and unlearned prejudice: I recognized that Socrates and Plato are symptoms of decay. The Egyptianism of the philosophers is 'their aversion against the idea of becoming':
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
Philosophy'. Socrates merely accelerates what had already begun. Philosophical moralism is an Egyptian legacy. And he is ugly. The Greeks must have needed reason since they committed to it so absolutely. Nietzsche combines aspects of his image of Socrates with a sophisticated sophistry. they are anti-Greek.33 Before attacking Platonic ontology he attacks Socrates as a Platonic existence.this is the formula of decadence: As long as life ascends happiness equals instinct.as Nietzsche says .this fact by itself shows that Greek existence has lost its 'natural quality'. They are tools of Greek decadence. It would otherwise become the victim of an anarchy of conflicting drives which are no longer ruled by a leading instinct. they are pseudo-Greek. This spell was the discovery of dialectic. a new Agon . It is the home of a denial of temporality. However. Nietzsche alludes to his frequent assertion that Plato was seduced by the Egyptian priests and estranged from the true Hellenic nature. Rationality takes the place of secure instincts. Nietzsche believes that the 'Socratic identification of reason = virtue = happiness' is 'the most bizarre identification there is and one which in particular contradicts all instincts of the earlier Hellenic culture'. that is such a confusion of instinct requiring the rule of reason itself can only mean that 'death itself becomes the healer'. He is externally a monster and had to .38 Following this portrayal of the Socratic existence with its inversion of a traditional understanding Nietzsche commences his real attack on metaphysics. that logic stimulates and that the search for reasons and the refutation of apparent reasons becomes a new pleasurable exercise.'37 He even interprets the death of Socrates as a will to selfdestruction.become ugly internally as well since the Greeks were intoxicated by beauty and regarded ugliness as a refutation. This appears to demonstrate the decay of the Greek instincts. a competitive art. this disintegrating life needs reason more than it needs a tyrant.36 'To fight against the instincts . However. The ugly person could never win over the beautiful admirers if he did not fascinate them with something incredible. Metaphysical philosophy is Egyptian in more than one sense. the fact that dialectic can seduce. This wisest of the Greeks knows that such a sickness.
resting. change. Nietzsche interprets ontological concepts as mere abstractions. to deny that becoming truly exists and to keep being itself free of any form of becoming in return. concepts are images which have become empty or symbols which have become pale.The Antichrist and The Twilight of the Idols
For thousands of years philosophers have only handled conceptual mummies. It is accordingly opposed to the senses and their evidence. This separation appears to him to be a dual world theory reflecting the difference between the world of appearance and the world as such or the 'other-world'.39 This means that in Nietzsche's view the history of metaphysics is dominated from the beginning by the attempt to expel becoming from being. temporal. Nietzsche thus believes that ontological concepts are 'abstractions' and 'abstract concepts'. Nietzsche believes. these gentlemen who worship the idols of the concept where they worship. Metaphysics becomes a reflection of an intelligible world with transcendental predicates of eternal. This conception conceals a short-sighted theory of the concept and a considerable misunderstanding of metaphysical concepts in particular. Metaphysics. Nietzsche means here the dependence of metaphysics on highest and universal principles. becoming does not exist. The words which allow us to see and hear something are originally images and metaphors. metaphysics is the inverted world and it is even proud of
. the changing reality and with intuition not with the concept. It distrusts the senses because they show the transitory and it views the senses and sensuality as such as an enemy of thinking and a 'deceiver' which fools us. infinite and a-temporal being.. They take the place of past intuitions. moving. Concepts are in general something questionable for Nietzsche with only limited application to reality. that is he separates being and time. Concepts such as 'being' are for him utmost abstractions and manifold copies of reality. He interprets being as constant. spatio-temporal world of appearance and pretends that a merely ideal world or a figment of the imagination is the true one. He merely asserts it. Contrary to the metaphysical method one should commence with the senses. aging as well as procreation and growth are exceptions to them. Philosophical concepts appear to him to be 'the final vapour of a condensing reality'40. The second basic mistake of traditional philosophy is a confusion of the first and last principle. In Nietzsche's view... has devalued the true. This opposition between being and becoming remains a basic model he uses and the one he simply inverts. the concrete presence. they preserve.. He does not analyse the abstraction itself. however. . immovable and timeless and becoming as passing on. at the same time they interpret reality. Being does not become. ... They kill. However. It is a kind of thinking in empty concepts. Death.. that is a trace and a postscript. He does not clarify his opinion.
between sensual and conceptual. as it were. It has in his own words a 'crude and fetishistic nature'41 since it determines act and activity. What is this peculiar difference between being and appearance? This difference contains a dichotomy within the being of beings and between authentic and unauthentic forms of existence. this refutation of Nietzsche's critique does not completely hit the mark. nothing so far has had a more naive power of persuasion than the error of being as it was for example articulated by the Eleatics. however. to his intention to do so. by every sentence itself which we speak! . his struggle against metaphysics is often more serious than the stated reasons suggest. It distinguishes itself according to an ontological rank order. However. unauthentic being or into 'essence' and 'appearance'. He turns metaphysics on its head. the perfect'.. the true.. However. 'Being' divides itself into true. This means that being does not exist in any unqualified sense but distinguishes itself by grades and steps. substance. He inverts metaphysics and he inverts the traditionally conceived relationship between becoming and being. between empirical world of appearance and the conceptual. 'Reason' within language: O. yet again he fails to reflect on the quality of this transcendental universality itself. Nietzsche refers here critically to a number of transcendental concepts which conceptualize the highest universals transcending abstractions of any kind. will and being. It is supported by every word itself. He states: Indeed. He objects to the foundations of metaphysics and to its dual structure as the question of being as such and as the search for the highest being or for God. While the reasons for his objections are frequently not valid. authentic and untrue. causality.128
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
it. to be sure. He neglects the fundamental difference between concepts derived through abstraction and concepts which we rely on in order to experience a concrete. However. Nietzsche attempts to attack metaphysics with unsatisfactory means. he only refers. It relies on 'highest' and at the same time necessarily obscure concepts such as 'being. the infinite.42 The decisive aspect of traditional philosophy is for Nietzsche the much-varied appearance of the difference between 'true' and 'apparent' world. Language contains an ontological conception. He does not just avoid the concrete critical analysis but. that is the intelligibly accessible 'true world'. because we still believe in His grammar. what a deceptive old woman! I fear we are not going to get rid of God. the Good. He cannot express his true intentions because language itself is metaphysical. more importantly. This means for Nietzsche that it is rilled with fiction and with grammatical concepts that have become misinterpreted as entities. And any rank
. he lacks the language for its destruction. empirically given thing and subject it to abstractions. He interprets it frequently inadequately but his attack does find a target of sorts.
However. immovable and a-temporal being is an invention or a mere theoretical construct. Ever since the days of Anaximander. Heraclitus. Approaching the question of being through the question of value he nevertheless does not leave the path of an identification of ens with bonum. as apeiron or as the idea. as eon. philosophy starts with the destruction of a common understanding which only knows the alternatives of being and non-being and excludes the concept of being from any gradation. It thinks about the being of the many things (the polio) as a being mixed with nothingness and contrasts this with a more essential Being either as physis. In other words. Wherever philosophy commences this occurs by opening an inner difference within the beingness of being itself.The ontological idea and the moral ideal
is relative to its distance from the highest ranking with the highest being commonly called the 'Absolute' or 'God'. The origin of western philosophy is grounded in the ontological difference between authentic and unauthentic being. Since then being has been conceived within the horizon of a rank order and being and nothingness have been intermingled. Nietzsche objects to this devaluation with his idea of a revaluation of the values. Depending on this relativity it is itself a Bonum. Parmenides and Plato the essential thinking has been directed against the indifference of the human ontological understanding for which all existence of being 'amounts to the same'. the Agathon or the Bonum. THE ONTOLOGICAL IDEA AND THE MORAL IDEAL
Ever since its beginning philosophy thinks about the ontological difference. To put it more simply. he also objects to the ontological conception of a ranked structure of being. The 'otherworld' of an intelligible. There is no other world than our concrete. He intends to unhinge metaphysics by refuting the ontological dualism of a real and an apparent world implied by the ens qua bonum that is the fundamental error of metaphysics. The being of the highest ontological value is the 'Good'. Being is itself differently conceived depending on its relationship to the highest-ranking Bonum. spatio-temporally apparent world. More accurately. the whole and indivisible
4. from the beginning philosophy exposes the ontological problem through a question about the one. a more authentic being free from non-being and an unauthentic being that accommodates non-being have been conceived. Nietzsche does not only object to the Christian understanding of this proposition. This difference creates the problem of ontology and the realm of its questions. Philosophy is the acute and explicit challenge to the indifference of human ontological understanding. metaphysics always judges this world in relation to a transcendental world. Omne ens est bonum.
timegiving. And the heaven. as eon in Parmenides) and how this conception of the cosmos changes in Plato into an absolute concept with one aspect. individuated and spatio-temporally dispersed things. A philosophy which no longer identifies all modes of being and which is conceived as an awakening from the indifference of existence transcends the value of the individual. However. The 'earth' which supports all things and from which all things are made does not decay. which provides the form to all things. provided we do not interpret this to refer to the little planet on which we keep ourselves busy but as the one closed ground from which all things come into being and into appearance. with a structure and with an appearance. Plato calls the defining power of light. the dimensions of space and time are not themselves generated and do not themselves decay. They are united
. as physis in Heraclitus. We never encounter the whole. the light too. It is not generated and it does not decay provided we do not conceive it short-sightedly as the day following the night. namely that of light which lends all things their appearance and moulds them into the definition of a form. limited by their shape. what is 'Being'? Is it physis. the dimensions in which they change and move. The many finite things are regarded as unauthentic while providing at the same time the basic distinction between infinite and finite. its power to provide the appearance and the image itself appearance and image. that is Eidos and idea. of the manifold of the many. This provides it with the measure for any determination of ontological value. These are constantly changing and moving. We do encounter things. The dimension of the question is the connection between the one and the many or between the Hen and the Polla. limited and finite being through reflection and reaches beyond the realm of the sensually given. At the same time it exposes the ontological problem through the question of the ontological mode of unauthentic being. of heaven and earth or with one word: the realm-giving. The ideas pervade the world.130
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
'real-being' free of any non-being. as a finite thing with a firm shape. the essence. they increase and decrease and are generated and decay. All ideas are united and joined in the idea of the 'Good' or the Agathon. The realm of the concrete things is indefinite. existing world or Being itself which contains 'becoming' within itself? Or does true Being exist beyond the world as an other-world of eternal things of which the concrete finite things are only appearances? It is difficult and beyond our scope to establish how the original interpretation of western philosophy conceives the essence of Being (as apeiron in Anaximander. the one and true 'Being' as simply present at hand. They are present throughout any formation and yet separate from that which they form. The primordial one is regarded as true. We do not encounter it as an 'object'. the opposing unity of revelation and concealment. They are the defining powers of any revelation and they shape all individuated. finite and limited being. What is the one. by their spatial form and by their temporal duration.
thus locates the difference between authentic and unauthentic being in the realm of the things. It is precisely not a critique of Plato.The ontological idea and the moral ideal
like the rays of light in the sun. individual things within time and space. omnipotence.a theion. that is in the ontic realm. The original conception of the cosmos changes into something existent. whole and real world and the many finite. divine . real world emerges beyond the world of appearance. etc. This schema already prevents an understanding of the Platonic issues. To state it in the form of a thesis: Plato changes the primordial cosmological difference between a one. which already existed during antiquity. apparently real things in this world into a difference between infinite. but it is the beginning of a dissolution of an original cosmological conception. mysterious and profound than common interpretations suggest which continue to refer to a Platonic dualism. This is a decision of worldhistorical importance. In the final analysis. supersensual ideas beyond space and time or universals and the finite.. Plato's philosophy is more complex. The idea is seen to be some kind of object . not as stable as the appearances. It provides the measure for everything. It is possible that Nietzsche saw this beginning of a wrong track or perhaps he suspected it only. The original ontological difference between authentic and unauthentic being becomes a 'theological difference'. Beyond the finite things we find an infinite God.to be sure. a difference between created things and the creating God. The ideas are true being for Plato. his anti-Platonism has to be understood more radically than he himself expressed. Either relationship is interpreted through a relationship between authentic and unauthentic being. Being equals light is a basic Platonic equation. A second. Ordinary Platonism. Beyond the physical world arises the metaphysical world. Thus the standard of being becomes finally something 'absolute'. yet separate ontological realms: the realm of the ideas and the realm of the appearances. It is the task of an interpretation of Plato to understand the metamorphosis of the cosmological problem through \h¶-ousia of the ideas within the things of appearance. into God with the supposed attributes of infinity. which makes him the founding father of a moralistic interpretation of being. attributes which articulate the ontology of the world
. eternal. They do not become or decay and they do not exist within space and time. The reason for the difficulty and ambiguity of Platonic ontology is its interpretation of the relationship of the appearances to the ideas and that of the spatial matter (chord) or of the 'earth' to the power of the idea. At the same time the common view of a Platonic dualism in the sense of a two world theory (which Nietzsche himself had fallen prey to frequently) is not tenable. These construct a schema of two complementary. They are the ontos on whereas the definite things of appearance are only the unauthentic mean. that is in the methexsis or the participation of the ideas in the individual things.
It presents a fateful renunciation of reality which occurs in the name of truth. The 'authentic'. changing things to the intelligible ideas. It misleads more than the naive reliance on the senses. The idea of a true world. The desire for truth thus becomes a terrifying human deception. The goal of the revaluation of all values is to liberate being itself
. God stands for the devaluation of concrete existence and of the sensual evidence of the things. to certain aspects of NeoPlatonism. This is an ens and also the summum. becoming to being. The interpretation of the concrete world as a mere appearance has to be removed. the difference between authentic and unauthentic. Nietzsche particularly objects to the connection between the ontological idea and the moral ideal in the term of 'God'. that is. the concrete to the universal and the 'body' to the 'spirit' . It is supposed to be the Good itself in relation to which all things achieve their measure. One may say that Nietzsche's ontology intends to invert traditional ontology or at least the ontology which conceives the real existence as a-temporal. His critique of Plato does not really apply to the historical Plato but to a particular aspect of western history. The philosophical invention of a 'true world' (and with it that of an apparent one) has to be abolished. the more moral. the more abstract and intelligible. At the same time it stands for a rejection of pleasurable and instinctive life as 'evil' and posits an Absolute in the form of a fanciful. the unmoved and the ideas are also the Good. Through it all things are one separate bonum.all this within an inverted ontological and also moral valuation. It refers to a moralizing ontology and to an ontological morality.132
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
directly. He nevertheless is one of the first to see a fundamental issue here. as it were a second and profoundly justified naivety and innocence of life. rather more to the common traditional interpretations of Plato. The attention to the ideas. Nietzsche opposes 'God'. unchanging being and all temporal being as unauthentic. At first sight it seems that he opposes the real. imagined and merely abstract a-temporal being. the elevation above the sensual and the contemplation of the ideas is the true human morality. It has to be cleaned from the fungus of the sick minds and sick bodies which infects it. and promotes the indifference of existence or the equality of value which is no longer unsettled by a merely imagined difference. The thought of God is a vampire of life. the 'existing being' becomes a highest being or a summum ens. God thus refers for Nietzsche not primarily to a religious power but to a particular ontology which articulates itself as a particular and life-threatening morality. The infinite. of the Gnosis and of Christianity. the idea of the reality of the divine Absolute is for him the most dangerous threat to humanity. This robs the temporal things of their real existence and authentic being. Nietzsche's view is terrifyingly simplistic.
