Nietzsche's Question and an Attempt At Solving It

Author's Note: This article is one part finished product and one part my own attempt at parsing the problem Nietzsche was trying to solve throughout his life-long career of philosophy. The first section presented here is my own parsing which later would form the basis of what I present in the section immediately following the first. I recognize that both sections are somewhat abstruse. Because I'm a terrible painter/drawer often times the only way I have to translate the images I see in my head to the outside world is through words. What's presented here is an attempt to paint how I see Nietzsche's work in my mind with words.

Behind the veil of Nietzsche’s prose – his insanity – lies his own specter in the form of a question. Or rather, this is a question which arises out of an observation which is given the name ‘inescapable hypothesis’.

Such a question is not immediately apparent unless this passage in the Science evokes a kind of puzzlement. If one asks themselves what on Earth would ‘An inescapable hypothesis to which humanity must have recourse again and again [which] is still more powerful in the long run than the best believed faith in something untrue’ (GS 133) look like, then this may be the right kind of puzzlement. This puzzlement alone does not seem to be enough, however, and it requires something more. What one needs is to become aware of Nietzsche’s specter and once this occurs then, and only once this occurs, will it become apparent what Nietzsche’s question, as a specter of puzzlement, might be.

There is a question of interpretation; “You say this may be but ought you not be sure of the author? Aren’t you simply using him for your own ends? It seems as if you invoke relativism to conceal your ignorance!”. To which the author himself replies, “what is right for one cannot by any means therefore be right for another, that the demand for one morality for all is detrimental to precisely the higher men” (BGE228).

This is not to say there is no objective right but rather to imply that this interpretation may be meant for some but we ought not allow the text to disappear beneath the interpretation (BGE 38) whether that be here or anywhere else. And while there are books not for the lower types (BGE 30) – indeed they are fatal to them – it would not be surprising at all to find in this author a multitude of interpretations which ought not be sacrificed all of them in the name of a particular interpretation.

We might then say the puzzlement and when and where Nietzsche’s specter appears to one depends on an interpretation; and vice versa. Is this wrong? Wouldn’t this be a foregone conclusion in recognition of those independent, solitary, strange, and noble men of greatness who possess as their essence the title higher type (BGE 212)?

This is the question which arises out of a synthesis of the puzzlement brought about by reflecting on the proposition of an inescapable hypothesis with the appearance of a certain shade of Nietzsche’s specter; How do we take hold of the human, material, and finite being – and grasping it – aetherialize it, and in doing so it becomes each particular’s universalized essential particular whereby it drives an entire set of unique particulars towards their unique height and with this height as greatness reflected to such an extreme it lingers in their ruins even after they’re gone forever?

This mysticism would become the spiritual whose material and finite characteristics produce an inescapable hypothesis which drives all science and culture; reviving our ancient being necessarily bound to our will and categorically unbound to our conditional existence. In an instant the wandering madmen bursts into a hundred-thousand-year zeitgeist showering their posterity with glimmering flecks of their uniquely and arbitrarily grounded humanity instantiated in their collective universal spiritual consciousness.

The unconditional will – a dogma of erroneous certain belief (BGE 34) – previously driving their ancient greatness towards eventual dissolution, stands firm beside this particularized universalized mysticism. Neither are negations nor degrees of one another but instead the cumulative history of a species beset on all sides by a universe of apparent absurdities; but these appearances are themselves the result of an absurdity among an infinite set of absurdities – necessarily.

These negations are symbiotic; one fixed while the other in motion yet both moving together as one. In this new, supra-moral age, the question of ‘why?’ becomes incoherent. It is a useless question – one whose answer becomes immediate after it’s immediacy is denied belief. The process for which one arrives upon the answer being simply a reflection on the cosmology of the answer.

Man as the Human Seat of Spiritualization

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Nietzsche’s contemporaries (and perhaps ours) widely accept that the realm of the spirit, for it to be a realm of spirit at all, would have to occupy a non-natural, or nonmaterial realm. However, Nietzsche seems to want to rescue (belief in) the spirit or spiritual realm from such false presuppositions. Instead, he seeks to ground the spirit in the natural world, and perhaps even to understand it scientifically. I will attempt to explain how Nietzsche aims to achieve this, and offer some thoughts about the promise or success of this attempt.

Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.[1]

The genius of the Greeks was their ability to look the world in its eyes, see it for what it is, and courageously – and maybe arrogantly – affirm it as more than what it really was; something which could be affirmed.[2] The ‘tragic age of the Greeks’, which could claim the great tragedians Aeschylus and Sophocles, presents us with a paradox when viewed from the relative position of our own age.[3] This paradox manifests itself in the form of a question, namely, by what right do these artists claim the authority to affirm the ‘terrible nature of existence’?[4] The paradox itself isn’t apparent until we amend Michael Tanner’s characterization, given in the introduction to Beyond Good and Evil, of how the Greeks conceived of existence.[5] Having done this the paradox can loosely be stated as, ‘Existence, which includes Humanity, doesn’t appear to have any rhyme or reason from some force or mind external to existence. What’s further it appears as if ‘the eternal hourglass of existence is turned over again and again’ (GS, §. 341). If such is the case, then by what right or authority would (or could) one move to affirm or produce commentary regarding something so terribly devastating to life which by its very appearance denies the necessity, and capability, to be affirmed? How does one affirm that which cannot be affirmed?’.

Here, the faint spark of Nietzsche’s famous (or infamous) and misunderstood phrase ‘will to power’ can be seen in its infancy. Principally in what looks like, as a response to the above question, an obvious answer; ‘That we simply do is right enough’. [6] In traversing Nietzsche’s works the journey is complex but in its entirety may perhaps be boiled down to a simple distinction; first, identifying the origin of the concept of value beginning with the Greeks, on the one hand, and second, dealing with the last ‘two millennia of history’ (GM, §. VII) – which consists of Nietzsche’s destruction of Christianity – as another instantiation of man’s drive to create ‘imaginary causations’ (DB, §. 10) and which was the product of the Jewish priestly caste’s envy and subversion of traditional values now famously known as the slave revolt of morality (GM, §. VII - XI), on the other hand. Ironically, and possibly thankfully, this same ‘truly brilliant politics of vengeance’ of the Jewish priesthood manifest through Christ himself as the ‘bait’ for which all of Europe was to swallow (GM, §. VIII) is simultaneously Christianity’s downfall as well as the Jewish control of Europe through it.[7] Understanding this distinction laid out above along with the ‘faint spark’ of that now famous Nietzschean phrase is important to grasping the sheer magnitude of what Nietzsche is attempting to offer Humanity as well as the far reaching ripple-effects such an attempt may possibly have on a ‘post-Nietzschean’ and scientifically advanced future – of which we are nearly a fifth of the way into the second century.

Broadly, there are two themes at play throughout Nietzsche’s work. Which theme is more prominent will depend entirely upon which work is being read. The first theme, which can be said to deal specifically with the issues of morality’s value (DB, §. XXIV), morally motivated actions and erroneous presuppositions (DB, §. XXVI), the detrimental effect a lack of moral customs has on lower types (DB, §. 9), and finally the detrimental effect of moral customs on higher types (DB, §.132 & §. 163). The second theme while building upon the issues prominent in the first paradoxically[8] attempts to seize the spiritual realm, specifically the essence of that realm underlying Christianity but that which runs throughout all other-worlds, which hitherto Nietzsche has spent a considerable amount of time eroding. Having accomplished this, it falls to Nietzsche then to take the spirit and seat it firmly in Man while at the same time reaffirming – especially in the context of today’s social environment – ‘the order of rank between man and man, consequently also between morality and morality’.[9] In this task of seating and reaffirming within man the order of rank rests a crucial component to the overall theoretical success of Nietzsche’s attempt in spiritualizing man. Indeed, such a component, when understood within its proper context of the larger aim, exists as the guide itself towards both theoretical and, in the end, the probable success of Nietzsche’s end state for Man. This component being the ‘master’ morality, or the morality of the aristocracy.

