From Nihilism to Nothingness: A Comparison Of Nietzschean and Daoist Thought

Katrin Froese*

The nihilistic undertones of late modem and contemporary European philosophy are reflective of a world in which metaphysical horizons are rapidly collapsing. Nietzsche's infamous proclamation that "God is dead" marks the end of a metaphysical era in which a single order underpins all of existence. While Nietzsche is cognizant of the widespread despair that "God's" death might usher in, he inveighs against the notion that meaning depends on certainty and argues that participation in the dynamic movement of life is more conducive to a meaningful existence. He rebels against philosophies which invoke a transcendent realm of permanence to denigrate and devalue the flux of life, arguing that this is the nihilistic act par excellence. In Tuik'ght of the Idols, Nietzsche notes that philosophers have a propensity to proclaim life worthless (Nietzsche 1968e: 1.1) and are infected with a pervasive "weariness with life" (Nietzsche 1968e: 1.1). The term nihilism has negative connotations in the West, precisely because of the grip that metaphysical truths have had on the Western psyche. Yet, one should guard against simply equating nihilism with an awareness of nothingness. Nihilism refers to a world stripped of its meaning. In this guise, nihilism often reflects the metaphysical assumptions to which we are still wedded, because it is assumed that without a singular order, life is meaningless as we are buffeted about in a chaotic realm of flux. Therefore, nihilism is the symptom of beings who only reluctantly part with their metaphysical guiding stars and are imbued with nostalgia in their absence. While metaphysical truths themselves have been discredited, the assumption remains that only permanent truths can bestow meaning upon our lives. The disdain for change and flux is the residue that metaphysical thought has left behind. In Nietzsche's view, this kind of despondent nihilism is not an impetus to creative action but rather leaves us imitating Zarathustra's higher men, who would rather worship a braying ass than nothing at all. The act of worship *AssociateProfessor,Departmentof PoliticalSciences,Universityof Calgary,2500University Dr., N.W. Calgary,Alberta, CanadaT2N 1N4; email:froese@ucalgary.ca

Dao:A JournalofComparativePlu'losophyDecember2004, Vol. IV, No. 1, pp. 97-116. 9 2004 by Global ScholarlyPublications.

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remains even if the ideals have been dethroned. Order is pursued for its own sake, even if it is no longer invested with metaphysical significance. The status quo is thoughtlessly adhered to because a superficial stability becomes the substitute for the waning metaphysical horizon. Comfort takes the place of meaning as the primary goal. This, according to Nietzsche, marks the crippling aspect of nihilism. However, Nietzsche also insists that a loss of faith in universal order can act as a tremendous catalyst to activity and incite a kind of self-reflection that becomes active nihilism. Groundlessness can make human beings aware of their endless potential since the destruction of absolute truths in Nietzsche's mind could allow for the creative proliferation of many truths. It is this kind of active nihilism which is to overcome what Nietzsche refers to as the more passive nihilism of the herd. In fact, Nietzsche praises the kind of nihilism which refuses to cling to absolute truths: "Radicalnihilism is the conviction of an absolute untenability of existence when it comes to the highest values one recognizes; plus the realization that we lack the least right to posit a beyond or an in-itself of things that might be 'divine' or morality incarnate" (Nietzsche 1968d: 3). A comparison with the Daoist texts of Laozi ~q:and Zhuangzi ~-7: can help to shed light on the peculiarity of Western nihilism since there is virtually no trace of nihilism in Daoist writings. At the same time, nothingness plays a powerful and important role in these works, but rather than being a source of meaninglessness, it is the wellspring of meaning. In Western thought, nothingness is simply seen as a negation of what is, and thus is often associated with nihilism. However, one could argue that Western nihilism stems from a lack of awareness of nothingness as that which creates a kind of unity and me.aning rather than that which destroys it. In Daoist thought, nothingness is sometimes described as a cosmological point of origin while at the same time signifying the fundamental interconnectivity of all things as openness. The Daoist sage wanders, not because he is warding off a surrounding abyss, but because he tries to mimic the openness of nothing. Nothingness is the space or opening that allows things to connect to one another, and meaning arises out of this connection. As the "in-between" aspect of all things, "nothing" is something to be celebrated, for it brings particular beings into harmonious accord. Being and nothingness are interdependent rather than diametrically opposed, for things only come to be through nothing. Thus, nothingness is also the balm that helps to heal the wounds of an agonizing Nietzschean individuation and thus could even be invoked to counter nihilistic tendencies. Nothingness is not simply an absence, for its presence is keenly felt.

I. Abysses and Empty Spaces in Nietzsche
Nietzsche's writings abound with both odes to nihilism and vehement condemnations of it. The ultimate act of nihilism, in Nietzsche's view, is the

and it becomes the target of reprobation.2) because they were the fathers of the universal reason that has since become the hallmark of Western thought: "If one needs to make a tyrant of reason." Nietzsche's radical suggestion is that the erosion of permanent horizons was not the beginning of nihilism. "Life" pales in comparison to the glorious realm of truths such as the Platonic forms. Reason becomes irrational once its tentacles begin to extend to all aspects of life in the attempt to expunge all spontaneity. and movement. Thus. human beings had to learn to obey the commands that were being imposed upon them and thus this was . Ofelia Schutte argues that nihilism and philosophy become intertwined when philosophy separates the "real" world of truth from the temporal world of existence. once we are taught to hold life itself in contempt. which Nietzsche believed were ushered in by the metaphysical orders intended to prop up. According to Nietzsche. as Socrates did. the entire edifice which had been built around them also crumbles.16). for Nietzsche there is a strong connection between nihilism and absolute math. Nietzsche writes that the world of Christianity is "purely fictional" since "neither its morality nor religion has any point of contact with reality" (Nietzsche 1968a: 15). Because metaphysical faith was the basis of meaning in our lives. For Nietzsche.9). Paradoxically. the revenge against life eventually deprived truth itself of the nourishment it needed. At this point. The life-denying message of the Christian God initially instituted pain as desires were repressed and the body was "racked with homesickness for the wild" (Nietzsche 1968c: 11.Froese: From Nihilism to Nothingness 99 destruction of nihilistic approaches to life itself. then there must exist no little danger of something else playing the tyrant" (Nietzsche 1968e: 1. Nietzsche suggests that Socrates and Plato were "symptoms of decay" (Nietzsche 1968e: 1. the "absolute" nature of "absolute" truths will inevitably be thrown into question and when they are tom asunder. This is why Nietzsche insists that we should celebrate rather than mourn the demise of such truths. Christianity propagated an essentially life-denying message that revealed deep dissatisfaction with the natural world. its demise sends ripples of despair through the human soul. the world is without meaning. Ironically. it is but a short leap from Platonism to the attack on sensuousness typical of Christian dogma. we become infected with an emptiness that makes it impossible to love even the truths that we allegedly hold so dear.2). and justify our existence. Nietzsche refers to a psychological despair that bedevils us when we feel there is no longer a purpose in our lives (Nietzsche 1968d: 12). In this sense Nietzsche goes beyond nihilism (see Schutte: 1). but rather that reigning immutable truths had whittled away the meaning in our existence by eviscerating and heaping scorn upon life. nothing is worthwhile. The kind of nihilism which Nietzsche extols is the nihilism of rejuvenation. Nietzsche's challenge is to resuscitate meaning in life without having recourse to "superterrestrial hopes. knowledge chokes"' (Nietzsche 1969: IV. sensuality. For Nietzsche. Truth becomes debilitating rather than invigorating. His hero Zarathustra encounters a prophet on h!s wanderings who laments the sorry state o f affairs in the shadow of God s death: '"It is all one. explain.