Nietzsche does not reflect about an 'other-world' but about the existence of the world itself and about the great process of generation and destruction. the end of the longest error'. the moment of the shortest shadow.The ontological idea and the moral ideal
from moral ontology and ontological morality. Nietzsche does not refer to a disappearance of the shadow but to the shortest shadow. finite and transitory. with the senses. true and real existence beyond nature (physis). spatially and temporally limited things. However. His thinking is also speculative. with
. We must understand that Nietzsche attacks a form of ontology when he refers to God and that the passion of his dispute with Christianity is not fuelled by a soul which refuses itself to God out of hatred against God but by a changed ontological conception. However. The abolition of the ontological difference of authentic and unauthentic or of'true world' and apparent world is. This is a reference to the allegory of the cave in the seventh book of The Republic.43 The parable of the 'shortest shadow' is revealing. We must understand that he does not oppose the 'God of Abram and Jacob' but the 'God of the philosophers'. the 'climax of humanity' and the 'noon. This contains a reference to the Platonic interpretation of sensual things that are generated and decay as a 'shadow' of the 'idea' or as an image of the eternal idea. with the individual. as he states. The abolition of transcendence is the active consequence of the death of God. decline and return which creates all risks and brings all things into play. He does not simply stop with the contrast to the allegedly 'true world'. the things. He does not make the realm of the finite things absolute but he inquires in a new way into their depth in interpreting the change of all finite being as the will to power and temporality itself as the eternal return of the same. However. Even where he attacks the Jewish God and Jesus of Nazareth. The death of God can accordingly become the dawn of the earth as in Zamthustra. Metaphysically conceived being is exactly what Nietzsche opposes in the concept of'God'. Will to power and eternal return are not just simply present but are only revealed by a radical thinking transcending the appearances. It is no essence distinguished from appearance or beyond appearance but it is the existing essence of that which is concrete. Does Nietzsche indeed deny the above ontological difference as such or does he retain it in a new yet extremely ancient way? Nietzsche opposes the theological form of the ontological difference and attempts to conceive it cosmologically. the crucified. In these fundamental thoughts. the coming and going of things and their changes. something like the will to power and the eternal return do not reside in a transcendental realm. the speculation follows a different path than the reflection of metaphysics which posits an authentic. Does this not mean that he opposes the great division of the idea and the sensual thing but retains a trace of this division nevertheless while locating it in a completely different context? This is the central issue of any interpretation of Nietzsche. of dawn.
'better' life. conceptual thinking. It is absolutely impossible to prove a different reality. the naive artist remains trapped in his Apollonian world of dreams and the tragic one breaks through all the appearances to the dreadful
. The reasons why this world is considered to be apparent are rather the reasons for its reality. diminution and suspicion of life. the tragic artist is no pessimist.he affirms all questionable and terrifying things. He condenses his 'new insight' into four points on which he places greatest importance: 1. 'Because semblance refers to reality anew. this attack is aimed at a moral ontology or an ontological morality. in this inversion he uses the difference that he opposes. Nietzsche refers explicitly to the tragic artist. of the nothing. To separate the world into a 'true' and an 'apparent' one. What had been considered to be an appearance is truly real. . eternal and pure being is merely a thing of the mind and nothing else.one has constructed the true world in contradiction to the real world: An apparent world indeed in so far as it is only a moral-optic illusion. The appearance of the artist is different and more real than the appearance of a pure. 3. . He attributes a higher value to semblance. What had been so far considered to be truly existing. . Nietzsche believes that his original intention is directed towards an inversion of traditional ontology and values. It is a crucial hint. In the latter case we take revenge on life with a fiction of 'another'.134
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
utmost vehemence. However. . To babble about 'another' world than this one does not make any sense. 4. emphasis or correction. Whatever is concrete is authentic and whatever is metaphysical is merely an appearance or a mere illusion. 2. only in a selection. the temporal and the things in the flux of becoming. provided that we are not subject to an instinct of insult. be it in the manner of Christianity or in the manner of Kant (a cunning Christian after all) is merely a trick of decadence .'44 This reference to the artist is not incidental. In using this difference which he wishes to sublate to achieve the very sublation of the difference itself he indicates that this difference may after all make some sense which is not affected by the inversion. The Twilight of the Idols reveals his conceptual weapon of equating God with the transcendental world of true being in principle. But the semblance which is created by the artist and which he worships as the divine power of the beautiful is no transcendental world and no image which abstracts the concrete existence from nature like a vampire but the contrary. however. The characteristics which have been assigned to 'true being' are the characteristics of nothingness. The appearance of art transfigures life itself. he is Dionysian. that is the atemporal.a symptom of declining life . And Nietzsche refers immediately to a justifiable difference of this kind in the artist. namely the sensual.
Kant and others are all combined judgements which formulate objectives but do not truly prove them. It endures the death of God and probes all cherished beliefs and truths and all idols of tradition with a hammer. his critique is not countered if one attacks the vagueness and obscurity of his generalizing conceptions. presenting it with a violating schema. The edited version of the work falls into four books. perplexing. He believes that it entails a massive rearrangement of and change to the subject matter itself. The book available to us today is thus no longer Nietzsche's book but an edited version following mere sketches. The systematic person is either infinitely naive or dishonest according to Nietzsche. Not only is truth a woman who will hardly be conquered by the clumsy attempts of a philosopher but life itself is a mysterious. The first
. Nietzsche admits that he despises the system. tragic art was an instrument of philosophy. Yet. He senses a new dimension but he is unable to explicate it adequately.'45 Nietzsche does not have a genuine relationship with systematicity. The Will to Power. Its structure contains again Nietzsche's four basic thoughts but the sections are less clear. does not achieve a systematic development of his thoughts. This shows itself in many ways. They do not have the concise and precise character of the later writings. This philosophy remains open to the terrifying beauty and to the mysterious ambiguity of all existence. His attacks on Plato. The book does not have a particular pace and no individual style. Does tragic. ambiguous and mysterious than any human would know. On the whole Nietzsche deals with terrible simplifications about Plato and Kant. The aphorisms are not as polished as usual. unfathomable and unconceivable woman. Nowhere does he destroy the traditional ontological conception. 'He pretends to be more stupid than he is. Nietzsche's thoughts are always (and this is their fundamental validity) deeper and more profound than his arguments. Nietzsche only indicates aspects of the history of the longest error. He is rather committed to the proposition that the enigmatic character of reality cannot be captured in a system and that life is always more puzzling. Dionysian art not require a tragic. Nietzsche made a number of sketches of The Will to Power. Even his main posthumous work which he had frequently announced as the 'most independent book of mankind'. The editors have finally selected a sketch of 1887 and have ordered the aphorisms accordingly. It rather understands the 'twilight of the idols' as a historical human task.The ontological idea and the moral ideal
truth which requires illusion as a form of consolation. proofs and his evidence. It is not afraid of the 'famous hollow sound' and it is not discouraged. Dionysian wisdom which renews the distinction between being and appearance and yet does not deny and renounce the earth? The turn of reflection towards the will to power and the eternal return breaks through the surface of the phenomena to a depth of a tough philosophy without illusions. Already in Nietzsche's first work.
It is rather the result of a long rule of natural morality and otherworldly metaphysics. the end of metaphysical philosophy and Christianity and the end of a system of values. Why should the end of this path become visible only now? Who has stopped man in his tracks? Nietzsche's answer is as follows: the 'eeriest of all guests'46. History brings the hidden seed of selfdestruction.'48 Nietzsche's basic belief here is that traditional morality was not finished by an arbitrary event or by a new living impulse but came to an end historically while it completed its original destiny.136
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
two deal with the death of God. It sublates itself. true world and apparent. It has no stars that guide its path. It is already from the start nihilistic. concrete world. The death of God is a double-headed event. to be the audacity to eliminate the conception of God (in the way in which he sees it moral-ontologically) and to deal the dying God the final blow according to Zarathustra's instruction: 'whatever falls should even be pushed'. our fate and evil inheritance. We are in a peculiar situation. God is dead for us. Nietzsche becomes active as a thinker. The aim is absent. to light. In the problem of nihilism Nietzsche identifies our historical situation. However. we are suspended without foundation above empty space. among the powers reared by morality there was truthfulness. the third with the will to power and the fourth with the overman and the eternal return. Critique of the highest values so far. why does Nietzsche dedicate two books to the death of God? Is this not a unified subject? The idea takes on a peculiar character. The 'starry heaven' of the moral ideals is extinguished. albeit in a concealed manner. We find ourselves within the final phase. Morality poisons itself. He understands his own task to be the active completion of the death of God. we live in its advent. within diis eschatology of metaphysics and in the midst of the death of God. is nihilism? "That the highest values are devalued. However. The coming nihilism refers to the process of self-annihilation of Christian morality and to the self-destruction of the distinction between transcendental. What. We are no longer supported. however. Metaphysical ontology completes itself historically. 'European nihilism' which already throws a dark shadow across man's path to arrest his foot and stop him in his tracks. that is the moral and ontological interpretation of being in the tradition of western metaphysics has lost its commitment for us. history must run its course. suddenly or inexplicably. The death of God is firstly a historic interpretation of the condition of
. 'However. hidden from the beginning in the moralistic interpretation of the world. this is no event that has burst in on man vehemently. In the second book. It is an event which has occurred and one which still presents us with future tasks. However. Nihilism is on the rise. there is no answer to a why?'47 Human existence has become aimless. He is the end of the spiritual and moral development of the last two thousand years. Nietzsche interprets modern man as an end. This finally turns against morality.
are coming to an end. morality and philosophy in the age of metaphysics. THE POSTHUMOUS WORK THE WILL TO POWER. We know about the decline of many an Inca culture. It seems that we are familiar with such 'cultural-historic changes'. the emergence of original impulses . namely Christian religion and morality. Such an 'ending' process is no vital process that one could simply understand with ready-made categories. Nietzsche himself believed to have acted in conformity with fate. However. It does not occur out of crazy vanity like Herostratus who burnt down the temple of Diana in Ephesus to gain fame. Nietzsche experiences the need of the times as an end-time.
5.The Will to Power. The problem of nihilism
modern man who faces the advent of nihilism and further a radical critique of religion. out of historical necessity. the house of morality and the citadel of ontological thinking. Whatever is necessary is always also that which changes the need and it is the turning point of need. not as an adventure and not because he finds pleasure in what is new and outrageous. The world is a field of cultural ruins and a wonderful treasure trove for scientific excavations. however. In some respects we are familiar with the transition of 'world-views' and 'habits'. the age and the decline of cultures. We know the phenomenon of a sudden invasion of a new spirit of life into history. He does not burn down a holy temple. THE PROBLEM OF NIHILISM
Nietzsche's greatness as a thinker is based on his diversion from a path which has guided western thinking for many centuries. since we are historically 'educated' and possess a rich museum of 'preserved human goods'. We possess much material about changes to the Babylonian and Egyptian culture. we are able to look upon our own culture from the point of view of a museum.and also their slow and sudden disappearance. We do not experience how God dies if we turn away and look towards other people and strange times and acknowledge a twilight of the Gods there or a
. towards a tragic view of the world. that is. These are times in which the impulses of life which have directed western history for more than two thousand years and have manifested themselves in the philosophy. And in particular. There are yet many fragments in its ancient ground and much blood that was spilled to honour Gods who have long gone. We know about the fresh innocence. there is a definite question whether we actually experience its fate within this view. the maturity. dreadful and terrifyingly beautiful. This very critique attempts to finish the drama of the death of God to open the view towards something new. His path leads into unchartered territory. We can refer to many 'changes of the spirit of the times' and to many a decline in the history of culture or in ethnology.
they are the human paths. It has to assert itself in order to gain transparency. The frightening part about the traditional values is that they destroy themselves in their historic mission. Nietzsche maintains. morality and metaphysics. Nietzsche's concept of the death of God must not be trivialized. which inform its aims and according to which it designs its own mission. tender and gentle lives and this opposition of strong lives is in reality an attack on life itself. Nihilism is hidden within them. this salvation of the weak. Nietzsche calls this the arrival of nihilism. Everything that elevated man beyond himself. it is the event of the self-devaluation of religion.138
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
death of Gods in whom we do not believe. the 'critique of all highest values to date'. Christianity. Nietzsche believes that a total set of values is a programme of life or one attempt to live. Values are first and foremost programmes of life. We do not understand how our God dies even if we search through the entire department of dead Gods in our museum. It is their hidden dowry from the beginning. brotherly love or purity.every star which has illuminated the landscape of his life for over 20 centuries . They are inventions to which life commits itself. Truthfulness. It thus saves many lives who would have perished under the tougher conditions of a warrior-like morality. The latter destroys itself. They are directions of life towards 'non-being' even where they conceal this 'non-being' for a long time as the summum ens or as God. Nihilism is already present within Christianity. Thus a morality can appear for a long time to aim to realize the higher form of life such as a life of modesty. everything he cherished and worshipped with his inner soul and everything that made him human at all and distinguished him from the animals and mere animality .suddenly reveals a dark backside and exposes an uncanny and frightening foundation. However. Secondly. The death of God becomes a dual subject in the posthumous work The Witt to Power. values are concealed and obscure in their direction. Only the historical realization develops their hidden aims. traditional morality and metaphysical philosophy are 'nihilistic tendencies'. We live in an end-time because all traditional values 'arrive at their final conclusions'. At first. Firstly. Such a programme is not necessarily transparent to itself. What appears to be supporting life becomes a denial of life through the dominance of the poverty of life. His interpretation of our end-time should not be understood with the help of a museum-schema. It is most important that Nietzsche does not regard the nihilistic devaluation of traditional values as a consequence of an opposing spirit of life but as a consequence of the values themselves. The arrival of nihilism is . it is the active and explicit revaluation. turns itself against this very morality. It does not only come into existence once Christianity and its values have lost their validity.even for Nietzsche himself . The hidden
. Values are historical extensions into the future. The wine of life becomes poisoned by bitter yeast.an uncanny matter. nourished by Christian morality.
Nihilism is thus essentially a transitional state or a bridge. The problem of nihilism
directions have come to the surface after being at work within these values for a long time. Man judges in so far as he is human.The Will to Power. If the tragic knowledge of the human Oedipus-condition is experienced and if this experience is cast into a negative form of a failure of a unified conception of the world which understands the role of man through the overall context. which had hitherto been the focus of all value. Thirdly. However. of the hidden 'nihil' in the summum ens. It is the paralysing feeling of an utmost homelessness and of a stifling lack of answers within an impenetrable situation in which we find ourselves like Oedipus who killed the father and entered the bed of the mother. puzzling world without knowledge of where we are going and whence we came. Perhaps this is in general the end of any historical epoch if the mystery sustaining life overtakes life and becomes fully conscious of itself. a transitional age in which one age comes to an end and a new one emerges. It is pathological because it carries with it the change of the human existence which appears to be a great sickness. nihilism is also the feeling to be exposed to an unfathomable. the history of the spirit is finished when it owns itself. desperation as the outcome of the futile endeavours to discover the meaning or the final aim of becoming. Since the transcendental world. Nihilism is a new pathological transition. the metaphysical conception which understands becoming through finding a meaning or an aim of its history lead to nihilism. even the cosmological concepts such as 'purpose' and 'unity' of the cosmic history. that is. Nietzsche distinguishes three psychological kinds: firstly. when the differences between being as such and being for itself have disappeared and when it has achieved being itself and being for itself. Judgement is not a behaviour of choice which is
. Morality reveals its mysterious intentions because it draws conclusions from its entire past: its path is a path leading nowhere. this world is not bearable although one does not wish to deny it. the shock that it is impossible to discover a kind of rule and a structural unity of the whole and to understand the structure of the cosmos and man's position within it. It is overcome if the here and now are seen as a godless and godforsaken world following the death of God and if this godless world starts to reflect the light of a new ontological experience. And similarly discouraging is the insight into the untenable. it appears to be a 'worthless' residue. that is. is no longer. then it turns into a nihilistic renunciation: nothing has any meaning any more if the human position in the cosmos is unknowable. Then. For Hegel too. Any secret passage to the other world and to the false divinities is forbidden however. Nietzsche's moral interpretation of God and of the metaphysical 'otherworld' allows him to speak of an unmasking of God. God was the mask of nonbeing.'49 This means that while nihilism is a new insight it still depends on old values. that is. metaphysically conceived 'true world': ' From this point of view the reality of becoming is admissible as the only reality.
