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Phil 1301-024 Erickson

Simon Roig

Nietzsche’s overman is rejected by the people of his time because they place no value on chaos, lack of morality, self-loathing, lack of esteem for a higher power, the embrace for all things “negative”. Zarathustra lives in a time where the unknown becomes this mysterious, ethereal infatuation in the minds of men which they seek to satisfy by heeding the poison-mixers —those who profess to know they key to eternal salvation and what lies in the realm of the afterlife. Zarathustra warns against this with much zeal but is mainly disregarded by his audience. He encourages them to break the old tablets and create new ones; ones that will bear meaning in relation to their lives and truly guide them in the ways of the earth. Zarathustra advises to take risks, to embark on adventures and journeys, to experience loss, to question the norm, to face the abyss, to distance oneself from the flies in the market; conversely he speaks against being domesticated, conformist, complacent, self-absorbed, worshippers of moderation. This last man, the antithesis of the overman, is an exemplary member of the flock. He will do anything necessary to avoid the poles that will surely distinguish him as an individual with a will to power and very defined drives. He will practice everything in moderation to maintain the balance that is the jail to his soul. Nietzsche understood meaning through struggle and the refinement of the worthless through fire. Nietzsche poses a great question when he speaks of the demon that would present to one the scenario of having to relive one’s life exactly and identically over and over again: would we welcome that thought and delight in it or would be gnash our teeth and curse the messenger? I find great strength in this paragraph because it awakens people from their illusion of safety and makes them realize the gravity and momentousness of every breath we breathe. That paragraph inspires us to seek our happiness, or our will, in every moment and not shun it, thus preferring the comfort of our sedentary, mass-culture and institution-serving lives. Throughout some past

years my life has progressed into aiming more and more towards this goal, from being a young, oblivious kid to the attainment of knowledge which shed light on the fact that our lives are ours only and should be taken as such, seeking the will as it sees fit. A great example of this: this past week my traveling, crusty, dumpster-diving, train-hopping friend Matt came into town to visit with me and it filled me with contentment. We spent the majority of each day together, reminiscing old times, having some laughs at the expense of mass-culture and its injustices, and delighting in every alcohol we could afford. In hindsight I don’t regret a single moment of it: if I had to go back, there is not a single detail that I would change, yet I could have blown off Matt and told him to occupy himself while I wrote an impending philosophy paper, and the reason I didn’t is why I find myself scrambling to put one together.