atrophying and self-poisoned men.first. Eventually. conceives o f "the basic concept o f the 'good' in advance and spontaneously out of himself" (Nietzsche 1968c: 1. in Nietzsche's view. will and desire are abolished altogether. Negation marks the birth o f morality and at the same time constitutes an affirmation o f the slave: "While every noble morality develops from a triumphant affirmation of itself. we do not have to let others in. The master. of whom the earth is weary: so let them be gone" (Nietzsche 1969: P. Engaged in routine mimicry. slave morality from the outset says No to what is 'outside'. in physiological terms: hypnotisation--the attempt to win for man an approximation to what in certain animals is hibernation. overflowing in life. are forced into a confrontation with powerful and ebullient masters that threaten to trample them.. this constitutes a lived nihilism that is dangerous precisely because it is so comfortable. However.16). expressed in moral-psychological terms is "selflessness. representing a weaker life force. Zarathustra points out that "your love of your neighbour is your bad love o f yourselves" (Nietzsche 1969: 1. In his account o f the master-slave dynamic. (Nietzsche 1968c: III. for he also sees its creative potential. the Judeo-Christian religion had established a God who was bound to self-destruct because he was no longer needed: "In this way Christianity as a dogmawas destroyed by its own morality.27)." "sanctification". too: we stand on the threshold of this event" (Nietzsche 1968c: III. what is 'not itself.100 Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosop~ ~ 1) the Judeo-Christian tradition's most creative moment. the slaves.10).. The soothing poultice the religion had provided was effective in rendering human beings so comatose that the panacea itself became unnecessary. If possible. and this No is its creative deed" (Nietzsche 1968c: 1. remain true to the earth.17) Thus. by means that reduce the feeling of life in general to its lowest point. the first creative activity of the slave is to say "no" to the masters. Because we simply imitate others. Christianity succeeded in reducing everything to the lowest common denominator. ushering in a comfortable existence where action was reduced to a herd-like mimicry with individuals not daring to challenge themselves or one another.3). Zarathustra heaps condemnation upon such an existence: "I entreat you... For Nietzsche. Nietzsche does not imply that negation should always be condemned.11) and many of the weaker beings are crushed in the stampede o f sheer strength.the minimum metabolism at which life will still subsist without really entering consciousness. nor do we leave our own imprint on our surroundings. and do not believe those who speak to you of superterrestrial hopes! They are poisoners. Negation is born out o f the reaction against a threatening world and the act of rebellion marks the birth of . whether they know it or not. what is 'different'. in the same way Christianity as morak~ must now perish. in Nietzsche's view. As a result. The rapid decline of faith in God was a testament to Christianity's success as well as to its failure. all that produces affects and "blood" is avoided. [T]he result. the self's boundaries become irrelevant. my brothers.. They are despisers of life. God became increasingly unnecessary as the soul's pain diminished: This dominating sense of displeasure is combated.

but also presents a kind o f vast openness signifying unending potential. Nietzsche plays on this dual understanding o f the term. By negating the world which threatens him. the slave has managed to turn the tables and usurp the master's throne. The desert symbolizes not just the negation o f life. namely the camel. According to Nietzsche. By compelling the master to accept the terms of the slave's negation. for the "death of God" also lays the groundwork for a spiritual rebirth. 'the blessings of work"' (Nietzsche 1968c: 111. and human beings are implored to wage a constant battle against it. somewhat dishonestly. Nihilism provides the conditions for its own overcoming. who becomes a symbol of perfection. The humiliation spawned by the guilt before God requires an antidote which often takes the form o f mechanical activity: "It is beyond doubt that this re~. Subjectivity is born since the slave invents the "doer" who stands behind the deed 0Nietzsche 1968c: 1." This was a negation that demanded a kind of strength for it refused to accept the terms o f existence as they were. while the master's actions represent a weakness of will. In the Christian God.18). the desert is a place of spiritual birth and this is a message that is not lost on Nietzsche. Sensuality is held to be the ultimate manifestation o f sin. Thus nihilism could be a powerful stimulant to creativity and in Nietzsche's words gave birth to the "sovereignty o f the individual. and transmuting the master's physical strength into a moral weakness.'nen alleviates an existence of suffering to a not inconsiderable degree: this fact is today called. However. he establishes a distance from it and thereby affirms himself. there is more to Nietzsche's condemnation o f Christianity than meets the eye. On the other hand. Human beings are burdened with an ineradicable guilt and are held responsible for their own suffering (Nietzsche 1968c: 11.13).Froese: From Nihilism to Nothingness 101 self-identity. It is in the desert that the spirit undergoes its "three metamorphoses" that allow it to emerge from its nihilistic despair. By invoking the symbol o f the desert. is 1 NISHITANIKeiji astutely points out that nihilism is part of the process of its own self-overcoming.He draws attention to the fact that Nietzsche's nihilismis not merelyan inhibiting factorbut also a regenerativeforce that makesthe affirmationof life possible (see Nishitani 1990: 48-53). the desert is the symbol for the contagious lifelessness that has been spread by the herd. Nietzsche mocks the ingenuity of creatures who are able to will themselves into not willing. in many religious traditions. .1 The beast of burden.22). He turns his inability to act into a capability for choosing action. It is this kind o f nihilism that Nietzsche praises for it has a transformative effect and allows individuals to participate in life rather than to deny it. The slave deludes himself and others into thinking that his inactivity is a deliberate choice. On the one hand. this kind o f struggle ceased with the establishment of the Christian God. human beings create something so powerful in its absoluteness that it renders them powerless. The symbol of the desert can be very useful in helping to bring to the surface some of the subtle nuances of Nietzsche's texts that are easily eclipsed by his forceful rhetoric.