It has become pathological. however. Human life is guided by ideals even though we usually fall short of these in daily life. does not yet have
. we do not cease to judge but we judge according to an uncanny standard: the leading value is 'nothing'. And if that valuing behaviour is transformed in its entirety so that nothing counts and nothing matters or if everything appears to be meaningless and worthless. Nietzsche distinguishes here again between a pessimism of weakness on the one hand and a pessimism of strength on the other. The transcendence of values is a fantasy. Nihilism is the devaluation of all traditional. Pessimism is in this understanding for example a precursor to nihilism. Man exists as a human being within a realm of values. Man already occupies a fundamental position. but because our eyes have been opened to the 'desirables' of all kinds. This draws a final conclusion from the traditional values themselves. On the other hand nihilism already announces a new view. The nihilistic mode of thought is divine. We attend to the 'ideal' with mocking fury. Strictly speaking. then life becomes abnormal. it is nothing. a simplification to assist life. not because it belongs to God but because it belongs to a humanity that has liberated itself from the burden of servitude to the Gods and has gained itself a kind of divine status. However. Nietzsche distinguishes many kinds of nihilism that do not simply coexist but present different stages in the transition from a past interpretation of existence to the new and tragic experience of the world that Nietzsche intends to proclaim. higher values. no thing as such. It posits the value of things precisely in denying a reality to these values. secret values. there is no absolute constitution of the things. to the denial of a metaphysically conceived true world as a 'divine mode of thought'. And he refers suddenly to the death of God.51 The problem of nihilism is without doubt regarded only 'morally' in this work. excessive and loves becoming thus connecting love and death. which. The hidden. The latter does not admit the idealization of life or euphemisms but confronts the abyss of life yet nevertheless affirms it and human fate.140
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
exercised here and there. The former accuses life since life is cruel.'50 Here Nietzsche refers even to his doctrine of the transcendental invention of values as nihilism. the secret intuitions of morality and metaphysics and religion have been brought to light and have lead to an end of this history of value. We simply despise ourselves only because we are unable to suppress the absurd desire called 'idealism' at any time. man's existence is judgement. He says about this nihilism: If we are disappointed we are not so in regard to life. They are merely symptoms of the power of those who posit the value. This type of nihilism is the opposite of the decline of life which Nietzsche terms decadence. Nietzsche calls an extreme nihilism the view that 'there is no truth. that is.
when it rules man. According to Nietzsche the next period is characterized by the three great affects of contempt. Nietzsche always views it as an ambivalent time of decline and assent. the time of the catastrophe. pity and destruction. Nietzsche believes that the power of this doctrine is the heart of history. The substantial determinations of nihilism are not the only important aspects accompanied by insights into the historicity of mankind
. Nihilism leads to a disaster turning mankind around through a new doctrine which gains power over man: this doctrine is the doctrine of the eternal return. However. In the first period we may experience the devaluation of traditional values. Following this time of failed attempts to rescue western civilisation a 'period of clarity' occurs. The power of religion. Nihilism is a sign of decadence and of a decline of life more precisely. He believes to stand outside all chance and accidental individuality. He is able to see the decadence of the modern world so clearly because he experiences it himself. This interim time is our time. The old values are born from decline. new values from emerging life'. He sees himself as a fate and as a historical necessity. It is a time of change and need and a time when change is needed. He believes in the future power of philosophy. it shows up a long and venerable tradition as decadence. it casts an immense shadow on all traditional ideals when a new sun rises on the distant horizon. this contains Nietzsche's entire philosophy of history. the good and the wise are made in the 'modern' spirit.and are up to this doctrine. This means that the time in which he proclaims his own doctrine is not the 'heart' but the future time in which this doctrine comes to power. Nietzsche believes that this interim time has four large periods. when it 'selects' because only the strongest characters can stand up . It erupts if the hollowness of the doctrine of the established Gods is recognized.52 One knows about the irreconcilable contrast but has not yet found a new path. because he endured nihilism and lived ahead of his time like the first-born who is sacrificed. Nihilism is thus the interim period where end and beginning are locked together or the time of need where old stars have faded and new ones are not yet visible. One 'understands that old and new are fundamental opposites. He merely fulfils what has been prepared in European nihilism. The Will to Power provides an essential new aspect of the importance attributed here to the problem of nihilism. And finally.The Will to Power. because he is decadent himself and has converted to its opposite. namely the disappearance of the meaning of life and the devaluation of the traditionally highest values. In truth. One attempts to reconcile contradictions. The problem of nihilism
confidence in itself. However his own grandeur does not achieve this. However. Human history changes with Friedrich Nietzsche. Man attacks himself. morality and metaphysics diminishes and serious men attempt to resist change and to revive religion and Christianity with new impulses. such attempts to preserve the great ideals of the pious.
It is clearly visible in Nietzsche's interpretation of nihilism as a consequence of the traditional value-judgement of human existence that temporal human existence has the ontological modality of a 'history'. It seems to me that Nietzsche gains a deep insight with this that points to a limitation within his sophistical psychology as well. And the symptoms of strength. that is. Precisely because he lives in an 'intermediate time'. One cannot simply view them as symptoms. This is no string of sequential events but the completion of a projection into the future. the cosmology of the moral metaphysics and the metaphysical morality. Following the general characterization of nihilism and a sketch of its many possibilities Nietzsche proceeds towards an interpretation of the last centuries.53 The modern world is ambivalent because it is both decadent and at the same time a new period of growth. Man is supposed to achieve his true potential. In his view and his premonition of the coming nihilism Nietzsche understands his historical situation and attempts a historical philosophy of cosmic dimensions. In brief. The second book of the posthumous work also deals with the death of God with the difference that this is understood as a human challenge. He analyses the modern darkness and points to the ambivalent characteristics of our time. Everything is ambiguous and ambivalent.just the identical symptoms can imply decline and strength. He must become explicitly and intentionally the assassin of the Gods. He must become a destroyer of the moral and meta-
. The sophisticated intuition of the psychologist too no longer has a straightforward expression for the symptoms of modern life.142
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
and being which is understood here as value. the sentiment for value is out of touch with the times. Nietzsche tackles a grand vision within the concept of nihilism. The ambivalent character of our modern world . He attempts to conceive the death of God as a consequence of precisely the history that created God. all forms and all kinds of life and all attitudes to life possess a profound ambivalence. The consequence is eschatological. Nihilism is contained from the start within metaphysical philosophy. of accomplished maturity can be misunderstood as a weakness on account of a conventional (residual) devaluation of sentiment. in a transitional period. at least from afar. It remains concealed for long and emerges as the 'mystery' of the combined powers of history whenever the process of self-empowerment and selfrealization of life concludes. It is the end of an era and a first dawn of a new age. This psychology pretends to understand the language of the symptoms with certainty. It can be a sign of decline and decadence but it also can be a sign of a new life and of a strengthening life. within Christian morality and religion.
The more creative man is and the more original he is as a thinker. Within metaphysics the human rank is ascertained through the relation towards the highest being. The fundamental meaning of his critique and of the highest values so far is expressed by Nietzsche in a beautiful and clear way in the foreword to his critique of religion: I intend to demand back all the beauty and sublimity which we have given to the real and invented things as the human property and product.requires a cognitive justification. Because anything that we usually address as existing and that metaphysics conceives basically in its basic design as the
.the source of all Being and all value and the possibility of evil as the possibility of a free decision even against God . as love. It is existentially carried by the Absolute. The radical critique of religion. The murder of God liberates man by uncovering the creative powers of human existence. this royal generosity with which he has graced the things in order to impoverish himself and to make himself feel miserable. Man as a thinker. The problem of nihilism
physical beyond and he must sublate the theologically conceived difference between essence and appearance or between being and appearance. morality and philosophy that are ways of human self-alienation. He does not. as man's most beautiful apology. This was his greatest selflessness so far. He does not ignore human finitude. Nietzsche inverts this conceptual motif. turn man into the essential or the highest being. God .The Will to Power. Man is a finite. The finite human existence refers to the infinite divine existence. however. is Nietzsche's central thought which clarifies the inversion of the metaphysical modes of thought.54 Man is that being which remains ignorant of itself and who conceals his creativity in order to worship the products of his hands. the higher is his rank among human beings. however. The apology of man. There is no ontological dimension which would be genuinely 'more existing' than another. that he admired and worshipped and hid himself.O. Man requires a justification by the thinker because he created the Gods and submitted himself to the servitude of his own inventions. as power . but he conceives the human essence through his creativity and through his finite creativity. his hearts and his thoughts. artist and creator of values. self-denial and self-forgetting constitutes a human apology on account of the destruction of these attitudes. that is a theodicy. that it was him who created that which he admires. limited and determined being which does not only require justification in so far as it has the freedom to turn against God and which can choose evil but also in so far as it itself exists at all. The human justification takes the place of a theodicy. Nietzsche does not know a rank order among the things and no accumulation of things towards a highest thing or a transcendent being. as a poet. as a God. be it the Absolute or more concretely God. poet.
Nietzsche does not only distrust other-worldly metaphysics which is fettered by moral prejudice. however. There is no rank order of the things as such but only a rank order in the human realm according to the creative power which asserts itself in a particular person or people. He does not doubt the truth of this or that. None are more existent than any other. Perhaps life is in danger if it trusts a 'truth'. He is fundamentally distrustful of philosophizing in general. It is for this reason that Nietzsche believes that all things are similar. In regard to the substance of the critique there appears to be hardly any new aspects that are not already contained in the late writings. enveloped in the comfort of profound obscurity? Is the will to truth as such not an uncanny. He despairs over it and he views it as an uncanny and questionable thing. Perhaps Nietzsche takes up the issue of rank order within the human context with such a passion because he abandons the ontological rank order? Whatever Nietzsche believes to be the 'apology of man' in detail. In such a return to a forgotten and concealed creativity man comes to himself and conquers the most essential aspect of his existence. questionable affair? Does the cognitive human being not recognize himself forever in the fate of Oedipus who chooses blindness to no longer witness the terrifying aspects of an uncovered reality? Nietzsche attempts a most extreme form of scepticism. One has frequently the impression that the editors included in these passages some fragments that were substantially already contained in The Antichrist. Nietzsche's critique of morality is a critique of Christian morality. Why do we need truth? What is the use and disadvantage for our life? Why do we need to illuminate human existence and why do we need clarity and understanding? Why should we not just vegetate in a subconscious happiness. The value of truth has become questionable to him. it is the return to a planning existence and the return from an attitude of value or from transcendental values to a creation of values.all this does in truth not exist for Nietzsche. The things are only fictions or only illusions behind which there is a specific quantity of power and force. Flooding life that permeates the will to power. Is 'being' conceivable as light or does this imply a one-sided
. in The Twilight of the Idols and in Ecce Homo. The critique of philosophy is essentially a polemic critique of the moral denial of the world through metaphysics. indeed. he is even suspicious towards his own philosophy in particular.144
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
structure of substance . If he recognizes himself as the creator of his values he has gained the possibility to explicitly set new values and to embark on a new design of value. he doubts truth itself and as such. appears to be very important. We encounter here too a fundamental reinterpretation of religion and philosophy according to principles of morality. There are occasionally some wonderful remarks which throw new light on known thoughts. the unsteady and always changing life is the only reality whereas all finite and limited things are only fictions. It contains a rather less obvious tendency which.
