Monday, November 21, 2011

Nietzsche, an irrational believer!

If you are one of those who like to refer to Nietzsche without having ever read him, you can stop reading that article now. People who refer to Nietzsche with the confidence of the ignorant and who repeat the “God is dead” phrase again and again just show what they want to hide: that they HAVE NOT read more than ten lines of text written by Nietzsche (books for Nietzsche written by others do not count – see below why). This is what the dogmatic ignorant usually does: he reads something that someone else has written for a philosopher (never the philosopher himself, since that would be “difficult”), isolates a phrase that matches his beliefs and then he repeats that phrase until they die (both he and the phrase).

If you read the Notebooks of Nietzsche or the (very important) “The birth of Tragedy” (Gr. Η Γέννηση της Τραγωδίας), you will see how the opinion you have formulated by listening to what others are saying about a philosopher greatly differs from the opinion you formulate when reading the philosopher HIMSELF! In “The birth of Tragedy” Nietzsche speaks of the Dionysian man and how he, during his ecstasy, encounters the mysterious One which transcends the world. He refers to gods and the need for the existence of myths and… miracles! He talks about the songs that the drunken Dionysian man sings under the mid-noon Sun and how he is filled with joy when his existence is united with the primal One. He talks about how music reveals that One (Gr. Εν) which hovers over every phenomenality. He speaks against Science and Logic, who both think they can explain the world by just sticking to its phenomenal surface. At some point he also shortly explains his antithesis with religion today (i.e. the religion of his time): it is because it has become a religion of scholars – while Reason cannot explain the mystery of “existing” !!! At another point he reaches to the point to refer to the supernatural comfort we feel when we are united again with that “primordial Being”. He even refers to eternal living beyond every phenomenon and against any nullification!

Let us consider things now. How much is the above wealth of thoughts away from the simplistic “Nietzsche is an atheist. He said that God is dead!” opinion? I am not saying that I have the key for the interpretation of all of the above. But anyone who insists on simply putting a doctrinal “atheist” tag on this high-quality stream of thoughts can be anything BUT correct. When many of the above could be part of a... theological text, we are not entitled to isolate a sentence and draw any conclusions from it.

In "Thus Spake Zarathustra" Nietzsche calls us to become children, as Christ did a long time ago.

The great philosopher was not against God in general (see Nietzsche - Writings from the Late Notebooks, Rudiger Bittner), but against the representatives of Christianism who failed to solve the problems of the world. Nietzsche was against any kind of "foundations". If God existed, then foundations must also exist. (see here) When talking about "god" the philosopher does not even talk about God! The god which he declares "dead" is not God, but the ethical imperatives of Christianism in his era. [Thus Spake Zarathustra, page 29 in Part 1 Chapter 1: "What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call Lord and God? "Thou-shalt," is the great dragon called"] The Superhuman is a new human who is not genetically superior but ethically superior, who is driven by the will for power and who does not care for the "other world" but only lives for the world "down here", on Earth. The man of a new metaphysics, the Eternal Return. The ass is the animal of that supreme human, like Jesus sat on such an animal when he entered Jerusalem. Nietzsche calls us to find god inside our selves (source).

Try to see past the outer phenomenal differences...

Papanoutsos (Gr. Παπανούτσος) actually reads the “God is dead” phrase not as a triumphal phrase of victory, but rather as an ascertainment that Nietzsche made with sadness: man with his science (against which Nietzsche attacks furiously again and again) thinks he can understand everything. But he cannot. Only the superhuman can help us now that "god is dead" and make us see the god inside us. [Papanoutsos: Παπανούτσος, "Φιλοσοφικά Προβλήματα", Φιλοσοφική άποψη της ιστορίας της φιλοσοφίας, σ. 215] (didn't Christ taught the same?) Zarathustra expresses an anxiety in an era when every educated man should be happy with the progress of science...

But not many pay attention to that exception to the generally optimistic climate.

How much different is the "other world" for which Jesus talked from Nietzsche's (equally mystical, weird and paradoxical) world of the "eternal return"? Nietzsche was poetic and irrational - as much as it is required to be a Believer. Nietzsche did not have the love he wanted in life. And he seeks it with hatred. With passion that only he who seeks God in its ultimate form can have. Only the Dionysian man in his ecstasy can be aware of the “primordial Being”. And don’t let anyone tell you what this Being (the One) is like!

Read Nietzsche for yourself in order to learn what he says! Rational interpretations which put his thoughts in “category checkboxes” are certainly not appropriate for the man who founded the… irrationalism!

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