The abyss symbolizes both the lack of grounding and the perils that are associated with being a creature always in transition.. However. a sport. 1). the connection between "yes" and "no" is affirmed. I will invoke the parable of both the tight-rope walker and the metaphor of the eternal return. For Nietzsche. as a sense of connectedness is lacking in both cases. And yet. The uneasy position we occupy suspended above nothingness is brought to light through his predicament. The lion wants to be the commanding "lord in his own desert. The solitary tightrope walker is precariously balanced on a rope with the gaping abyss all around him. a sacred Yes" (Nietzsche 1969: I. the lives of both the obedient camel and the conquering lion are marked by an intense loneliness. a self-propelling wheel. The child is the symbol for the overcoming of nihilism. it comes as no surprise that the oppressed often become the oppressors.4) is always in the making. a first motion. The uncompromising awareness of his life's fragility weds him to it even more . which gives it a taste for the exertion of power over others.102 Dao:A Journalof ComparativePhilosophy(IV. Nevertheless. This is a kind of nothingness that separates him from everyone else and almost brutally thrusts him back onto himself. The child plays with what it is given and in so doing makes something new. It is neither riveted to the past nor worried about the future and is not yet burdened with preconceptions about its own identity. the lion destroys without being able to create: "To create new values-----even the lion is incapable of that---but to create itself freedom for new creation--that the might of the lion can do" (Nietzsche 1969: 1. He experiences this nothingness as his own. symbolized by the child. Moreover. fastened between animal and Superman--a rope over an abyss" (Nietzsche 1969: P." The desire for mastery is born in slavery. while Nietzsche celebrates nothingness as opening. The child is able to fully affirm life. It takes all heavy loads upon itself that the social order imposes and "hurries into the desert" where it cuts itself off from the sensual aspects of life. In Thus Spoke Zarathustra Nietzsche proclaims that "man is a rope.4). embracing its spontaneity. The intense loneliness and groundlessness of the desert also provide the impetus for new beginning. The camel's "yes" to others is a "no" to itsels Once it becomes the lion. such servility also demands a mastery over the self. The human being as "bridge and not a goal" (Nietzsche 1969: P. Its ability to forget indicates that it is capable of reveling in the openness of existence because it does not yet have an ego that it clings to. a new beginning.1). for a falsely placed step will send him plummeting to his death.1) the first desert animal (Nietzsche 1969: 1. In order to cast further light on the multiple understandings of nothingness that are evident in Nietzsche's work. This signifies a move on Nietzsche's part from an understanding of nothingness as a life-denying force to a more emancipatory understanding of nothingness as openness: "The child is innocence and forgetfulness. this order is inversed and the lion says "no" to others and "yes" to the sels There is no negation that is not also an aff~mation. there is also a strong sense in which it must be encountered as closure. In the child.1). The parable of the three metamorphoses illustrates that nihilism must be overcome through nothingness rather than against it.

2The term "eternal return of the same" (ewigeIViederkehrdes Gkichen) does not necessarily imply a recurrence of identicalphenomenon but rather can be translated as recurrence of the similar. Every act draws upon the past 2 Karl L6with suggests that Nietzsche is dispensing with Christian notions of temporal linearity and returning to Greek cyclical notions of time 0_.6with: 60). He describes each moment as a gateway depicting the confluence of past and future. Indeed. only the social outcasts in Zarathustra's tale treat each other with respect. This is the kind of nihilism which Nietzsche associates with the herd that refuses to encounter nothingness. Nietzsche is by no means the radical individualist that he is often presumed to be. he jumps over the man. In the story of the tightrope walker. It is the kind of groundlessness that is part of the cycle of the eternal return. The metaphor of the eternal return reveals that all frnite beings are intertwined. The gateway is both a marker of separation and of connection. the intersection of being and nothingness is made manifest.Froese: From Nihilism to Nothingness 103 closely and bestows meaning on his delicate existence. while the hem-fit provides Zarathustra with sustenance along his journey. The tightrope walker's awareness of nothingness comes into direct confrontation with the nihilistic buffoon. there is in Nietzsche also an encounter with a different nothingness. Groundlessness in this view is not merely a negative force but also entails a new beginning. but at the same time confronts in the emptiness of the gateway the essential groundlessness of existence. Zarathustra buries the tightrope walker. this exemplifies the bile that the herd is ready to spew out against anyone who transgresses their norms. Yet.3). . calling him a lame-foot. nothingness is represented as a kind of terminus that the individual must confront. He taunts the tightrope walker. which reminds Zarathustra of the whole that he is part of. The only real community here is among those whom society has ostracized. which is not experienced as one's own but rather reinforces the connectedness of all things. He is able to draw upon the resources of the world into which he is thrust. The buffoon represents the herd's contempt for anyone who dares to express his difference from the crowd. she or he has to make a decision and appropriate the past to make the future that stretches out before her or him. He dares to forge a path of his own and consequently is met with execration. sending the latter plummeting to his death. and admonishes him for leaving the tower. By underscoring the significance of the moment in this way. Freedom and necessity coalesce beautifully in this metaphor. It is a negation that is based on contempt. Nietzsche also hints at both the importance and insignificance of history. When the individual reaches the gateway. At no risk to his own life. at the same time. they flee "especially where the body would come crashing down" (Nietzsche 1969: P. According to Nietzsche. It is significant that the gateway is empty and thus signifies potential. In the gateway. The tightrope walker represents a threat by revealing to the herd the lack of grounding that characterizes their own existence. It is the nihilism of constant empty activity. While the herd is responsible for the tightrope walker's death.