The negative ontology of the thing
interpretation? Is the world perhaps 'conceived deeper than the day' as it says in Zarathustra's 'intoxicated song'? Especially in regard to this latter conclusion of philosophy we are not merely dealing with a critique based on a newly discovered truth, we are dealing with a submerged and extreme scepticism against truth itself. Philosophy is for Nietzsche rather a practice of life than a theoretical truth. 'One searches for the image of the world within that philosophy which liberates our spirit most, that is, in which our most powerful instinct is free to act. This will also be the case for me.' This statement about traditional philosophy is already expressed more precisely and more sensitively in The Twilight of the Idols. One even finds there frequently some prototypical expressions. From this aspect the collection of the editors is not terribly successful. Nietzsche's attitude towards philosophy in this book oscillates in a peculiar manner between a contrast of metaphysical and Dionysian philosophy on the one hand and a conflict of philosophy itself (including his own) and the innocent night of life that rejects truth altogether on the other hand. Thus he can state: I understand 'freedom of spirit' very specifically. To be one hundred times more superior to the philosophers and disciples of truth through a strictness against oneself.... I treat all traditional philosophers as despicable libertarians disguised under the hood of the woman of 'truth'.55 And he continues to refer to the three great naiveties that believe that insight is a path to happiness, towards virtue and mastery of life. In all its critical acumen evident here he puts the German philosophy next to the classical one. He places himself next to Hegel. He writes: 'The importance of German philosophy: Hegel to conceive a pantheism in which evil, error and suffering are no argument against divinity.'56 That means, he recognizes in Hegel a kind of Dionysian truth. This is a very profound insight. He also knows and emphasizes that German philosophy is in its greatest manifestations a yearning for the Greek world - like his own philosophy. It is for this reason that he can say: 'What I wish is this: that the true concept of philosophy is not ruined in Germany. There are so many half-beings in Germany who wish to hide their deformity beneath such a noble name.'57
6. THE NEGATIVE ONTOLOGY OF THE THING
The third book of The Will to Power engages with the theme of the work's title. However, even here we do not find a direct ontological analysis that would expose the will to power as an essential characteristic of being. We are not
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
invited to participate in a development of the fundamental thought. Nietzsche does not show a path that justifies his fundamental 'truths' of the will to power and the eternal return. This critical thinker who inclines to any form of scepticism displays at the heart of his reflection a peculiar immediacy free of any critical reflection. The will to power is not exposed as a basic character of the phenomena through their investigation. It is presupposed; it forms the basis of a critical and extremely suspicious interpretation of the phenomena. Nietzsche uses the will to power to achieve an ontological interpretation. However, the operating presupposition is justified in no other way than through this 'interpretation'. Is the conception of the will to power more than a hypothesis and more than a heuristic principle which is assessed according to its usefulness to understand a chaotic world with its countless contrasts through a unifying principle? The amoral conception beyond good and evil has the advantage over the moral value interpretations that it can view life with all its contrasts through one basic aspect. The will to power operates perhaps in a disguised form but nevertheless in all appearances and even in the life forms which appear to be its opposite such as the morality of altruism. It is here the will to power of the powerless, of those who have been disadvantaged in life and of those who disguise their resentments. In exposing the hidden enemy and the hidden meaning in all phenomena that appear to contradict superficially the principle of the will to power, Nietzsche achieves a unified interpretation. The danger of such a method has already been pointed out repeatedly. It is most dangerous, not for others but for the thinker himself who uses it. The 'reversal' which 'unmasks' the presupposed aspects of the interpretative foundation and eliminates any contradiction excludes the interpreter in some way from the autonomy of the phenomena. He becomes a prisoner of his method and becomes trapped in it. He is unable to leave his own perspective. The contained perspective, however, is not overcome as is naively believed by an approach of the phenomena without prejudices or by the thinker who observes and describes them in a descriptive phenomenology and lets the 'things speak for themselves'. There are no such 'things as such' nor is there a thinking which faces being without presuppositions. Thinking is no spiritual introspection. Thinking does not face being like the ass faces the haystack. Thinking has already been at work where we find being, things and properties of the things at hand. Things themselves only exist where in some ways the substantiality of the thing is prereflected. Being exists only in the horizon of an ontological conception and interpretation. Our critique of Nietzsche that accuses him of operating with a conception of the will to power without elucidating this fundamental concept implies that we also miss an explicit exposition of this central theoretical aspect in the work which carries its title. Nietzsche is unable to clarify his own intimate ontological
The negative ontology of the thing
experience with a corresponding ontological theory that could be achieved in an engagement with the ontology of metaphysics. 'Will to power' and 'eternal return' are his main intentions for which he is not only unable to find refined concepts but which he also does not clearly distinguish from the fundamental principles of metaphysics. Ontology has assumed the shape of a philosophy of value. The will to power is introduced as 'the principle of a new positing of values'. After dealing with nihilism as the experienced devaluation of all values and following a critique of all traditional higher values, that is, after the active destruction of the traditional realm of values, the third book gives us the real revaluation and the new valuation according to the standard of life which is understood in its essence as the will to power. The book falls into the chapters: 'The will to power as cognition', 'The will to power in nature', 'The will to power as society and individual' and 'The will to power as art'. What does this structure imply? Cognition, nature, society, the individual and art? Are these different realms of existence? Nature and the socio-historical realm are obvious fundamental dimensions of reality, but what is the point of including 'cognition' and even 'art' in this structure? This schema of a division into metaphysica generate and metaphysica specialis hides the clarification of traditional metaphysics as it is applied for example in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in a seemingly concealed way. Metaphysica generalis is concerned with being as existing. Metaphysica sepecialis is concerned with being as nature, man and God. 'The will to power as cognition' is not an epistemology as is often assumed. The section contains Nietzsche's negative ontology of the thing. And finally, the section on art is nothing else than his 'theology'. This is a theology without God, that is, without a Christian God and without a creator of the universe. It is a theology that justifies existence as an aesthetic phenomenon and recognizes the wholeness of the world in the appearance of beauty, the art religion of the playing God Dionysos. These are at first simply assertions; however, they are made from the beginning to indicate the fundamental structure of this third book which is the centre of the entire work. The cognition of the will to power commences with the cognition of the will to power within cognition. The will to power is at work in that which we ordinarily call cognition. This does not only mean that the desire to understand is an instinct of power or a drive to possess and conquer but even more that understanding is subject to the determinations of the will to power. To put it differently: what we ordinarily call cognition is not a suitable device to understand the will to power. Such understanding is already itself formed by the will to power. As the forming element the will to power is not grasped itself by that which it forms, namely by 'cognition'. However, how does Nietzsche know this? He only relies on his philosophical intuition which is different from all ontological intuition of any kind. This intuition flows from a receptivity for the
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
flow of becoming, for the forming and destroying 'life' and for the force of the will to power. Only the knowledge of tragic wisdom breaks through the structure of power and gains an insight into the power of life. Tragic wisdom becomes critical for all ordinary cognition. What does Nietzsche mean here by 'cognition'? Nothing else than the cognition of being! This is on the one hand an empirical cognition but on the other also an a priori cognition, that is, the essential concept of the categories according to which we think being as one thing, as a separate thing which exists for itself as a substance with properties and as an individual thing with a universal essence. Nietzsche's thesis is this: in truth there are no things, there are no substances, there is no 'being'. There is only the wavering flood of life, only the stream of becoming and the incessant up and down of its waves. Nothing endures, stays and persists and all is in flux. But our cognition forges its reality and changes the flow falsely into the being of enduring things which endure in the change and which persist during the change of their states. The 'thing' or the substance is a fiction. It is a structure created by the will to power which violates the reality. It arrests, forges and grasps becoming and subjects it to the concept. It subsequently forgets this act of violence to the point where it believes to have grasped reality itself in the created concepts of substance and causality. Man believes in the things but none exist. He believes in being, but being is his own creation and his own net of concepts which he casts repeatedly into the stream of becoming. The world is no sum of different and separate things for Nietzsche, which coexist in connection with each other. It does not consist of things at all; it is one single stream of life, one 'sea' in which there are waves but nothing that endures. The appearances obviously contradict this intuition. We see things after all. We distinguish ourselves as a thing from others. In terms of appearance the world is present to us as an infinite manifold of the many things. We do not abstract from the things what they are. Quite the contrary: we always live already in a pre-understanding of objectivity if we record something empirically about the particular things. However, this a priori construct of the things conceived within categories is a forgery and a law made by cognition in order to enable itself to become the cognition of being. This means: at the beginning of cognition is the primordial sin or the lie of the categorical interpretation. True reality is becoming, however not a becoming of something already existent which merely changes in respect of its existence but pure becoming, a constant stream and a perennial dynamic. It is namely 'life' which is present everywhere, in the rocky walls of the mountains as much as in the thundering wild rivers, in the grass of the meadow as much as in the eagle which circles high above, in the stars of the night sky as in the shepherd whose soul is moved by them. What we believe to be things conceals our view of the infinite, indeterminate
The negative ontology of the thing
and unlimited whole. The things obscure the world to us. However, we cannot live in the flooding, universal sea of pure becoming. We need to distort reality. Becoming is for us inconceivable. It is that which makes our spirit turn dizzy and drags it into a vortex where it is overcome by a dizziness which announces the world. This distortion is a biological necessity for us. Necessity breeds invention. The need to live in a world in which everything constantly changes, recedes, passes and spins has created the concepts and the categories which make this incomprehensible change comprehensible and fixes it, underpinning the events with a basis. It posits something firm within change such as 'substance' which is, as it were, the lifeline for us and that gains some security and orientation in a predictable world. The categories represent a humanization of the world and they are the anthropocentric interpretation which 'fixes us up' in positing a fixity. The categories do not possess objective validity, they are fictions. The thing is a human invention of the mind - nothing else. Man projects himself into everything. And even then, the conception he has of himself is an error, an illusion which remains obscure to him. He calls himself'I'. The I appears to be a fixed, consistent entity within the changing and subjective set of experiences. However, the I is precisely a fiction according to Nietzsche. It is the paradigm of our illusions, because we apply this I and its supposed fixity to the things. The things are created after our own image. Substances refer to their properties as the I to its actions. The concept of substance is a result of the concept of the ego. Man has projected . . . the will, the spirit, the I from within himself. He firstly took over the concept of being from the concept of the I. He posited the 'things' as existing after his own image, after the image of the I as the cause . . ,58 The deception of the mind is the powerful aspect of cognition. The mind needs to deceive if it wishes to cognize anything at all, that is it needs to determine the predication of the substances. It needs to state about being that it is such and such. The deception is thus a function of the categories used by the mind. Its means of cognition are already faulty. The basic concepts contain the deception, not those things that are understood with the help of these basic concepts. Nietzsche transforms the traditional question of the categories. The basic propositions about being as such are 'exposed as deceptions' or as lies in the extra-moral sense. There is no cognition of the beingness of being which metaphysics aspires to because there are no finite things that might persist in their finitude. Nietzsche does not conceive being as the being of beings but as becoming or as the Dionysian truth of the cosmic interplay of universal production and destruction. One misunderstands the extent of the polemic against the categories
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
if one sees it merely as a fictional epistemology. Nietzsche does not progress from a critical analysis of the faculty of cognition arriving at a rejection of the categories in which the thingness of the thing is conceived as substance according to the ideal of the ego. He rather starts with a primordial intuition of his Heraclitean philosophy that relies on becoming as the only truth. Since the categorical concepts cannot grasp becoming, since they arrest it, forge it and base it on something persisting, they are deceptions. He denies finite and individual being with his fundamental conception of being as becoming. Being does not exist because there is no individuation. More precisely, Nietzsche does not deny the phenomenon of individuated being but only its objective significance. What looks like a separate thing is only a wave in the stream of life and temporary quantum and conglomeration of power which only presents a phase in the dynamic of the cosmic interplay. Nietzsche's fictional epistemology which understands the will to power as the deceiving and violating power of the intellect is in its important aspects a negative ontology of things: there are no things. His critique does not target all cognition but only the cognition of being, empirical cognition and particularly a priori cognition, that is the ontological interpretation in accordance with the categories. His intuition or his philosophical vision of becoming is not affected by his critique of cognition. It is rather the presupposition that enables this critique in the first place. In other words, if and only if this intuition is true does this critique of ontic and categorical cognition make sense and have validity. Nietzsche himself does not distinguish clearly enough between the truth of becoming and the truth of being. The former is intuitive and the latter is conceptual. However, this antithesis does not grasp the essence. The truth of becoming is a revelation of the existing cosmos that presents its creative dynamism as the will to power. The truth of being implies a belief in the fictions of substance and Ego. It opens itself towards an inner-worldly existence obscured by 'becoming'. The real distinction is thus not one between any intuition and any concept but between cosmic intuition and the categorical concept. One often criticizes Nietzsche for using a circular argument. He connects cognition on the one hand with an instinct for deception but proclaims on the other hand a new philosophy which is obviously a new form of cognition. He believes that cognition is an expression of the will to power and yet claims cognition of this very will to power itself. This critique misses the point because the cognition of becoming which leads to a critical rejection of all categorical cognition destroying the authenticity of becoming is not itself subject to the criticized concept of cognition. The truth of becoming has a completely different nature than ordinary understanding of truth which is only achieved on the basis of the deceptive, fixed concepts. What we 'ordinarily' call being, the individual things and structures, are for Nietzsche 'illusions'. Illusion, however, is not nothing. It is something real; it is
">59 An alternative argument against Nietzsche's position perhaps directs our attention to the contradiction that is concealed by the hypothesis of a deceiving power of the human intellect. Nietzsche's suspicion and doubt about the categorical interpretation of being through substances. If reason is deceptive and if man invents the deception of the categories he must have a true individual existence as the deceiving being. because he thinks. however. we succumb to the deception of this appearance. more precisely of ontological thinking. For Nietzsche. There are no things. It is the interplay of opposing waves. in the way that metaphysics since Plato and Aristotle conceives it. more specifically an ontological thinking of the entire metaphysical tradition starting with Parmenides. of concentrations of power and quanta of will which are immediately dissolved like the waves of the sea. underpins his aggression against tradition and transcendentalism. He states with disarming precision: 'Parmenides said "one does not think whatever does not exist" . The substance of the thing is 'subjective'. because he invents the categories and the structure of the thing and pre-conceives the blueprint of the things and all experience. Thinking and not the senses are the subjective source of appearance. Not everything can be the same in the cosmic interplay of the will to power. Nietzsche radicalizes a Kantian aspect. Nietzsche sees this conclusion. the categorically conceived substance enables us to experience the object. He turns the problem of the categories purely negatively around into an uncovering of deception. To be sure. For Kant. We do not engage with Nietzsche's many attempts of a psychological analysis nor with his thesis intended to expose the fictional nature of all categories. The stream of life is no homogenous flux.The negative ontology of the thing
the formation of the will to power at work. In this conception Nietzsche turns away from the traditional ontology of being.we are at the other end and in another state and say: "Whatever can be thought must most certainly be a fiction. Ordinarily. Man is a fiction to himself. are deceptive. etc. Life itself creates fictions. In the final analysis he is no absolute individual. of substance and causality. He surrounds himself with fictions in which he is imprisoned as a separate thing among other things. Man forges the world. The will to power is at work in these fictions and creates the finite living form of the human being. Things are figments of reason that are nowhere and never real. Reason invents the fictions of the Ego. We even call this very appearance being. Man has separated and alienated himself from reality in so far as he relies on the categories for cognition. It is only an idiomatic expression to speak about human fictions. Only the cosmic intuition of becoming makes genuine truth possible. The intellect and thinking. If we read it as an epistemology these thoughts remain quite questionable and
. This rejection of thinking. the thing or the belief in the thing is an illusion which makes life possible. is not based on an extreme scepticism but is rather an almost dogmatic view about the ultimate reality of becoming.
this is the greatest will to power'62 he states. he affirms it. Yet.'64 Men cannot live in the turmoil of the cosmos and in the blowing winds of time in which nothing remains consistent and all is in flux. endurance or fixedness. the seductive flash of gold in the belly of the snake vita. Being is in time and time is within being. being is understood as truth. They need to surround themselves with fictions of finite things and need to dismember the entirety of the cosmos into dissected separate entities. opposing becoming to being and yet always struggling for conceptual unity of these opposing concepts.152
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
even in parts very primitive with occasional digressions into the simplest form of positivism. Nietzsche's fictional epistemology can be characterized as follows: (1) It is not a general scepticism.we have no other conception of this than "life". They must commit a deception out of biological necessity in order to live and arrange themselves. Nietzsche discards this concept. 'To impose the characteristics of being on becoming . How can the dead exist then?'61 Nietzsche always remains within the opposition of being and becoming in a way that prevents him from capturing the inner dialectic of these ontological concepts and separates itself.'63 This truth of the eternal return is exempt from his statement about the truth of things: 'Truth is a kind of error without which a particular kind of living creature could not live. Nietzsche appears to represent seemingly a turning point at which he rejects on the one hand the ontological understanding of the metaphysical tradition.becoming. Nietzsche does not only object to the ontological categories but he is passionately committed to becoming and to dynamism: 'Against the value of the ever-enduring "he posits" the value of the shortest and most finite. if being is viewed in relation to the existence of things and ideas. he does not refer here to a will to power of deception but to a will to power of the greatest cosmic truth. the categories.but is inclusive of. that is.'60 And elsewhere: 'Being . However. and on the other hand has already a fundamental conception of 'being' of a kind which must no longer be understood in opposition to . as a dynamic and as the will to power. He means with this the greatest will to power within cognition and as cognition. The knowledge of the eternal return does not arrest and determine becoming but affirms becoming as becoming. The insight into the fictional character of the categorial ontology is
. If however.pinnacle of contemplation. as life. If the concept of being includes the aspects of permanence. the philosophical meaning does not rest here with a theory of cognition but with a negative ontology of the things which does not only affirm the falsity of the concept of the thing but rather denies the 'reality' of things as such. This is meant by the 'pinnacle of contemplation' because it reconciles the opposition between being and becoming. 'The eternal recurrence is the most extreme approximation of a world of becoming to that of being . The value for life is ultimately decisive.
Perhaps this is no accident. (Example: 'A society which irrevocably and instinctively rejects wars and conquering is in decline. He captured a problem here even if the biological and pragmatic mode of expression obscures the meaning of his thoughts somewhat. He does not command a differentiated intuition to analyse the essence of such basic realms and to perhaps discover a variation of the one cosmic principle of the will to power. Here the references to the phenomena of power relations and transfers of power are confused with a philosophical transcendence of the realm of phenomena. the interplay of generation and decline and the construction of apparent formations of power which are dissolved as soon as they are created. it is ripe for democracy and petty government. In the final analysis it appears generally doubtful if a principle of cosmic ontology. of becoming as ultimate truth and of the eternal return. The same applies to the interpretation of organic nature. It sometimes seems as if Nietzsche wishes to use the presence of power within the phenomena to show that the will to power underpins the phenomena and is the truly real and significant.The negative ontology of the thing
grounded in an indubitable philosophical insight of the will to power. that is. He interprets the state as a power structure and objects to the democratic trivialization of the state that attempts to make it into a moral institution. Nietzsche never worked out a regional ontology relevant to nature or history..65) He perceives the manifestations of power in institutions such as marriage. (2) The will to power is at work in the cognition of things as deception and violation and as the power of 'semblance'. of the flux of the creating-destroying becoming can be 'proven' within the realm of things and if it manifests itself in the phenomena. Nietzsche attempted to show this primarily in regard to cognition. We do not realize how the will to power asserts itself. Nietzsche also says very little in terms of the quantity about the will to power in the inorganic and organic nature. His critique of mechanism and its concept of power remain inadequate although some essential thoughts are specifically indicated. We humans are usually trapped within differences and within limits and separations.'. . (3) The decisive point here is not a biological epistemology. The attempt to illustrate the will to power 'within nature' is considerably weaker. He opts for marriage as the expression of a tribal power that intends to extend its
. but a negative ontology of the thing. Only if we turn towards the cosmos and not towards the things do we find true Being or the flux of becoming. The will to power is the primordial event which symbolizes the dissolution of the unity of life. We do not see the articulating power and the existence of the difference itself. We do not see the primordial one in its self-alienation or in the way in which it posits and sublates the difference. Even in the sphere of 'society and the individual' Nietzsche's project to find evidence for his basic thoughts remains peculiarly fruitless. Being as being or as On He On is merely a fiction.
or as Nietzsche puts it: 'The world as a self-creating work of art. Like the state. of those who see. of tragic understanding. all-too-human affair. He also sees 'power' in the judicial structures of a state and in the whole system of punishment and guilt. The fourth book relates all these foundational thoughts to each other. there is a more profound interpretation of tragic art as a kind of cognition of the will to power. Nietzsche calls art 'the redemption of those who cognize. deify suffering where suffering becomes a form of great delight'. not just a human. Nietzsche creates a new theology of the master of the tragic and concealed play. 'Dionysos' and "The Eternal Return'. Art is tragic art in its highest form. danger and evil. Nietzsche gains some ground only in the fourth section 'The will to power as art'.
7. however in a way that is still influenced by the concealed division of metaphysics into metaphysica generate and metaphysica specialis. its existence as will to power . The play of the artist reflects the primordial play of the world. he finds traces of the will to power in the great individual. more precisely. Tragic art is thus for Nietzsche the answer to the decline of religion.'66 In addition to the psychological interpretation of artistic creativity as an increased eras.' He calls it the redemption of the actor of 'the tragic. etc. DISCIPLINE AND BREEDING THE DIONYSIAN WORLD
The final book of The Will to Power carries the heading Discipline and Breeding. He thinks the epiphany of Dionysos. who want to see the terrifying and questionable dimension of existence. Art is no phenomenon which is simply present in the artist and in his work. the hero' and he calls it the 'redemption of those who suffer. The third book deals with the will to power. It even experiences the abyss of suffering as a profound pleasure. It falls into three parts: 'Rank Order'. however. stony face of life within appearance. a path to states which will transform. It does not flee from the terror into a beautiful semblance but transfigures the dreadful. Tragic art flows from the highest human power and reveals also the dreadful aspect in the appearance of beauty. as an overflowing power of life. morality and metaphysics. warrior-like human. Tragic art even affirms the uncanny and the deceitful. It does not only connect the aspects of the overman and the eternal return
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
possessions and its children and he explicitly rejects a marriage based on love. but it constitutes the advent of a redeemer. it is a transcendence of appearance and a profound view into the heart of the world and at the same time a justification of semblance. It 'redeems' differently than Christianity.67The threefold redemption of art is. Whoever stands out from the masses does not represent the higher moral value but simply a greater power of life. The death of God was the topic of the first two books of this posthumous work.
of the noble. Nietzsche speaks about the strong human being. in the fourth book of The Will to Power the character of the overman experiences a peculiar metamorphosis. We are not dealing with a practice following a theory. It aspires to power not just in the form of a general recognition but as a doctrine of life for the few who are predestined to rule and as an ontological understanding of the masters of the earth.Discipline and Breeding . For Nietzsche human self-discipline is the only possible way to overcome nihilism. Following the devaluation of all traditional values. The demise of the religious and moral laws liberates human freedom to embrace nothingness. The approaching nihilism is the irrelevance of all traditional laws. It is subject to the enlightenment through philosophical intuition. He does not just wish to articulate insights. The decisive point is the existential exposure of the death of God. be intuitively wrong to regard this as a careful application of philosophical insights for life. the great and the highest man.the Dionysian world
with each other. However. It also relates nihilism. If the essence of being is the will
. however. he intends to prepare world-historical decisions and to change mankind. Nietzsche is tremendously ambitious in this last book. His philosophy of the will to power aspires to gain itself power according to its own ontological experience and conception. God punishes those he loves. The god-less man is no longer the subject of a divine authority. The issue is the hierarchy of power. this self-discipline is for him neither a discipline with a reverence for moral laws nor an arbitrary commitment to any aims in order to escape from the desert of meaninglessness and aimlessness. Here. the new human creation of value becomes an unavoidable necessity. He intends to 'act' although he is a philosopher. It is the goal of man's self-realization. What was originally a seemingly distant ideal of the future has now become a progressive historical path. Zarathustra addresses a humanity that rejects all transcendental worlds and turns decisively towards the earth. the revaluation of the values and the murder of God that is committed by a humanity under the influence of the will to power. The usual distinction between theory and practice is here completely inappropriate. Human self-discipline remains within truth. which knows that the will to power is the essence of being and which experiences the infinity of existence in the eternal return. The central topic of the fourth book is thus a humanity which endures the death of God. recognizing contradiction and opposition and recognizing the 'war' as the father and ruler of all finite existence. of the will to power and of the eternal return. The great danger is a lack of authority. It would. The overman becomes a concrete goal for Nietzsche. At the same time it recognizes the infinity of all finite being in the eternal circle of time with the creation of the overman. Since the meaning of life has changed with God man must give life a new meaning. To put it differently: the revelation of being becomes a topic. He becomes his own authority unless he wishes to sink into chaos or to vegetate in dull animality on the deserted steps of the temples.
Nietzsche's view of the human being is double headed. Will to power and eternal return are opposed in a peculiar manner. The eternal return. As Nietzsche sees him future man wills a great will which defines itself and others as far as possible to give it a clear form. Nietzsche does not proclaim an absolute human domination when he refers to the masters of the earth. the person who wills realizes the limitations and the finitude of his will. The mastery of the earth is not a technical dominance over the world and not the selfsatisfaction of an absolute will to power that reifies all being and reduces it to a material to be used. In so far as he wills this he excludes other things. that is. One must realize this antithetical tension between Nietzsche's two main thoughts if one wishes to understand the view of the human being portrayed here. is characterized by a tragic pathos and by a dual and contrasting tension. Only in the context of Nietzsche's view of this human ambiguity can one judge the relevance of the ideas of discipline and creation. However. This has a peculiarly contradictory meaning. A humanity that subjects itself to the discipline. A will always makes things finite. Future man is a man of will and yet realizes the futility of the will.156
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
to power. He is autonomous yet yearns for the amorphous ground of life. Such a conception is one-sided and considers as it were the aspect of the will to power alone. that is. Nietzsche's future human being is
. The will to power projects itself into the future. On the other hand this determination must occur within the temporal understanding of the eternal return. as the source of all things and as that which gives and takes. The will to power wills form. he wills something particular or a finite aim. conceives time as an infinite circle which digests and returns all forms. The ruling human being returns to the earth if his will to dominate is conscious of the eternal return. however. It conceives it as the flux of life which manifests itself on the one hand always in finite forms but sublates these forms again on the other hand as the infinite itself. Within the openness of the eternal return he knows of the final meaninglessness of his intended meaning. This contradiction does not refute their truth but is rather a fundamental truth of life itself. It would be highly naive if we overlooked the hidden double meaning that Nietzsche introduces into all his visions of the future human world. The will seems to be a creative force which aims to create form. He is someone who has a clearly defined day and yet he is rooted in the night where all is one. to the insight of the two truths of the will to power and the eternal return. The eternal return transforms all future into a repetition and thus into a past. Man is the master of the earth because he is empowered to such a human existence by the earth when he recognizes it as the great mother. He is similarly at home in the dual realm of light and concealment. then the autonomous human existence must also be determined by the will to power. The eternal return destroys form.
Nietzsche thinks the flux of things. The will to power and the eternal return relate to each other like the Apollonian and the Dionysian. It is unified in the name of the God Dionysos who is according to traditional myth an ambiguous God. The will to power and the eternal return relate to each other like the principle of limit to the principle of infinity. However. The individual and finite thing reflects the eternity of the cosmos. The will to power as cognition arrests becoming in the realms of nature. but it is also the negation of a negation.the Dionysian world
ambivalent because truth itself has a dual nature. it also drives them into the arena of an opposing strife. flooding life into finite forms. the cosmic time which grants temporality and the sea where the 'forms' are merely waves through the eternal return. that is it negates them again. does not stop here at the end of this path and with this seemingly rigid dualism. It is . They take. of difference.to quote Hegel . The eternal return thinks the primordial existence of the cosmos. We experience eternal life. so to speak. rather.Discipline and Breeding . of war. He is mysteriously identical to Apollo in whose temple he is worshipped in Delphi. implies the presence of infinity for and within all finite being. finite and individual human being. The original contrast between two artistic principles radicalizes itself to become a contrast between the will to power and the eternal return. however. like peiras to apeiron. He is the God of the overflowing
. more precisely the flux which seems to solidify into things. Nietzsche thinks radically within the categories of the will to power and the eternal return. but he combines the two ambivalent aspects in his concept of Dionysos. It disappears. Only becoming and life are real. The will to power is the negation within being itself. shapes and structures created by the limited. Understanding all forms as repetitions makes concrete and historical existence timeless. in other words it is whatever separates the primordial one. Nietzsche. however. All forms of the will to power are really 'semblances'. history and art. forms. in the depth of the gaping abyss of time.not simply a negation which dissects and separates the one life. It is the forming principle and the creative power. The eternal return. Reality is the will to power and it is the eternal return. of their opposing struggle and of their struggle for power in which they overcome each other and ascend and in which one lives through the death of the other. The will to power does not only create the finite forms. the dualism of Nietzsche's early metaphysics of the artist to its conclusion. They are no things. It creates the ontological illusion called being which is in truth the being of appearance. He conceives cosmologically what he had already formulated in his first essay aesthetically as the opposition of the two principles of art. the principle of finitude does not only achieve the simple existence of the finite things but it is also the principle of their unsteadiness. The will to power is the cosmic principle of finitude and also the cosmic principle of opposition. like finitude to infinity and like being to the cosmos.
Although this fourth book is primarily an interpretation of a humanity formed by Nietzsche's new truths. the feeling of distance to them. states Heraclitus. Houtos de aides kai dionysos . 'All great times have their price. The only true order of rank is that corresponding to the only true power. If one has only understood that 'Dionysos' is Nietzsche's name for creative and destructive being itself and that it thus refers to the will to power and the eternal return together without destroying their opposition it also becomes clear why the fourth book of The Will to Power focuses on Dionysos. It is subject to the experience of the will to power and the eternal return. that is.'72 It is economically prudent for life to create the mass of average people as the basis for the higher type of man. This dual and contradictory educating discipline is ultimately the divine life of the cosmos. the human truth of Dionysos remains its central concern.69 Men are not equal. Nietzsche's doctrine of rank order argues polemically against the Christian idea of the equality of man vis-a-vis God and not only against modern levelling. The higher man must deal with the masses through the strategies of war. The great man is a kind of luxury and an exception violating the rule but still determined by it. of those levellers. Phallic songs are addressed to him and he is the God of death.70 Rank order is an order of power. He is also the dismembered and dissected God torn apart by the Maenads. He stands on them. 'A declaration of war by the higher being to the masses is required' he writes71 provocatively. The high existential tension characteristic of a higher humanity cannot be part of everyday life. Men are subject to the will to power with its necessary distinction between steps and those who climb them. that is human existence is interpreted in the light of the will to power. It is preceded by Nietzsche's doctrine of rank order. Rank is determined as Nietzsche puts it accordingly 'solely through the quantities of power and nothing else besides'.'73 Realizing that humans are not equal Nietzsche demands that the rule of the
. The existence of the masses implies itself a protection of the higher man from his kind and from its own acts of violence.158
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
excess of life. He calls the latter the 'ultimate nonsense known so far on earth'.one and the same are Hades and Dionyos. Human discipline is twofold.68 Nietzsche does not only refer to a mythical memory when he intends to articulate his ambivalent yet unified fundamental understanding of life. He is exposed to the dawn of a new divine mythos of the cosmos. such a declaration does not intend to extinguish the masses (something altogether impossible) but to use them as a condition of higher forms of humanity or to use it but not to succumb to it. Nietzsche states: 'He needs the opposition to the masses. Even the masters of the earth are still subject to the rule of the lord Dionysos. The 'Dionysos' chapter is followed by the humanity illuminated by the eternal return. he lives from them. However. corresponding to the power of life and to human vitality.
This aristocracy would form a conspiring association of higher men who guide the masses and rule them with two types of aims. For Nietzsche.'. conscious and artificial breeding of a counter-type with corresponding virtues given the advance of a type of herd animal in Europe today? Nietzsche does not fear consequences that horrify any moralist. He demands the use of all means including deception. .15 This means. in order to be teachable. Nietzsche understands the creation of elites as the aim of human breeding. Nietzsche conceives the nature of the philosopher anew: After trying for a long time and without success to connect the term 'philosopher' with a particular concept. a morality with the intention to breed a governing caste .Discipline and Breeding -the Dionysian world
strong be organized aristocratically to use the masses in the age of the masses. These thoughts have become suspect through the disastrous attempts which have themselves arisen through the masses. One question poses itself continuously to us. namely open and secret ones.76 The greatest power is the establishment and the creative design of a value system. This ruling caste of the future is for Nietzsche the condition of the new philosopher. those strong souls of today who rule themselves. . 'The new philosopher can only exist in connection with the ruling cast as its highest spirituality . that the humanity which exists on the basis of the truth of the will to power is completed in the explicit knowledge of the will to power. I recognized finally that there are two types of philosophers: (1) Those who wish to identify a particularly important fact about value judgements and (2) those who are the creators of such value judgements. The issue.must be introduced through the existing moral law. perhaps. Would it not be appropriate to attempt the radical. One cannot breed the masters of the earth with the zoological methods of horse breeders. betrayal and forgery: A morality which wishes to breed man to be higher rather than comfortable and mediocre. which Nietzsche encounters here with a cynical naivety. a tempting and terrible question.the future masters of the earth . with its words and under its guise. The will to power establishes its own conditions of struggle and the
.74 It must invent many 'means and deception'. Let us whisper it into the ears of those who have a right to hear such doubtful questions. has already become a fatal issue for our own century. the thought of breeding is much more radical and profound.
From a Greek perspective 'being is sacred enough to justify a morality of suffering'.'77 Nietzsche thinks of the philosopher here as the greatest man. Only when we succeed to understand Dionysos as the God of play can the divine play of the cosmos in the realm between heaven and earth be understood profoundly. however not like Plato or Aristotle who saw his highest rank in theoreia but in his creation of value and in his creative freedom. that is the Apollonian tendency and of the eternal return.160
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
dimension of its war in so far as it is human. and his own.80 From this climax of joy. In the next section entitled Dionysos it is difficult to recognize to what extent Nietzsche has a new religious vision or to what extent he merely uses the name 'Dionysos' as a label for the divinity of the cosmos.81 Dionysos is the unity of the will to power. It would be a difficult interpretation to find the precise border between Zarathustra's atheism. that is the Dionysian temporal depth of all finite things. intuitive and god-creating instinct. It is the inconceivable God of being and of the existing cosmos.78 Whoever has learnt to look around here and to perceive the connotations will be able to recognize the hesitant revelation of a new God in Nietzsche's last and fragmentary work. however in no greater detail than in the Zarathustra. The unity which unites the will to power and the eternal return is identified by Nietzsche but he does not characterize this unity itself although he moves towards a characterization of 'play' at all decisive points in his thinking. no summum ens and no God of fixed shape or form. which he summons here yet again. no being and not even the highest being. to the joy of healthy peasants and healthy half-human animals: This complete and immense spectrum of the light and the colour of happiness was identified by the Greeks not without a grateful shudder of those who are initiated into a mystery and not without much care and holy silence in the name of the God Dionysos. 'Whoever determines the values and directs the will of millennia by directing the most important characters is the greatest man. this is no God. It is 'open like the heavens'79 in whose light all things appear and it is immediate like the sealed earth to whom all created being returns. The final section deals with the eternal return. It is the great 'disciplining thought' condemning the weak races who cannot
. Dionysos is the holiness of being itself. as he calls it. where man perceives himself and himself entirely as a divine form and justification of nature. It is regarded as a human challenge to human discipline. From a Christian point of view suffering is the path towards a sacred existence beyond the world. However. Nietzsche contrasts the Greek Dionysos with the Christian martyr and opposes their respective conception of suffering.