This is akin to a mystical understanding that allows Zarathustra to experience a kind of eternal presence which affirms the unity o f all things that both have been and are to come: If we affirm one single moment. where I become conscious of my particularity through interconnectedness with other things) The moment is revered.13). and the other originating in the future: "And are not all things bound fast together in such a way that this moment draws after it all future things? Therefore---draws itself too?" (Nietzsche 1969: III. Souls are as mortal as bodies. The path of eternity is curved. He goes beyond a perspective in which human beings are at the centre of existence. In fact. As he says. Everything breaks. but also allows for the development o f a non-egoistic form of subjectivity.' you would say. everything returns. Yet. time is irrelevant. Zarathustra's animals remind him of a type of consciousness that is not historical: "Everything goes. justified and affirmed.trin~ just once. Everything dies. and if our soul has trembled with happiness and sounded like a harp s. all eternity was needed to produce this one event--and in this single moment of affimaation. everything blossoms anew: the year of existence runs on forever" (Nietzsche 1969: II1. all eternity was called good. Evelything parts. As the eternal remm demonstrates. one originating in the past. eternally the ring of Being remains faithful to itself. both as the 3 Laurence Lampert has pointed out that there is a contradiction between Nietzsche's notion . we thus affirm not only ourselves but all of existence. In every now Being begins. everything is put together anew. (Nietzsche 1968& 1032) From the perspective o f this unity. Historical consciousness is temporarily overcome so that Zarathustra can experience the oneness of all o f existence. 1) while at the same time incorporating the groundlessness of the future. redeemed. the wheel of existence rolls forever. eternally the same house of Being builds itself. The middle is everywhere.' 'But the complex of causes in which I am entangled will recur it will create me again! I myself am part of the causes of the eternal recurrence"' (Nietzsche 1969: III. around every here roils the ball of there. 'and in an instant I shall be nothingness. everything gleets itself again. nothingness not only individuates and separates beings.13) Nietzsche departs radically from many other Western philosophers by seeing nothingness not only as negation but also as a connective tissue between all things: '"Now I die and decay.t 04 Dao:A Journalof ComparativePhilosop&(IV. this emphasizes the historical nature o f human beings as self-making creatures who at each moment must appropriate from the past in order to create the future which lies open before them.13). On the one hand. For Nothing is self sufficient.2). Nietzsche makes it clear that two paths lead to the gateway of the moment. the suggestion that the moment draws the future "after" it implies a non-historical understanding of humanity that only makes sense if the interconnection of all things is born in mind. neither in us ourselves nor in things. (Nietzsche 1969: III. Here Zarathustra affirms the endless cycles of existence that he participates in.

hinting that we are both self and more than self. However.2). Nietzsche plays upon this dual meaning.19). and therefore it also wants suffering in the heart. This is why Zarathustra exclaims: "My longing for this laughter consumes me: oh how do I endure still to live! And how I could endure to die now" (Nietzsche 1969: III. The fact that we want to maintain our boundaries while overcoming them. which was only made possible by the shepherd's confrontation with death. laughing]' (Nietzsche 1969: III. On the one hand. However. Not only one sun had gone down for me" (Nietzsche 1969: III. surrounded with light. of self-overcoming and the cyclical nature of the eternal return. the symbol of the serpent should not be glossed over for it is not only a symbol of death in Christian mythology but also constitutes a symbol of life in traditional alchemy. for taking the sting out of death also robs us of the vitality of life which is experienced both through the ego-self and beyond it.t' (Nietzsche 1969: IV. 2). to a certain extent this analysis glosses over the complexity of Nietzsche's argument. but at the same time. the interconnections that nothinDaess represents also enable the individual to go beyond the self. Nietzsche's tendency to celebrate both the ego-self and its overcoming makes him unique among Western philosophers. the peasant's act constitutes a defence of his own boundaries against the threat posed to them by the snake. for hell for hatred . wants deep.. A similar understanding of nothingness is revealed in the parable of the shepherd who chokes and writhes in the struggle against a black snake that is lodged in his throat. .. The laughter of the peasant is symbolic of the awareness of connectedness that comes to him through his encounter with death. deep eterm'ty.Froese: F r o m Nihilism to Nothingness 105 product of my choice and as a point of connection which allows me to go beyond the self. The threat of nothing and death differentiates. gloomily and sternly with compressed lips.. For Nietzsche the struggle between the ego-self and the kind of non-self suggested by the unity in the eternal remm is an ongoing one. Joy wants the eternity of all things. cursing is also a blessingo so rich is joy that it thirst after pain. I would argue that Nietzsche is not ouly advocating a self-overcoming but also an overcoming of the self (see Lampert). For all joy wants itself. Zarathustra had never heard such heartiness of laughter.2). which suggests that Nietzsche is extolling both an "egotistical" self intent on establishing and protecting its own boundaries and a kind of non-ego self that is able to gain release from these boundaries. while at the same time being liberated from them. means that pain will always be an integral part of our experience: "Pain too is a joy. Zarathustra's despondent moods can never be permanently overcome for he will always alternate between despair and joy: '%ately I walked gloomily through a deathly grey twilight.. We must not hide from the reality of death... Eventually he bites the snake's head off and is immediately "a transfomaed being. He is reborn because he has both affirmed the boundaries of the self. The coils of the snake remind us of the eternal return and thus the interconnectedness of all things.

While this 4Julia Ching points out that the term Dao could designate "anything and everything" (Ching: 85). prompting analysts such as David Hall and Roger Ames to point out that the Daoist universe is predicated "upon the spontaneity o f the unordered" (Hall and Ames: 230). or to detract from the obscurity o f the term. The text o f the Dao De Jing {~[~. but a kind o f mysterious and formless force that links all things. undifferentiated unity to which everything returns on a recurring basis. providing an important contrast to many Western philosophical works where it is greeted with apprehension and dread. there is virtually no trace o f nihilism to be detected in these texts. Nothingness or wu ~. . Yet. Because the whole is neither predetermined nor uniform. Because there is no presupposition that limited human beings can unravel the mystery o f the limitless cosmos." The word Dao ~_ loosely refers to a kind o f cosmic unity. There is a strong sense in the Dao DeJing that process and movement are most important.~_) is based on a striking paradox. 1) These negations do not produce a sense that the cosmos is meaningless. it cannot be conceptually grasped. Chaos does not refer to a breakdown o f order but rather to a kind o f primal. It plays a predominant and largely positive role in Daoist texts. while there are repeated references to nothingness in Daoist writings. In a similar vein. is therefore not simply a negation or denial o f what is. or spoken: 4 The Dao that can be expressed is not the eternal Dao. Norman Girardot claims that chaos (hundun ~ ) is primeval not only for Daoist philosophy but for Chinese culture more generally (Girardot: 43). 1) II. (Laozi: ch. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. there is no rational substratum which determines the direction o f this movement. Nothingness and the Dao The kind o f order that Daoist thinkers envision is not a metaphysical one based on a single logos but rather is predicated on the unity o f process which interconnects what Laozi refers to as the "ten-thousand things. namely that the Dao cannot be articulated. the negations that form the opening lines o f the Dao DeJingbear no trace o f nihilism.106 Dao:A Journalof ComparativeP&'losophy(IV. However. and this oneness is created in large part out o f nothingness. but no attempt is made to pin it down.. but rather are the only means by which limited beings can refer to the limitless and continuously evolving nature o f the Dao. What is immediately noticeable to the Western reader is that. nor is there a predetermined pattern that regulates the interaction o f beings. thought. Yet one must be careful not to allow the notion o f formlessness to overshadow the emphasis on oneness that is an integral part o f Laozi's worldview. this "absence" o f knowledge is no cause for philosophical despair.