Power is conceived as play reviving a tradition from Heraclitus to Hegel. it has never commenced to become and never ceased to pass away . The final section closes with the grand aphorism 1067 that exists in two versions. who perceive it as highly beneficial. And although one can only understand Nietzsche's philosophical language if one hears the resonance of the two-thousand-year-old western tradition in it.the Dionysian world
endure it and elevating the strong races. Although Nietzsche approaches the eternal return through an interpretation of life it is clear that this is a new cosmology. And yet this aphorism contains the entire history of western thought. The importance for life and the disciplining power of the doctrine of the eternal return are connected in the fact that all transience is only an appearance of a unique transience and is in truth infinite. Nietzsche's 'cosmos' is understood as a Leviathan of power. nothing that which passes away. Its cosmological categories are identical with those of Parmenides of the Eon of being or of the primordial one. Leibniz in the concept of the monad and Hegel in the fundamental category of power.Discipline and Breeding . He makes reference to all aspects of his thinking. to the will to power and the eternal return and to the unity of both within the concept of play which separates itself into opposites and reunites after this separation.it persists in both. 'The world exists. The philosophical importance appears to be the conception of inner-worldly being through the inexhaustible space-time of the cosmos. This directs the entire cosmos towards the path of an ontological interpretation of being as an Ergon which Aristotle questions in the discussion of dynamis and energeia. The world has no beginning and no end and yet it has a fixed form. since it exists in all things all things have the cosmic property of eternal existence notwithstanding their temporal transience. that is it returns for ever. In Parmenidean terms: the Eon is ateleston and telesmenon. He identifies clearly a new path of thinking through which he opposes and rejects the tradition. however. it passes away. they will continue to repeat eternally and continuously. It can not be decided with certainty if this is to be understood in a concrete sense and if our existence repeats itself an infinite number of times just like the sand running through the hourglass or if Nietzsche starts to approach for the first time the existence of the cosmos which provides all things and remains unexhausted in the giving and taking. And whatever else Nietzsche identifies within the mysterious concept of 'life' is explicitly conceived as the world or as the cosmic interplay of being. Or rather: It becomes.
. it is nothing. towards leadership. Whatever they do now. Thus the thought of the eternal return becomes the greatest anchor of human existence. Everything comes together here. he nevertheless deviates from the path of this tradition.93 Furthermore. to the fundamental connection between the Dionysian and the Apollonian.'82 The peculiar persistence of the world and its eternity within the transitory change of the things is clearly and especially identified in this quote. that which becomes. And since the world is no vessel in which the things are present.
The cosmos is 'rational'. Reason is a part and an aspect of the cosmos. The cosmos is not comprehensible through reason or through a relationship with an 'ideal' and transcendental cosmos but rather the opposite. This is different for Nietzsche. of the idea of the Good which contains all ideas. It is not divine in the sense that this divinity retains a reference outside itself. of beginning. a firm. The heavenly notions of the stars reveal the reason of the universe as it were. he uses the image of the Agathan. As a reflection of the Agathon the cosmos contains the many things like the Agathon the many ideas. of end. It is divine in absorbing all references even to God or to the devil. It is profound in all its intricacies and full of a deep meaning that eludes an exhaustive conceptualization perhaps for some time to come yet. And do you know what the world is for me? Do you want me to show you it in my mirror? This world. good and evil. The cosmos itself is beyond purpose. in which all movement occurs and which remains eternal in its change.
. his cosmic vision. its idea tou agathon grants it the character of reason. should be cited despite its length. Although the aphorism refers to the will to power as the 'key to all puzzles' and thus emphasizes this aspect especially. the conceptual thrust of the entire thought shows the contrast of the will to power to the infinity of the eternal return. The rationale of all things follows from an aspect of the cosmos itself. namely the will to power and the eternal return. Reason is no property which could be added to the cosmos from somewhere outside. In the Timaios even Plato had thought of the cosmos as a great thing. however. It is not just revelation (Lichtungf*. it is also the concealment of being. this leviathan of power. it is a limited view to see in the will to power Nietzsche's basic ontological formula and to view this as an extreme position of contemporary subjective metaphysics which conceives the beingness of being as an object of representation and thus as a product of a representative power. meaning. not like an eternally present material but rather like time itself which endures despite the passing of the temporal events. This view which we will still need to deal with properly because it is the Nietzsche interpretation of some of the greatest living thinkers perhaps only reaches the metaphysical aspects of Nietzsche and his reluctant dependence on history which he intends to overcome. Both opposing aspects have their unity and centre in Dionysos. The concluding aphorism. to light and night and to good and evil. The image-character of the cosmos. Nietzsche explicates his two fundamental thoughts of his positive philosophy. But it does not reach the will to power and its inner relationship to the eternal return. It rests in the light of being. in a remarkable way. because all its meaning and all its purpose are immanent. However. Since the will to power has been conceived in opposition to the eternal return and vice-versa.162
The Destruction of the Western Tradition
The world is seemingly conceived as the all-embracing being in which all things come and go. The cosmos has no meaning and no purpose. which summarizes all aspects of this.
Discipline and Breeding - the Dionysian world
iron edifice of power which does not increase or diminish, which does not exhaust itself but only changes, remains in its entirety constant, a budget without expenses and income, but also without increase, without profit, is embraced by 'nothing' like a border, - nothing vague, nothing wasted, nothing infinitely extended, but a denned power embedded in a denned space and not in an 'empty' space, but rather as power everywhere, as a play of powers and waves of power at once one and many, increasing here and diminishing there at the same time, a sea of internally storming and flooding powers, eternally changing, eternally recurring with immense years of recurrence, with an ebb and flood of forms, expelling the simplest towards the most diverse, from the most silent, most fixed, coldest towards the hotest, wildest, most self-contradictory and then again returning from the fullness home to simplicity, from the interplay of contradiction back to the pleasure of harmony, to affirm itself even in this uniformity of its paths and years, to bless itself as that, which has to return eternally, as a becoming, which knows no satisfaction, no weariness and no fatigue: This, my Dionysian world, of the eternally-self-creating, of the eternally-self-destroying, this mysterious world of the double desires, this, my beyond of good and evil without purpose, unless there is a happiness of the circle in the purpose of no will, unless there is a ring which wills itself- do you want a name for this world? A solution to all its puzzles? A light even for you, you most hidden, you strongest, most courageous, darkest? - This world is the will to power - and nothing else! And even you are the will to power - and nothing else!85 Is Nietzsche's cosmic vision only the end of metaphysics or is he the passionate herald of a new ontological experience?
Nietzsche's Relationship to Metaphysics as
Imprisonment and Liberation
1. THE FOUR TRANSCENDENTAL DIMENSIONS OF THE PROBLEM OF BEING AND THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF NIETZSCHE'S PHILOSOPHY. THE COSMIC CONCEPT OF PLAY AS AN EXTRA-METAPHYSICAL QUESTION It is now particularly important to emphasize the question more strongly that underpins the representation of Nietzsche's philosophy. Does Nietzsche belong to the history of philosophy as one thinker among many, as one more or less relevant figure in the long succession of ontological interpretations, which have pursued a persistent basic question ever since the Eleatics or is he indeed an innovator, a pioneer, a precursor, a 'herald and cock crow' of a new cosmic age, the dawn of a new, gay science which perhaps still stammers and searches for its own voice in the 'drinking song'? Is he a thinker who has experienced impotence and admits to be 'merely a fool, merely a poet' and who identifies himself with Zarathustra 'full of prophetic spirit, on the high yoke travelling between the seas'? We have attempted to uncover the fundamental aspects of Nietzsche's thinking in a journey through Nietzsche's writings. His basic ontological equation of being and value, his doctrine of the will to power, of the eternal return, of the death of God and of the overman. We have been unable to engage truthfully and comprehensively with the fateful thinker who also determines our life whether we choose to or not. However, we are not prepared for this anyhow. A true engagement would need to go further than a mere critique which detects mistaken interpretations of traditional philosophies in this dazzling, in every sense of the word, dazzling spirit, which criticizes his sophistry, which reveals his art of detection and which finds his inability for conceptualization and his presumptuous divination suspicious. A true engagement could and would have to occur in a pre-conceptual way grasping that which Nietzsche fails to grasp and which broke the will to power of his intellectual passion. He resembles the mythical figure of Tantalous. The sole object worthy of thought, namely the cosmic All and aim of the 'great yearning' eludes his grasp. At the end of his path of thinking he addresses the self-contradictory and ambiguous essence of
The four transcendental dimensions of the problem of being
the All in the mythical image of Dionysos. For Nietzsche this is the formlesslyforming, creatively-destroying God whose face is the mask, whose appearance is concealed and who is one and many, overflowing life and the simple calmness of the underworld. Nietzsche's dithyrambs to Dionysos resonate with a tantalic pain within the magic circle of a language growing poetical through resignation and impotence at its most pure perhaps in the poem The sun is setting which refers in its final stanza to the 'golden boat' of Dionysos approached by the boat of the poet: 'Seventh Solitude/1 never sensed it/ closer to me sweet certainty/ warmer the face of the sun/ Does the ice of my peaks still glow?/ Silvery, light like a fish/ my boat glides into the distance ...'.' Poetry becomes the preliminary salvation of a pre-conceptual cosmic intuition beyond language that distinguishes itself from metaphysics. In the context of the spiritual richness, experience, intuition and most sophisticated psychology and existential experience of Nietzsche's philosophy, the categorization of his philosophy into four basic aspects may appear as an impermissible simplification. And yet, in their relation and interdependence these aspects make up the essential and basic structure of Nietzsche's thinking. Only with the knowledge of the death of God, that is with the decline of the idealistic other-world can the will to power life come into view as constitutive for life. And in so far as time is seen as a path for the will to power the eternal return can become visible and the overman can appear as that human being with the tragic truth. Nietzsche proclaims his fundamental doctrine in a conscious and explicit contrast to tradition. He struggles against western metaphysics. However, does he really find a new ground or does he remain dependent on metaphysics in this struggle against metaphysics? This question of alternatives is put too simply. The rule of traditional metaphysics is not yet broken if one renounces it. Here too, not everyone is free who ridicules his chains. The deviation from the path of metaphysics is not just a new method or mode of thought, something that man could accomplish through himself. It is rather and more primordially an event which captures man or a fate which he experiences. In Ecce Homo Nietzsche finds the language for the consciousness of his fate. One understands little about the greatness of this thinker if one merely detects here the tone of an immense hubris or of a mad self-overestimation. Nietzsche is struck by lightning. He is burnt by a light of a new dawn of the truth of being in its entirety. He says there among other things: The discovery of Christian morality has no equal. It is a real catastrophe. Whoever understands it is a force majeure, a fate. He breaks the history of man into two parts. One lives before him, one lives after him. The lightning stroke of truth struck precisely that which was the highest so far.2
meet us from the open realm of the cosmos. the totality of being. die highest being and the revelation of being. of becoming. that is. In Nietzsche's words: revaluation of all values. While it is crucial that philosophy relies on the four-dimensional. The highest is destroyed: everything is inverted. Things. resurrection and return. It reflects about being. In Nietzsche's view die Crucified represents a morality which is foreign to life and a Utopian religious and metaphysical ideal. The Crucified is for him not only the symbol of Christianity but He also symbolizes Plato and Socrates. How do his four basic doctrines relate to die horizons of a metaphysical ontology? Metaphysics is the thinking which determines being in its beingness. The limit is a boundary towards nothingness. is for Nietzsche a symbol of great suffering renouncing the concrete world and referring beyond itself as the great leader towards a transcendental life. The metaphysical approach is inner-worldly and fourfold.166
Nietzsche's Relationship to Metaphysics as Imprisonment and Liberation
One could hardly describe the essence of a new cosmic intuition more succinctly and more convincingly. The reason for this fourfold division is difficult to clarify. We have just established how Nietzsche uses the contrast between being and becoming and makes it the pivotal point of his philosophy. In being a
. being and appearance and being and diinking. How can Nietzsche's relationship to metaphysics be determined? We do not mean with this question his own opinion about metaphysics but we ask how we can and need to characterize this relationship. being and becoming. The Crucified. Metaphysics focuses basically on die existing diings. the deeply suffering and profoundly pleasurable. The statement 'Dionysos against the Crucified' places a caesura into the history of the world. diat is on the manifold. Dionysos is the God of suffering like the Crucified. death and decline are always merely the other sides of pleasure. finite and limited beings or on things. He concludes Ecce Homo with the aggressive sentence in which not only two religions collide. ontological horizon this does not bring die ontological dimensionality itself into view. which are themselves finite things in respect of time and space. of appearance and of thinking. Such an intuition has the character of a lightning strike. Dionysos is life itself. however die suffering Dionysos is always sublated by the dark pleasure of procreation of which he is the master as he is the master of death. If this is taken to be the thing. Wherever we encounter 'being' we encounter a hidden horizon of nothing. It investigates being as such. The uncanny symbolism of this sentence is not easily comprehended. Suffering. die individual or die finite tiling tiien being already shelters nodiingness since it is limited. We already distinguish normally being and nodiing. however. the creative and destructive cosmic life in which we are at home in a questionable way and which shelters but also exposes us. It is based on the dimensions of die concept of being itself. a philosophical tradition focusing on the order of inner-worldly things rather than the existing all-comprising cosmos.
Appearances are not only not real. It thinks the On He On. Hen. one and only aspect of the manifold yet homogenous being. as an Ergon in the realm of dynamis and energeia. They do not belong to thinking but to opinion whereas the ideas are the truly existing. If the things are investigated in the light of their authenticity or unauthenticity. For Aristotle this is the character of a categorical interpretation of Ousia on the one hand and an interpretation of the thing as a work. a desire by the strong to rule the weak and an eternal struggle for
.The four transcendental dimensions of the problem of being
defined thing. namely On. immovable and most constant existing entities belonging to thinking. Bonum. We ask independently: does Nietzsche's fourfold division of his fundamental questions have an immanent connection with this metaphysical division? Does his attempt to invert metaphysics remain within the realm of metaphysical questions? The doctrine of the will to power is Nietzsche's doctrine of the existence of being. Unum. Omnis determinatio est negatio. Verum. the question of the highest being is posed. it is no other thing. The will to power drives and urges all living things forward. If the tension between being and thinking becomes predominant the truth of being and accordingly the human relevance of this truth is brought into view. medieval and modern philosophy in their own characteristic way. created and destroyed things of appearance and the being of the things shows itself in their participation in the ideas. All things are struggling. Metaphysics thinks the ontological structure of the things in an existence of a thing hollowed by nothingness. The fourfold schema of traditional metaphysics could perhaps be developed only properly in an analysis of the history and origins of metaphysical ideas. If the context is the relationship between being and becoming the attention is focused on motion and the totality of all the tilings in motion. being and appearance and being and thinking. To put it simply: these four ontological horizons correspond to the four transcendentals which define classical. Plato interprets being through a fixed. It is a struggle for overcoming. The being of all finite being is a never-ending destruction of limits. The non-existence of the things shows itself in the unsteadiness of the future. however it does not absolutely sublate limitation as such but moves limits in an unstable way. Strictly speaking he does not (as we have already seen) recognize firm. Agathon. Alethes or Ens. Plato sees an intimate connection between the ontological explication of being and nothingness with that of being and becoming. finite things. We can indicate this much: Wherever the ontological interpretation relies on the context and connection between being and nothing the attention is directed towards being as such. they are also exposed to generation and decline and unauthentic and only apparently existing. What appears to be a defined and individual thing is merely a transient formation of the will to power or a quantum of power which does not remain constant but is rather in motion. the thing is also not something else.
Despite his rejection of the Platonic. The whole which embraces all changing things. He objects to the opinion of an illusory. which inhabits being. All finite beings are seen as 'formations of the shaping will to power. namely the Dionysian and Apollonian life itself. The death of God implies a denial of the traditional distinction between being and appearance. as the limit of the latter but as a movement of this limit and as the existence of the difference which is created by life within itself and which continues to rage in the creations of this struggle negating their limits and causing them to move forward. The totality of being can only make sense as a totality of change since the thing is primarily interpreted in respect of the change effected by the will to power. is his intellectual focus in the doctrine of the eternal return? Nietzsche conceives in this the totality of motion itself. time has not yet run out and it still is continuing into the future. How can the totality of time precede an individual extension of time. It is the future already. Thinking about the death of God is thinking about the issue of being and appearance for Nietzsche. And finally the doctrine of the overman
. This makes it possible to conceive time as a totality or to conceive the totality of time. Will to power is being and nothingness in their original relation to motion. however? Our common understanding of time presupposes that time itself is basically incomplete. artful creations of beautiful semblance' which are created and destroyed. Since he denies fixed. Firstly he sees being through the perspective of value and secondly he takes up this distinction again in the phenomenon of art. He does not conceive the nothing. The things are still changing. The Ontos On is no idea for him and it is no God. All finite things are something unformed and restless which merely assumes a form under the influence of power. It is no summum ens which could be approached as the highest ranking Absolute or as an Agathon and thus as the measure of all things. metaphysical and transcendent realm. This matter is completely different if all temporal events are understood to be repetitions in principle. What. Nietzsche thus does not conceive the existence of things as an enduring form. unchanging things the totality cannot imply a concept of resting things which are present. Totality is not primarily set as a spatial totality and not as a sum or a heap of things. which envelops and transcends the unsteady development of their struggle for power cannot be a result of the change to the limitation of the things. The doctrine of the will to power is Nietzsche's answer to the metaphysical question of being as such. Nietzsche remains trapped in it. It is his verdict in the case of being against nothingness. however. Christian or Kantian conception of this difference. Time is no longer the infinitely incomplete which is only realized fully in the future. All events are transcended and embraced by time itself because they are repetitions. Since it is a temporal totality it precedes immanent temporal change. made and demolished by the primordial artist. concrete world and a real.168
Nietzsche's Relationship to Metaphysics as Imprisonment and Liberation
Nietzsche remains within the ontological dimensions of nothing.beyond all being. the greatest thing worthy of knowledge and the target of all education of the philosopher-king in The Republic is for Plato no value but the essence of the ideas. Such is the essence of the Platonic Good. becoming. This thinking takes the form of an insight or an intuition. The Agathon is not only more existent than the things of sense perception. He relies on these dimensions but does not bring their role explicitly or radically into view itself. the Agathon combines cognizance and identity of existence to all ideas. Nietzsche does not believe that this human truth of the cosmos realizes itself in an abstract or conceptual thinking. Even for Plato for whom philosophy is otherwise dialegesthai . It is the Aletheia of a cosmically open existence. Just like the sun that lends visibility to all things in the realm of vision and grants them growth. the Good is Epikeina Tes Ousias . This implies however no immediate sense perception of the given for Nietzsche.even for Plato the heart of philosophy is guarded by silence. that is the idea of the ideas. In summary. Even the origin of this identification is found already in Plato. Thus even in his rejection of the discursive concept and with the conception of the highest truth as a 'showing' Nietzsche still remains on the ground of a tradition which he intends to overcome. Nietzsche's questions correspond to the structure of western metaphysics. It eludes the concept and remains perhaps inexpressible.the account of being through a dialogue with friends or within the soul itself . appearance and thinking like the metaphysical tradition that he opposes. As that which grants being. being in its entirety as the eternal return of the same. the highest being on the one hand negatively as the death of God and then again positively as the Apollonian-Dionysian play which creates all things as products of appearance like an artist and the work of art. Nietzsche's philosophy is in this sense ontologically as tame as the tradition from which he wishes to distinguish himself. This inexpressible quality may find its voice possibly only through poetry.unsayable.The four transcendental dimensions of the problem of being
is more than an instruction to lead a 'dangerous life' or the pathos of the Zarathustra — character is (despite the fact that he uses these formulas) more than a Caesare Borgia or a 'Caesar with a Christian soul'. To be sure the Good. It is Arrheton . the will to power and the eternal return. He is a prisoner of metaphysics in a further sense since he predominantly interprets being as value. it is also more real than the enduring ideas. Finally he grasps the truth of all this in so far as it is human through the overman. He remains within the spell of metaphysics even where he already celebrates his victory over it. The overman is humanity that has realized the death of God. the Agathon which Plato calls megiston mathema. He thinks the beingness of being as the will to power. All things appear in the light of the Agathon and thus every finite thing that is exposed to this light is in some ways
. but the divinatory intuition of the essence of the cosmos which cannot be expressed in common everyday language.
at least not in the sense that the things exist first and receive added predicates of value later.'3 Having value is a fundamental ontological determination which Nietzsche attributes to finite being. Heidegger believes that Nietzsche is a prisoner of metaphysics in so far as he completes its basic aspects in a particular way. they always exist for someone. This doctrine establishes precisely the meaninglessness and valuelessness of that whole in which all evaluation occurs.170
Nietzsche's Relationship to Metaphysics as Imprisonment and Liberation
'good'. Nietzsche essentially concludes modern metaphysics and thinks it through to its end. Since according to Nietzsche the essence of things is the will to power values are presupposed and projected by the will to power as 'conditions of survival and growth'. This does not imply a negative evaluation of life and world. Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche as contained in Holzzvege denies that Nietzsche essentially succeeds to break through towards a free cosmic vision. In the fourfold structure of his question and in the basic value-philosophical approach Nietzsche remains indebted to metaphysics. Such a projection establishes the directions and aims of the will to power. Every being has value because the will to power flows through and permeates the motion of things. The eternal return establishes a spatial and temporal dimension for the expansion of the will to power. Antiquity understands truth as uncovery of being (Aletheia) or as the lighting in which all things appear and show themselves. They are no aspects of objects . the
. However. however. For Nietzsche all values are within life. For modernity truth gains the character of certitude following the Platonic conception of truth as an adequate view or vision of the ideas. is a basic characteristic of the entirety of being or becoming in accordance with the thought of the eternal return. Truth becomes a way in which man. Heidegger's interpretation is predominantly guided by the will to power. Nietzsche's basic approach is this: the ontological value follows from the modern metamorphosis of the classical relation between On and Agathon. which he nevertheless passionately opposes. Values do not exist as such. Absence of value. that is to determine it as value. Modernity commences with an essential change towards truth. is complete or if he somehow transcends it. but the realization of the impossibility to evaluate them since they are the whole in which all values occur and all valuing takes place. Life itself or the world itself has no value. For modernity and especially for Kant the transcendental ontological characteristics become necessarily relative to the subject for which all objects are since Kant determines being through objects. towards their mere simple presence is already a matter of certain perspectives of value. it remains a central question of any interpretation of Nietzsche whether this dependency on metaphysics. they are in the cosmos. The goodness is a transcendental character of being. Values correspond to value judgements. 'The total value of the world cannot be estimated. And this enables Nietzsche to determine the goodness of all things accordingly through a relativity of all things to man. The openness towards things.
While the idealism of Kant. the question remains open whether Nietzsche does not already leave the metaphysical dimensions of any problems essentially and intentionally behind in his conception of the cosmos. freedom and play. Only where the cosmic play comes into view. The overman is interpreted thus by Heidegger through the human being who is ready to will the will to power and who takes over the rule of the earth. It is thus not something that will occur as a completely new form of existence at some stage but it is inherent in our human and indeterminate subjectivity even if it is not yet developed to gigantic excess. The driving force of the representation is the will. it referred to primordial being as will and spirit.The four transcendental dimensions of the problem of being
conscious subject. Even if Nietzsche comes frequently close to Hegel who says at one point that the play in its indifference and its 'ultimate recklessness is at the same time the most sublime and only true seriousness'. Everything is will to power. There is a non-metaphysical originality in his cosmological philosophy of 'play'. With his doctrine of the will to power Nietzsche completes in Heidegger's view the metaphysics of modernity which conceives substance through power and through the self. It becomes a cosmic metaphor. Heidegger interprets the will to power through a modern conception of substance which for Leibniz is the monad and both appetitus and perceptio and which is ontologically determined as power. The subjective perception of being or the perceptio on the other hand is a drive which represents or a representation which is driven . Nevertheless. the playing cosmic child. Rather vice versa: the human essence can only be conceived and determined through play if man is conceived in its ecstatic openness towards the existing world and not simply as a thing among other things within the cosmos distinguished by the faculties of mind and reason. Representation as such is a violating will to power. Nietzsche makes the human playing. The subject is will and representation. time. Schelling and Hegel referred often to the connection between imagination. the playing of the child and the artist into a key concept for the universe. Representation is an objectification. his Heracliteanism with Zeus.and this concurrently not separately or successively. This does not mean that the human ontological modality is uncritically applied to being in its entirety. Heidegger's Nietzsche interpretation is essentially based on Heidegger's summary and insight into the history of being and in particular on his interpretation of the metaphysics of modernity. The subject's own experience of itself becomes the ontological essence. Even the early writings indicate the mysterious dimension of play including the metaphysics of the artist. the Pais Paizon.4 Nietzsche refers to their joint root Heraclitus and not to the metaphysician Hegel. Nietzsche brings this hidden basis into view. where the conceptual view breaks through the Apollonian illusion and sees through the constructs of finite appearance to perceive the
. which is what it is by revealing itself to a subject. Being is essentially conceived as an object that is as a thing. reaches certainty about being.
. Similarly. The posthumous work contains a late statement: Tragic art. covered by the innocent and careless heavens. rich in both experiences. The halcyon aspect of the vision of the overman refers to the player not to the violent aggressor or the technical giant. the will to power has no longer the characteristics of reifying being for a conscious subject but it has the character of Apollonian formation. Taking the perspective of a tragicDionysian worldview. The name for the fathomless all-power of play is Dionysos. Where Nietzsche conceives being and becoming as play he no longer remains within the boundaries of metaphysics. It plays the Dionysian ground which gives birth to the Apollonian illusion of the existing forms and which drives the finite things 'with the whip to the fields'. the playing man who remains ecstatically exposed to the formless and forming God Dionysos does not live in the wandering wilfulness of absolute freedom. the realm of a pretended. Nietzsche
Nietzsche's Relationship to Metaphysics as Imprisonment and Liberation
creative. Man has the tremendous possibility to grasp illusion as illusion and to immerse himself in the great cosmic play through his own playing and to experience himself in this immersion as the participant of the cosmic play. the deepest importance is given to appearance by Dionysos: And this appearance is even denied and denied with pleasure . and the destruction even of the most beautiful appearance drives the Dionysian happiness to its highest climax.'7 However.where the ascent and decline of the finite. illusory world of play. productive and destructive 'life' itself. as embedded in the great play of the birth and the death of all things and as immersed in the tragedy and comedy of universal being.5 It plays joining and separating. the realm of a metaphysical conception of being as being is the dimension of that which forgets itself. He is a participant in the play of the cosmos and wills profoundly that which is necessary. The cosmos plays.. as the dice game of divine chance. The eternal return of the same on the other hand conceives the all-embracing. is described as a reconciliation of Apollo and Dionysos. This ecstatic happiness of Dionysian transcendence is already expressed in the fragment by Heraclitus which refers to the cosmos as a scattered rubbish heap. weaving death and life into one beyond good and evil and beyond all value because any value only appears within the play. temporal forms is experienced as a dance and a round.6 The climactic Dionysian happiness is found in a frightening experience that reveals the emptiness of all individual formations and reclaims all individuality for the process of the individuating play. In Ecce Homo Nietzsche states: 'I know no other way to deal with great tasks than the play: This is as an indication for greatness and an essential pre-condition. man can experience himself in his playful productivity as connected to the life of the All. all-providing and all-eliminating play-time of the world.
. O eternity!'8
. The Dionysian dithyramb Fame and Eternity expresses Nietzsche's essential and existential experience of his thought and poetry as the cosmic harmony between man and world in the play of necessity: ' . .The four transcendental dimensions of the problem of being
uses the formula 'amorfatf for this will which does not just resign itself to a fate but which participates in the cosmic play. shield of necessity!/ Highest stars of being!/ no wish reaches you/ no denial can tarnish you/ eternal yes to being/1 am forever your yes/ because I love you.
This page intentionally left blank
'The Birth of Tragedy'. Fink cites Nietzsche from an edition of Nietzsche's works published by Kroner. I. Walter Kaufrnann. 19. The Birth of Tragedy and The Case of Wagner.. Hollingdale. I. Trans. J. Ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Ecce Homo. 9. The fundamental equation of being and value 2. 4. Werke. 326. Inc. 3. Walter Kaufrnann. Walter Kaufrnann. New York: Random House. 2. As far as could be established this edition is identical with the edition prepared by Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche in 1905. XV. p. XV. 3. 20. Friedrich. 5. Random House. Inc. Nietzsche's philosophy behind masks 1. Ecce Homo. Nietzsche. Nietzsche.Notes
Translator's Foreword 1. p.: New York. 3. p. 1967. 5. I. pp 3-144. p.. XV. p. p. 7. I. Friedrich. p. 6. Friedrich. p. 20. New York: Random House. 63. 65. The psychology of Art and Art as Cognition of the World
8. Citations used in this translation are those used by Fink (Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche) and translated. 1961. Nietzsche. 62.
. I. 10. p. Thus spoke Zarathustra. Nietzsche. Trans. Nietzsche. XI. Trans. R. p. Inc. 1967. 2. Chapter One: The 'Metaphysics of the Artist' 1.
206. 'Urgrund'. p.pp. p. X.
4. 68. X.p. p. 170. 21. IX. p. Barnes. 18. p.47. 34. p. 68.
5. VI. 24. X. p. X. 24. cf. Jonathan. 25. 33. 12. 102. 99. 13. XV. 26. 45. 57. I. footnote I. 13. 151. XV. 44.p. 32.p. 23. It appears that the context for Fink's terminology ('das Ganze des Seins') is Heidegger's ontological difference. 37. 31. 23. 'Das Ganze des Seins' (Being as a whole.5. I.176
11. 19. I. 41. p. 30. 95.
. 31.X. 39. 45. p.41. p. XV. 42. 74. p. 43. I. 22.p. 189. p. 44. 196. 194. 41. p. 'Ur-Eine'. 'Socratism' against tragic wisdom 20. 15.p. X. p. 27. 17. Untimely Meditations. 72. 38. I. p. 28. 168. 37. I. 14. 205. I. IX.p. p. I. Early Greek Philosophy. Culture and Genius 35. 52. I. X. 8. I. p. X. I. X. X. p. p. 153. 'education'. 'Ur-Wesen'. p. 62. ontic being). ontological Being) is distinguished from 'das Seiende im Ganzen' (being in its entirety. 16.p. 40. p. 29. XV. 169. 36. I. p. X. p.