his insistence on nothingness as a force of negation remains a very powerful thread in his work. Nothingness. Nothingness serves as a constant reminder that there is something much larger than the human self. While I have pointed out that Nietzsche's notion of the eternal return provides an alternative understanding of nothingness as opening. Nietzsche sees nothingness as the negative limit that forces the individual to create meaning freely in an attempt to fend offan encroaching abyss. 1) One of the foremost interpreters of Laozi. In a philosophical tradition which privileges individuation. suggests that the notion of wu or nothingness is central to an understanding of the Dao Deliria and uses it to describe the nature of the Dao itself. it is also characteristic o f a mode of thinking which stresses the interconnectedness rather than the separateness of all things. WANG Bi ~E~. underlines their complementary nature. In his interpretation of the opening lines o f the text. "Existence"I callthe mother of individualbeings. impelling her or him to carve a "unified whole" out o f the fra~-aents that compose the self. nothingness is interpreted primarily in the negative sense o f deprivation. Daoist thought. It is the tension between death and life that forces individuals to create. WANG Bi maintains that non-being is a point of origin: all beings originatedfrom nonbeing. which are accepted rather than bemoaned. rather than casting being and nothingness as opposites. While Nietzsche pays homage to the power of nothingness that Zarathustra confronts. Nietzsche does not deny that existence and nothingness are related but it is a relation that derives mainly out o f opposition.) while viewing nothingness as creative in itself rather than as the negation that stimulates human creativity: "non-existence"I callthe beginningof Heaven and Earth. it is the individual that is accorded an important status. nothingness highlights the limits of human understanding. Laozi stresses the entanglement o f existence (you and nothingness (wu ~. (Laozi:ch. Thus. Furthermore. by threatening to dissolve all boundaries.The time before physicalforms and names . individualdeath is seen as symptomatic of a larger meaninglessness and therefore nihilism emerges out of a world-view which grants the subject primacy. encourages the individual to demarcate them. an elucidation of"nothingness" in the works o f Zhuangzi and Laozi can help to illuminate Western presumptions about the abyss as well as help to expose the non-nihilistic notions o f nothingness that surface occasionally even in the works of a philosopher such as Nietzsche. It is the negation that makes affirmation possible. It is against the backdrop of nothingness that the contours of the individual are brought into sharp relief.Froese: From Nihilism to Nothingness 107 can in part be attributed to historical factors. and this may very well be what keeps nihilism at bay. it is viewed primarily as a negative force that catapults him toward an almost rebellious affm-nation of life. Conversely.the directiontowardsexistenceto the sight of spatiallimitations. Throughout Nietzsche's works.Thereforedoes the directiontowardsnon-existence lead to the sightof the miraculousessence. Furthermore.

the ultimate essence of a thing can never be postulated. The experience of nothingness is necessary in order to free us from an excessive attachment to words. So." constitute the whole (Laozi: ch. After forms and names appear. In the work of Laozi. Nothingness reminds us of the particular "thisness" of a thing which cannot be reduced to conceptual categories. impelling human beings to forget that the nature of a particular being can only be known through its interconnection with other beings. Neither one is simply the derivative of the other for they are equiprimordial. It is important not to demarcate existence and nothingness too sharply from one another." While existence depends on boundaries that allow us to differentiate things. Alan K. The particularity of each being emerges both in its differentiation from the other and from the way in which it connects to others. Since the maze of networks that any entity is entangled in is infinite. This means that the Tao produces and completes things with the formless and nameless. "non-existence" is primordial because it highlights the non-differentiation between beings. Words necessarily draw boundaries. there is a passage which describes our gradual movement away from an attunement to nothingness: In the beginning they did not know that anything existed. (Wang:. which emphasizes the interconnectedness and oneness of all things. since it can help to reveal a truth that names all too frequently conceal. but it is precisely that which ties the ten-thousand things together and makes them one. It was when . By celebrating both being and nothingness. The Dao DeJing also emphasizes that together the two.108 Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy ~ 1) appeared was the beginning of the myriad things. Zhuangzi's writing puts less direct emphasis on the cosmological understanding of nothingness as a kind of primordial source than does Laozi. this is virtually perfect knowledge. Wu cannot be named. Next came those who distinguished between things. 1). nourishes them. which cannot be named. Later they knew that some things existed but they did not distinguish between them. 1) WANG Bi's analysis suggests that wu is not simply the negation of being but rather has a kind of mysterious presence as the underlying unity of all things. Existence as distinguished from nothingness is the site of particularity and the "ten thousand things. provides their formal shape and completes their formal substance. "dao" develops them. that is. which "are one in origin" and "different only in name. but did not judge things as 'being' or 'not being'. we can sink into a comfortable familiarity which nevertheless distances us from the radical particularity of the things at hand. for nothing can be added. Thus. In the Zbuang~. nothingness is the radical openness that allows them to connect. Laozi's thought celebrates both the differentiation between things and their oneness while refusing to reduce one to the other. there can be no being without nothingness and no nothingness without being. but still invokes the concept in order to point to problems of our understanding. When names are substituted for the direct encounter with things themselves. becomes their Mother. Chart builds upon Wang's analysis to suggest that wu has a fundamental substance which is both "ontologically distinct from and prior to 'being"' (Chan: 46). an attunement to nothingness is an essential part of understanding the Dao.

Yet. Laozi too suggests that nothingness reminds us o f the non-oppositional nature of opposites: "If all on earth acknowledge the beautiful as beautiful. Then it became known that things existed but no distinctions were made between them. then I would be incapable o f comparing them. 14) 109 Here a lack o f knowledge is described as the most perfect knowledge. this appears to be a simple negation. then each thing is also its opposite. At first glance. we can only know what heat is in relation to cold.Froese: From Nihilism to Nothingness judgements were made that the Tao was damaged. then thereby the ugly is already posited. Because he recognizes that things are both differentiated from each other and not differentiated from each other. for I identify one by virtue of the way in which it is not the other. and an account o f things was given that focused on their differentiation from one another. the distinction between good and evil becomes less pronounced. human beings strayed furthest from the Dao. and because the Tao was damaged. However. On one level. Later on. Therefore. when jud~'nents were made. For example. from the perspective of the radical openness represented by nothingness. However. 2). If I plunge my hand into two pots o f water o f differing temperatures I win describe the difference between them as hot and cold. This suggests that non-being is recognized as an aspect o f being because the opening that connects one thing to other things is recognized. if everything is seen as interconnected. because the Dao was damaged. Zhuangzi uses the idea of nothingness in order to describe the . everything is one. because nothing is yet seen as differentiated from anything else. If all on e a ~ acknowledge the good as good. 14). he must harmonize between right and wrong rather than dispense with morality entirely. Finally. this suggests that we think in dichotomizing terms. Rather it means that from a standpoint where things are seen as non-differentiated. this is not a prescription for a kind o f moral relativism in which anything goes. He must balance his knowledge of the separation between things with the understanding that they are also connected. For Zhuangzi. (Zhuangzi_'2. if hot and cold were not somehow connected to each other. things are seen as distinct but not as isolated from one another. then thereby is the non-good already posited" (Laozi: ch. distinctions were made but being and non-being were not separated from one another. Zhuangzi is not implying that the sage is completely indifferent to the course o f events. and so the distinction between right and wrong also begins to fade away. Because of this entanglement there is a sense in which there is no difference between them. at the same time. love became complete. However. moral judgments such as good and evil emerge out of a worldview that sees things primarily in terms of their division from one another. When it is said that the sage "manages to harmonize right and wrong" (Zhuangzi: 2. love became complete because the irresistible pull of nothingness is still manifested in the desire to return to the non-differentiated oneness of all things. Yet. The argument that they are absolutely distinct from each other presupposes that the fundamental relationship between things is one of division. because they were still viewed in terms of their interconnectivity rather than in terms o f their separateness.

but there is no trace of moral nihilism in Daoist works. In the West. insisting that the distinctions between good and evil disguise a latent power dynamic. He becomes a kind of non-self that does not cling to the self. but rather to allow the sage to resolve conflict in a more contextualized manner. violence is explicitly shunned. it is important to emphasize that the Daoist opposition to moral dogmatism is not intended to foster reckless moral abandon.110 Dao: A Journal of Comparative P&'losophy(IV. Daoist thinkers want to avoid precisely the kind o f divisiveness that Nietzsche thinks makes violence and conflict an inevitable part o f the process of life. it is also important to recognize that Nietzsche does not abhor violence in the same way and indeed believes it to be inevitable because the boundaries which separate things are viewed by him to be as powerful as the forces that connect them. We might raise the objection that the sage's activity leaves us with few signposts that can help determine the proper moral course of action. However. Nietzsche's condemnation of morality also arises from the sense that all things are connected to each other in the eternal return. he is lodging a complaint that is not altogether different from that of Daoist thinkers. Nothingness can help to remind us o f the divisive effects of moral labeling. if my enemy's allegedly "immoral" behavior is recognized as somehow having been provoked by my own. The Daoist sage tries to render his soul open in the spirit of nothingness.. An attunement to nothingness can help foster a kind o f moral pragmatism which neither relies solely on the applications of abstract rules. Thus. When Nietzsche rails against Judeo-Christian morality. especially if it is predicated on an understanding that all things are connected. the insights which Daoist texts provide can also help shed light on Nietzsche's posture of going beyond good and evil. He is less concerned with the notion of origins than is Laozi. This is why Laozi and Zhuangzi both suggest that the sage must gain release from an attachment to the self. the lines between good and evil also become more blurred. but rather invokes nothingness in order to allow for the continual recreation o f harmony. Furthermore. The sage creates by letting-be and allowing the par- . boundaries are often considered a source o f anguish. If the dividing lines between good and evil are drawn too sharply. The notion that Nietzsche is an absolute moral relativist who wants to tear all existing moralities asunder in order to allow creative flourishing no matter what consequences might ensue is too simple. 1) openness that fosters interconnection. nor depends on an unthinking compliance with rigid moral rituals. but rather recognizes that his selfhood emerges through his interaction with others. On the contrary. an approach that aims to overcome morality does not necessarily extol violence and bloodshed. then one creates the very enemies that one purports to avoid. There is no suggestion in the works of either Laozi or Zhuangzi that the sage employ violent means to achieve harmony. an absence of moral dogma is often interpreted as nihilism. For Daoist thinkers. the Daoist sage could avoid the kind of labeling which needs to define an enemy in order to reassure itself o f its own goodness. Having said this. For example. In fact.

or pours out into the great purity" (Zhuangzi: 32. He is effective and keeps nothing.. However. or particular virtues in order to provide the proper spaces that they can enter into. I must also occasionally remain silent so that you can speak. Through actionless action they are happy. very happy. In the frenetic buzz o f contemporary society this is often forgotten. Yet the cosmological understanding o f nothingness and its practical application are not divorced.. One must provide an opening for other beings through one's activity. It is Cook Ding's awareness o f spaces between things that allows him to work according to the spirit o f the Dao and thereby remm to the Dao in this way. A pot that is to hold liquids must be tailored to that which it is intended to hold. All beings emerge and he does not refuse himself to them. in contrast.. While Daoist writings are replete with the language o f a spontaneous harmonization. Like water he flows without form. 23). 290). concentrates his spirit upon that which was before the beginning and rests in the strangeness of being in the fields o f nothingness. Thus. His practical activity is also a spiritual experience and imbues his experience with a sense of oneness. he must be attuned to the power o f nothingness: "The perfect man. non-action is a very difficult skill to master. He generates and yet possesses nothing. The Daoist sage "remains undeserted" because his non-action allows other things to go toward him. but rather means that we should act in such a way that nothingness is part o f one's action. In order for me to converse with you. Cook Ding expresses this when he describes his talent for butchery: "Between the joints there are spaces. 107). there is plenty of room. and the blade of a knife has no real thickness. certainly enough for the knife to work through" (Zhuangzi: 3. this does not mean it is eas~y achieved. If I am to establish accord among things. If you put what has no thickness into spaces such as these. 2) Perhaps another way to shed light on this dynamic is to liken it to a kind of conversation. As the title o f the . And just because he does not dwell he remains undeserted. since wu~i does not imply the cessation o f activity. (Laozi: ch. To cultivate harmony among things. I must also be familiar with their de ~. being so happy they are not afflicted by cares and worries" (Zhuangzi: 13.Froese: From Nihilism to Nothingness 111 ticular virtue o f all things to unfold out o f spontaneous interplay. he is able to fred fullness in emptiness: Thus also is the Man of Calling He dwells in effectiveness without action. He practices teaching without talking. The type of activity the sage engages in is often referred to as wuweiNN which is frequently translated as non-action: "In stillness they take acfionless action . In this way. because it demands a sophisticated attentiveness to the openings provided by the world around one. When the work is done he does not dwell with it. this translation can be somewhat misleading for Western readers.