213. VI. IV. p. VI. p. VI. p. 94. The philosophy of the morning (Dawn and The Gay Science) 11. 414.
. 9. II. 6. p. 17. 16. 15. 14. 62. 13. 34. VI. II. p. p. XV. V pp. XV. p. p. VI. p. VI. 3. p. 118. XV. 13. VI. VI. 18. p. p. 18. Form. 13. 14. 109. 12.Notes Chapter Two: Nietzsche's Enlightenment 1. 4. p. p. IV. 8. 360-361. 476. II. p. p. 73. VI. II. 20. 12. p. p. The overman and the death of God
7. p. VI. 13. p. 16. p. 200. VI. p. 36. XV. p. The psychology of unmasking and the scientific perspective
1. 10. 5. 151. II. 36. 8. XV. 97. style and structure of Thus spoke Zarathustra
1. 5. 2. 79. VI. 4. 2.
2. p. VI. VI. p. 19. Chapter Three: The Proclamation 1. p. 3. 33. 'through/ from the inferior'. XV. IV. 9. n. II. 90. 13. 24. 10. 11. 91. 7. p. p. 6. p. p. 42. 49. 13. 28.
The eternal return: the cosmological conception of the problem of morality. p. 36. 33. 45. Zarathustra and the Higher Man
47. VI. 124. 292. 100. p. The eternal return: Of the vision and the riddle. 124. 23. The eternal recurrence: Of the Great Yearning
44. VI. 35. p. p. p. p. 258. p.
4. 40. 46. 21.
. p. VI. 328. VI. 253. 228. 25. 48. VI. p. p. p. 124. 24. VI. p. VI. VI. VI. p. p. Before Sunrise
32. 287. VI. p. XV. VI. p. The eternal recurrence: The Seven Seals. p. VI. VI.178
Notes 3. VI. 34. 125. XV. 38. p. 39. The recurrence of the same
37. 22. 41. VI. 398. VI. 20. 28. 203. p. 324. p. VI. 334. VI. 30. VI. VI. VI. 31. p. 26. 224. VI. 125. VI. 125. 85. 226. p. 43. p. 149. 281. p. p. VI. p. The Will to Power
19. 314. p. VI. 274. VI. 240. p. 29. 153. 157.
5. VI. 163. 42. p. 27. VI. 125. p.
347. VII. VII. VII. 313. 29. p. 437. VI. 11. p. VIII. 31. VII. VI. 235. 102. 312. VI. The Genealogy of Morals
15. 380.36. p. p. p. VII. VII.
Chapter Four: The Destruction of the Western Tradition 1. 24. 3. 430. p. VH. VI. VII. 4. VII. VI. 26. 103.p. p. 430. 12. Beyond Good and Evil
2.p. 50. p. 10. 271. 14.Notes
49. 87. VII. p. p. XV. 28. VII.
. 336. VII. 317. 14. The Antichrist and The Twilight of the Idols
27. VIE. 337. VII. 9. 23. 20. VII. p. 270. p.
VI. p. 60. 312. VII. VHI. 51. 101. 16. 313. 2. 25. 135. The transcendental creation of value. VII. p. p. p. 256. 483.
3. 130. 436. 52. p. p. 18. p. 484. 7. 30. 53. p. p. 8. VH. p.p. 6. 472. 5. 17. 21. 419. p. p. p. p. 36. VII. VII.' VIII. VII. p. p. VII. 426. XV. XV. VIII. 22. 379. 19. 13. p. 54. p. VII. 419. p. 63. p. p.
47. 79. 5. XV. XVI. p. p. The posthumous work The Will to Power. XV. 77. p. 59. XV. IX. p. p. VIII. p. p. 141. The negative ontology of the thing 58. 45. 38. 48. VIII. 36. 74. 39. 442.
6. p. 222. VIII. 56. 75. p. XV. 35. 153. 37. 41. 190.
. XVI. p. p. p. 46. XV. p. 272. 55. 44. 83. VHI. p. p. XV. 66. p. 57. The problem of nihilism
49. 146. 179. 94. XV. p. 33. XV. 34. XV. VIII. p. 446. p. 64. 47. p. 67. p. 101. p. 150. XVI. VIII. p. p. XVI.
32. p. VIII. 51. XV. p. 50. 76. The ontological idea and the moral ideal 43. XV. XIV. 62. 54. 42. 52. 225. p. XVI. 81. VHI. XVI. 78. p. XVI. 101. XVI. p. p. 60. VII. 70. 241. 65. p. p.p. 145. 19. 63. XVI. 68. XVI. p. VIII. p. p. VIII. 402. 5. 489. 40. 61. 152. 53. 353. XV. 187. 80. 73. Vm.
p. p. Heraclitus. XVI. 71. 77. 78. p. 399. p.the Dionysian world 68. 279. 74.
. 7. 5. 389. 3. 47. XVI. XV. XVI. 85. VIII. 292. 351. 81. XVI. 72. p. XVI. XVI. Hoelderlin. Diels-Kranz. p. XIV. Erste Druckschriften (Lasson 1928). p. 4. XVI. 365. 401. p.4: 42. 6. p. Fragment B 8. p. XVI. 386. 277. p. 2. The four transcendental dimensions of the problem of being and the basic principles of Nietzsche's philosophy 1. 75. XVI. XVI. XVI. 168. In lieblicherBlaeue. p. 347.Notes 7. 70. 285. 73. p. 125. XV. 84. p. p. 436. p. 82. XVI. 80. Fragment B 15. 338. XVI. 76. 8. XVI. XVI. 128. VTII. p. 83. Hegel. Diels-Kranz. p. 391. 69. 359. Discipline and Breeding . p. p. 79. 428. 336. Fragment B 11 (Diels-Kranz). In Heidegger translations this is frequently referred to as 'Lighting'.
Chapter Five: Nietzsche's Relationship to Metaphysics as Imprisonment and Liberation 1. p. F.
18.104.22.168. 86-94.172 artist 26.157.119 cosmos 21.148. 38. 66. 50.133.97-9. 172 Apollonian 11. 99.98. 117.73.54. 170.83 eternal recurrence. 58.148-53. 148-50.144 culture 26-30. 20. 22.214.171.124. 143.28. 169 Concerning Truth and Deception in the extramoral sense 24 conscience 118. 62. 63-9.79-126.96.36.199-9 Aristotle 151.150. 188.8.131.52.77. The 8 categories 149-51 Christianity.184.108.40.206. 220.127.116.11 cognition 147-51.11. 18.104.22.168.33.152.96. 22.214.171.124. 55.134. 110.34. 50-2.161.160 Attempt at a Self-Criticism 11 Augustine 92 becoming 24. 88.143.
. creativity 126.96.36.199-2.43. 188.8.131.52. 73.169. 184.108.40.206.160-220.127.116.11. 101.147.143-53.95. 155. 34. 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.74.128. 28.125 altruism 146 Antichrist.102-126.96.36.199 Beyond Good and Evil 8.69. The 8.28. 33.69.36-188.8.131.52.26.109.22. 108. 158.95.16. 184.108.40.206-23.18.135.
93. 114.130-3.169.55. 134 atheism 122. 100.117.115.12-220.127.116.11 Caesar 113 Case of Wagner.119.63. 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.115.38.144 aphorism 5 Apollo 126.96.36.199-103. 121.135.130. 73.164-72 question of 52. 9. 188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.24.24. 57. 117.116 death of God 37.138-40.165. 72. 220.127.116.11.172 egoism 63.161. 139. 18.104.22.168 dream 15.135.131. 62.30. 169 tragic 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.169 decadence 140-2 Descartes 112 Dionysian 11-13.92-5.160. 34. 154. 92. 105-8. 157. 172 Dionysos 10.83.157.158.171.15-20.Index
affirmation 10.22 earth 59. 102.31-3. 88.122.127. 172 appearance 16. 65. 155. 188.8.131.52.125. 184.108.40.206.154 concept 25. 62.135.98. 118.144. Christian 10. 53.111.172 see also world creator. 30.82-5. 57-220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Ecce Homo 7. 22.214.171.124.14-20.31. 117 Birth of Tragedy. 141. 53.157. 109.147. 135.137 Daybreak 8. 69. 130 being 19.72-4.45-126.96.36.199.111.52. 162. 96. 60.129. 188.8.131.52.54.85.28. 90.132-4. 81. 56. 85.23. 110.44.134. 65.167 art 9.19. eternal return 50.129.154. 111. 43. 134.168. 135. The 8. 81.161.125-7.22. 172 Being 12.102. 96. 49.33. 145.60. 184.108.40.206.
92-220.127.116.11.135. 59.36-40. 100-2. 104.171 Miscellaneous Beliefs and Sayings 8 morality 38.172 lust 84 lyric poetry 17 master-slave (morality) 68.144.Paulus 123 pessimism 10. 147.24.124. 42. 85.136.129-33.136.78-82. 59.161.113. 117 ontological difference 129.161.40. 104. 99.154. higher man God 51.112 freedom 88.107.27. 45-7. 18.104.22.168. 34.144. ideal.127.158.130.63.22.214.171.124. 126.96.36.199. 61. 188.8.131.52.63-5. 184.108.40.206.133 openness 83. 94.162.12. All too Human 8.173 evil 55. 162. 142.143. 93.171 language 25. 133.136.131
. 100.30-2.169. 45. 220.127.116.11-34. 128.147.10. 131-4.140 Philosophy in the tragic age of the Greeks 30 Plato 6. 18.104.22.168.165.93. 22.214.171.124.115.104.66. 54.129.111. 126.96.36.199.85. 165. 148.166.136-40. 188.8.131.52. 184.108.40.206. 117. (the Crucified) 166 56. homelessness 83.171 Heidegger 170.120.141. 104.155 non-being. 80.118 necessity 88.92.154 existence (human) 46. 220.127.116.11.100. nihilist 2. 81. 140 inverted 58. ascetic ideal 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 life 12.81.46-8. 116.11924. 126.96.36.199. 188.8.131.52. 50. inverted Platonism 81.35. 85.154. 56.60.94 Gay Science.109-12.157 inspiration 54 interpretations.129.170.112. 108.133. 111.59.147. 43. 44. 81. 101.146.67 infinity 75. 184.108.40.206.85. 103. 151. 166. 80.153 Nietzsche Contra Wagner 8 nihilism.161.122.74. eternal return (continued) 136.169 Hegel 1. 100. 85.138. 130.134. 50. 165.9.151. 123.65. 66.165. 56. 75. The (Agathori) 46.115. 147. 220.127.116.11. 137.166-9 Platonism.171 Heraclitus 18.104.22.168. 22.214.171.124.161.62. 64.22 Introduction to the study of Plato's dialogues 30 intuition 14. 125. 73.62. 131. 55.135.159 history 28. 121 idealism 38. 139.115. 102. 49.87-91. 120.146.61. 136-126.96.36.199-2.108. 154-188.8.131.52.103.173 negative ontology 150. 141. of Nietzsche 3 intoxication 18.Index eternal recurrence.168 On the Genealogy of Morals 8.169 Jesus.124-9. 115-18 metaphysics 6.167. 123.56-8. 125.171 Parmenides 184.108.40.206 free spirit 41-4.117. 38.136. The 8. 161 Paul. 164.117. 220.127.116.11.37.170. 78. 82.43.110. 62.139-44. nothing (see also being) 125.116 genius 27. 66-71. 139 overman 27.128 last man 56-8.166 music 17 Napoleon 18.104.22.168 see also overman.48.157.171 herd 113. 104.140-22.214.171.124.144. 8.39.44. 54. 64. 139 Human.157 home. 64.101 otherworld.126.96.36.199. 141.172 Good.135.150-8.52. 169.132.85. 152-188.8.131.52.160 good and evil 55.46. 184.108.40.206. nihilistic. 82.160.71-3.139. 41. 105-8.30-32. 122.145. 51. 124.24. justice 68
Kant 134. 44.93.159 Highermen 103. other-world 46.166.131. 97. 114.52.108. 73.91. 36.107. 155.136.145. 132.119.116 idea 130.22. 59-61. 67. 130. homeless. 157.170. 172 eternity 44.165-7. 49. 102. 51.
133. 67.172 pleasure (hedone) 98 positivism 45-220.127.116.11.47. 144.92. 18.104.22.168.40.156 transience 97.125. 22.214.171.124.76-8.156. 101. 124.130.100. 173 see also cosmos yearning 83. 32.67. 127.134.71.108-12. 126.96.36.199. 151. 108
play 24.125 Prince Vogelfrei 41. 96.49. The 8. 154 Ree.102. 83.150-65.146 revaluation 49. thing in itself 188.8.131.52.27.44.26. 106.18.36. 34.116.108. thing itself.157. 166 Socratism 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.125.26.120. 117. 66. 135.66. 167-71 Will to Power.52.17.93 style 2.155.28 Untimely Meditation (On the Use and Abuse of History) 8.102. 112.79-18.104.22.168. 65. 144-8.114-16.133. 61. 168-70.144.112. 151.162.164. 59. 72.80. The 8. 18. 79.85.105. 75.28 Untimely Meditation (Richard Wagner in Bayreuth) 8. 89.63.171. 22.214.171.124.142. 68-74.24.152 Schiller 76 Schopenhauer 10.114 Wagner 4.42. 107.22. 86.89.151. 89. 141.41 self 85. 88. 30.93.76. 126.96.36.199.37.81.87. 147. 188.8.131.52.161. 64. 90.108. pathos 12.19.121
. 98. 160. 141. tragic . 155-7. 184.108.40.206 thing.95-9. 88. 54.70. 67.184
Index time 16.69.38. 150-2.51.134 scepticism 6. 220.127.116.11. Paul 35 religion 36-40.111.17. 69. 68.12.170 Twilight of the Idols.115. 115-17. 18.104.22.168.96. 128.154.104-22.214.171.124.143.114.114 scientist 26.95.114. 36 soul 126.96.36.199 reason 25. 188.8.131.52. 166-168 Thus spoke Zaraihustra 8. tragic view. 119.161.96. 184.108.40.206.35. 170. 81.140.20. 108.32. 88. thing as such. 75-7. 73. 42.103. 220.127.116.11.57.38.112. 161-3. 101.171 redemption 10.168 tragedy 18.104.22.168-93. 95. 171 self-alienation 48. 22.214.171.124.33.34-6. 93.153 Socrates 13. 107.115. the Confessor and Writer) 8.100. 126.96.36.199.35.125. 188.8.131.52 Pre-Socratic 30.149.121. 81. 90.50.55 temporality 73. 103. 26-184.108.40.206 value 11. 166 spirit of heaviness 84-6.38. 145 Untimely Meditation (David Strauss. 123-5. 62. 78.79. 220.127.116.11.3. 113-15. 50.85. 18.104.22.168 space 22.214.171.124.122. 145 world 14.126.166 revenge 67. 103.84.98 science 12.144-6.103. 121.4. 126.96.36.199-188.8.131.52. 80.51 psychological analysis 3 psychology 184.108.40.206. 220.127.116.11.43. 18.104.22.168.68.171 will to power 50. 125.111.99. 50.41-22.214.171.124.22. 53. The 8 Wilamowitz-Moellendorf 14 will 23.43.53 Wanderer and his Shadow.164 Zarathustra 20.36. 125.125. 103-5. 126.96.36.199 theory 188.8.131.52. 111.29 Untimely Meditation (Schopenhauer as Educator) 8. 85.91. 91. 184.108.40.206 resentment 7.55.22. 118.155.62. 107. 220.127.116.11 the question of 8.172 tragic experience.86.79.142 rank order 18.104.22.168. 62.150-3. 94.104. 22.214.171.124. 141. 36. 86. 162.161 truth 24-7.