1) second chapter in the Zhuangq. what a thing is only makes sense through that which it # not since s Chert Guying highlights the tremendous sadness and pain that Zarathustra must endure to experience the fullness of life. but because the cultivation of harmony is intended to minimize conflict and tension." I cannot look at something through someone else's eyes. On the one hand. The authentic person or sage experiences and initiates movement but seems unaffected by it: He does not feel the heat of the burning deserts nor the cold of the vast waters. Then all things may rise together" (Laozi: ch. He is not frightened by the lightning which can split open mountains. there is not and because there is not. harmony has to be actively cultivated.112 Dao: A Journal of Comparative Ptu'losophy(IV. Returning to the root means stillness" (Laozi: ch.18) The connection between harmony and stillness is continuously reinforced in Daoist thought: "Create emptiness up to the highestl Guard stillness up to the most complete.. Zhuangzi elucidates this link: Nothing exists which is not "that.. In Daoist thinking. Therefore "that" comes out of"this" and "this" arises from "that. In a complex passage. nor by the storms that can whip up the seas. movement is experienced as stillness not because we are rendered passive. "Working everything out evenly" suggests. Such a person rides the clouds and mounts upon the sun and moon. Neither death nor life concerns him. Harmonization allows us to experience activity with the calmness of nothingness. When "this" and "that" do not stand against each other.. this is called the pivot of the Tao. it is clear that "this" and "that" are not one another. because there is." This is why we say "that" and "this" are born from each other. According to Laozi. there is. Compare bLrth with death. movement must become so harmonious that it mirrors nothingness: "Things in all their multitude: each one returns to its root. Zhuangzi uses the vague terminology of the "this" and "that" to point out that the specificity or "thisness" of a thing cannot be defined. Yet. (Zhuangzi: 12) Many layers of meaning can be gleaned from this passage. thereby providing serenity in change. contrasting this with Zhuangzi's notion that the feelings constitute an "enormous restraint" on human beings (Chen: 117). The fact that there is nothing which is neither "this" nor "that" indicates that each thing is radically distinct from the next and its particularity cannot be reduced to words. 5 Nothingness becomes important as the space between things that separates them while also allowing them to connect. most definitely. 16). at the same time. This offers a stark contrast to the frenzied movement o f Nietzsche's Zarathustra who is spurred to act in part by the threat that nothingness poses as the cessation of all activity." nothing exists which is not "this. compare death with life. . This is why the particularity of things is made possible through nothingness. nor is he interested in what is good or bad! (Zhuangzk 2. 16). compare what is possible with what is not possible and compare what is not possible with what is possible. and wanders across and beyond the four seas.. I can only truly know something which I know.

In its nothingness consists the pot's effectiveness. From Nihilism to Nothingness Being and non-being are so intermingled in Daoist philosophy that they cannot be easily disentangled. but this differentiation is necessary for things to come together. The end of one particular thing marks the beginning of another. But the presence o f nothingness also reminds us that one thing is the other for all things are inextricably entangled. (Laozi. This is indicative of the individualist assumptions that underlie Western philosophy. each thing is both "this" and "that. is not. and there is what is not. then "the nothing" constitutes a haunting specter of finality indeed. In . Nietzsche's tightrope walker perceives nothingness as the horrifying abyss which signals the end of his movement. Non-being is not pure absence but also represents potentiality. in Western thought it is often associated with closure. What does not exist serves for effectiveness. Zhuangzi is less concerned with the cosmological notion of origins than is Laozi who sees in nothingness a kind of constant return to origins. or whether what is. There is what is. Because of this connection. One cuts out doors and windows to make the chamber. 15). Yet. Without the presence of nothingness. in both Laozi and Zhuangzi endings and beginnings are always connected and therefore there is little trace of a kind of Nietzschean Angst or nihilistic despair.ch. because it is no-thing in particular.Froese: F r o m Nihilism to Nothingness [ 13 "this" and "thaf' are connected. Therefore: what exists serves for possession. we would not be aware of the fact that one thing is not the other." Each thing "is" what it "is not" because the connection between things is made possible by the openness of nothingness. Zhuangzi brings this point home: "There is the beginning. Nothingness marks the birth of all things. For this reason. The circle is both whole and infinite since each point along it can be seen as both beginning and end. 11) III. In their nothingness consists the chambers effectiveness. One hollows the clay and shapes it into pots. Richard Wilhelm points out that the deepest secret is the non-beginning that is often represented by a simple circle (Wilhelm: 116). As in Westem philosophy. Nothingness refers to a kind of non-essentialism of all things. and it is not easy to say whether what is not. While nothingness in philosophical Daoism is seen as an opening. It is literally the dead-end that forces him to focus fully on the activity he is engaged in. and therefore represents endless potential as well as harmony. There is never any pure beginning which is not also an ending as well as a continuation. there is a sense that the "nothing" differentiates. for if we live primarily for the self. Nothingness is therefore present rather than absent as the empty space that allows things to both be and to connect into a whole: Thirty spokes surround the hub: In their nothingness consists the carriage's effectiveness. is" (Zhuangzi: 2. there is not as yet any beginning o f the beginning.

death is a reminder of the interconnection of all things. do not make your body struggle. For this reason he transcends his limitations not by struggling against them in superman-like fashion. When the tight-rope walker stares into the gaping abyss that encircles him. (Zhuangzi: 2. However. 52). he becomes acutely aware that he confronts nothingness as his own. Yet. From the perspective of the Dao. Nietzsche would not want to permanently overcome the sense of individuation that divides things from one another. dreamt that I was a butterfly. Zhuangzi's famous butterfly dream provides a subtle example. in the end. He is not frightened by his mortality because he "simply uses his physical body as a place to dwell" (Zhuangzi: 5. It is no accident that this vision comes to him in sleep which dissolves the boundaries of the ego-self. Embrace the spirit in quietness. But I could not tell. Nietzsche tacitly acknowledges the interrelationship between endings and beginnings. This is the reason that the Daoist sage confronts his own death with relative equanimity. At the same time. had I been Zhuangzi dreaming I was a buttexily or a butterfly dreaming I was now Zhuangzi? However. we might be tempted to overlook the unity between them. being and non-being. Oneness can only be expressed in diversity and therefore Zhuangzi and the butterfly must cultivate their distinct natures. Be still. do not disturb your essence" (Zhuangzi: 11. the body with its own rightness. 20) Zhuangzi's dream experience is significant for it recalls the transformation of one thing into another that constitutes the Dao's process. are one and the same" (Zhuangzi: 6. For the sage. he regards it as but one thread in an infinite net. In fact. at the same time. Rather than viewing his self in terms of the constraints he faces. there must be some sort of difference between Zhuangzi and a butterfly! We call this the transformarion of things. without recognizing the insignificance of the difference that separates them. to claim that the paradoxes of individuation are completely ignored in Daoist philosophy would also be an unjust rendering of these texts.114 Dao: A Journalof CoraparativeP&'losophjilia 1) Daoist thought. flitting around and enjoying myself. There is no passing-away that is not also a coming-to-be. He knows that "death and birth. The boundaries of his body are not perceived as limits but rather as openings. nothing heard. individuation is associated with turmoil. he acknowledges that there must be a difference between himself and the butterfly. 86). The paradox of Zhuangzi's . but rather by accepting them through the acknowledgement that they are also points of connection. Zhuangzi. The Daoist sage does not experience nothingness as his own and release from the individuated ego-self is his constant aim: "Nothing seen. However. Then suddenly I woke up and was Zhuangzi again. He admits that he cannot know whether he is a butterfly dreaming he is a man or a man dreaming he is a butterfly: Once upon a time I. by suggesting that a confrontation with death makes the affirmation of life possible. I have argued above that there is an account of nothingness as opening even in Nietzsche's writings that is directly linked to his understanding of the eternal return which reveals the fundamental connectedness of all things. discord and grief. I had no idea I was Zhuangzi. be pure. it is irrelevant whether or not Zhuangzi really is a butterfly or a man. 39).

Furthermore. Anticipating Chin~"Thin~'ng throughthe Natnativesof Chineseand Western Cultures. Two Visions of the Way: A Study of Wang Pi and the Ho-shang Kung Commentarieson the Lao-tZU.Froese: From Nihilism to Nothingness 115 dream is that it celebrates both the irrelevance and importance of this difference. 1993. The experience of nihilism is largely foreign to Daoist thinkers because they focus on nothingness as an opening. Laozi and Zhuangzi would concur that nothingness makes possible a unity based on the interconnection of particular beings rather than a unity predicated on homogeneity and sameness. Alan. Zarathustra will always oscillate between despair and jubilation. 1983. Girardot. it must be continuously overcome and therefore cannot disappear entirely. Julia. just as it would be a gross oversimplification to maintain that Western thinkers are blind to the importance of interconnection. for example. and Roger Ames. David. Chen. help to overcome some of the more debilitating aspects of nihilism by allowing for meaning to develop out of interconnection. London: Macmillan. It is only the confrontation with a radical meaninglessness that allows for the creation of meaning that Nietzsche extols. Ed. 1991. Myth and Meaningin Ear[y Taoism. N. The agonizing depths of nihilism must be experienced in order for an affmxtation of life to have meaning. Indeed. Things are both one and the same and not one and the same. Gwing. Laurence. ChineseReh'gions. Despite their differences in emphases Nietzsche. "Zhuangzi and Nietzsche: Plays of Perspectives. . Nietzsche'sTeaching. 1986. by Graham Parkes. for Nietzsche there could be no celebration of difference without a kind of territorial division which separates the self from the non-self. Meaning is not created against nothingness but rather out of nothingness from the Daoist perspective. References Chan. Ching. Both a tenacious commitment to one's boundaries and the self-transformation made possible by overcoming them create the diverse splendor of the world. thereby privileging interconnection over individuation. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Nevertheless. because in his view nihilism is not to be permanently eradicated but rather must be overcome over and over again. Nietzsche would take issue with the life proposed for the sage.J. it would be unfair to say that Daoist philosophers completely ignore the importance of individuation. While Nietzsche suggests that nihilism must be overcome." In Nietzsche andAdan Thought. Albany: State University of New York Press. one could argue that the views of nothingness expounded by Nietzsche in his eternal return.New Haven: Yale University Press. 1991. 1995. It allows human beings to relish both the unity in diversity and the diversity in unity. Lampert. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Albany: State University of New York Press. Hall.

Beyond Good and Evil. 1979. Trans. 1956. by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books9 9 1968e. Tran. New York: Penguin Books. Zhuangzi. Middlesex: Penguin Books9 1968b. 9 1969. Hollingdale. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii. Friedrich. 1985. The Antichrist (A). BeyondNihilism: Nietzsche ~dthoutMasks. London: Arkana Books. by R. London: Arkana Penguin Books. Keiji. Trans. Commentaryon the Lao TZu. Trans. Ofelia. Albany: State University of New York Press. Nietzsche. 1968a. Twik'ghtof the Idols. In Basic Writings of Nietzsche. HoUingdale.Ed. 91968d. On the Genealogyof Morals. 1996. Trans~ by Ariane Rump. The Book of Chuang-tzu. Trans. by Martin Palmer. Trans. 1984. The Tao Te Ching. New York: Modern Library. Thus Spoke Zarathuslra. by R.J.116 Dao:A Journalof ComparativePhilosophyO'V91) L6with. Nietzsche's Philosophie der E~igen Wiederkehr des Gkichen.J. Nishitani. Hollingdale. Schutte. Middlesex: Penguin Books.J. In Basic Wrilings of Nietzsche. by R. . Karl. by Graham Parkes. by Walter Kaufmann. Wang. Wilhelm. 19909The Self-OvercomingofNihik'sm. The Willto Power. Richard. Bi. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. 91968c.

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