It is necessary however, before venturing forward, to take a moment and briefly mention the predictable resistance which will inevitably arise in any society between those who seek to replace the dominant morality of utility (BGE, §. 260) with the historical morality of the aristocracy. This resistance manifests itself in two ways. First there exists the very real complication, as is pointed out in the introductory section of Beyond Good and Evil by Tanner, of what may be described as a resistance of nature. That this resistance is natural is evident in the fact that ‘to create and maintain values of a kind that Nietzsche could approve in the face of the contemporary world would require an act of will so prodigious that the person who could perform it would have to be allocated to a new species’.[10] Second, and more importantly, for a society which has internalized the ‘slave morality’ and, where this morality is dominant, such a phenomenon necessarily implies an internalization and codification into the social consciousness of the society and the individual soul of ‘the longing for freedom, the instinct for the happiness and the refinements of the feeling of freedom’.[11] It is immediately obvious, when we understand the ‘master morality’ – morality of the aristocracy – as being the antithesis of the ‘slave morality’, such an antithesis between these two moralities will likely end in extreme and viscerally oppositional conflict on the part of the ‘slaves’. This resistance, as I take it, stands most prominently in the path as a road block to those who seek and desire to reaffirm history and return to a morality of the aristocracy. So prominent and intuitive does this resistance appear to be a foregone conclusion that its very presence as a consequence challenges the efficacy of even getting the theoretical discussion, much less the practical implementation, off the ground in the first place. Put another way, the proposition of such a violent resistance may be enough to render Nietzsche’s entire task a failure before it manages to get underway regardless of whether his commentary on all other matters elsewhere stands the test of scientific and philosophic scrutiny. Having stated the major issue facing Nietzsche’s project we can now examine how he sets out to achieve such a project by spiritualizing Man and in doing so placing that which once existed in a non-material world beyond the reach of Man firmly in Humanity and within its grasp. As such we can turn to the third section of the first part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra entitled ‘On the Hinterworldly’.

For those deceived by their own delusion they project them beyond themselves toward a secret world. Their delusions appear as ‘the work of a suffering and tortured god’. The appearances transition into apparent dreams of the god; ‘colorful smoke before the eyes of a divine dissatisfied being’. All that is and all that can be conceived appear to this god – and to us – as the dreams of this god. They are a product which arises out of god’s desire to ‘look away from himself’. His suffering motivates him to become a creator and thus we become. Suffering produces, a ‘drunken joy’ and impels the sufferer into a hazed state of temporary bliss followed by a hangover. Nietzsche wonders if this sight towards the beyond is the beyond called ‘truth’. Speaking in present tense he observes that this beyond and the god who inhabits it is really one ‘that [he] created’ and ‘was of human make and madness’. It was a deficient cast of ‘human and ego’. The secret world beyond, he cries, came not from beyond but from his own remains and ‘ember’. Being a deficient mold he calls it a ghost which he then took with him to the mountain and while there created a ‘brighter flame for [himself]’. Such a flame dispels the ghost with its illumination and the secret world beyond is now gone. Suffering transitions from its origin in a desire to distract one’s self from their own suffering to a belief in this no-longer-existing world. To believe in this world beyond after one realizes how and why it originally manifests is, for the man who has overcome, a new suffering. Nietzsche then attaches a use to suffering in proclaiming all suffering and incapacity produces secret worlds beyond and the ephemeral ‘madness of happiness’ which follows. ‘Only the most suffering person experiences [this]’.

Nietzsche offers another claim as to how the gods and secret worlds were created; through weariness desiring ‘its ultimate’ – the negation or lack of weariness – which is the loss of one’s will possibly through distraction. Loss of will becomes the vision of the world beyond. This desire to break through to the ‘other world’ driven by being’s hunger as a kind of voice reveals, according to Nietzsche, that a hidden world being nothing and inhuman cannot speak to us unless it is human. How could the hunger of the belly as voice speak to us if it is not of us? This would be as if another’s hunger was your own and you knew their hunger through your own self – which is absurd. It is then that this hunger, being, and other world is of the human; it draws, and is created, from humanness. Being’s ego, or the ‘I’, and its contradiction – ‘the other’ grant the truest insight into being itself – about its ‘creating, willing, valuing ego which is the measure and value of things’. The self desires love and body even if it seeks its own distraction in fantasies. The self, through attainment of knowledge, grows in its own knowledge of itself. To teach one’s self about its self is a ‘new pride’ namely, the free burden to bear one’s own ‘head’ rather than rest it in the realm of ‘heavenly things’. Doing so the free shouldering of one’s head leads us to a new direction for the earth through meaning. Even those sick and dying-out men were not truly able to leave themselves and enter into this world they created as distraction; the feeling of pleasure – of detachment – was momentary and resides within their own body and the earth. They too can overcome this and they ought not be treated too harshly. Many are those who surround these other-world creators and they are viscous towards the ‘knowing ones’. They demean and attack the most youthful of all virtues; honesty is the last virtue to appear and only when the camel has entered his desert does this virtue come out of the sand. Honesty is not a virtue among those who value strength, will… in a word ‘power’. Honesty is not required for these selves who create. The knowing ones see through the dying-out ones. These dying-out ones desire the beliefs of others reside within themselves and they fear the sickly others around them would abandon them so they claim doubt as a sin. The knowing ones see through them because they were them. They are not so different the knowing ones and the dying-out ones; both hold their beliefs as residing in themselves and in this belief they know their body. But the dying-out ones know their body to be diseased – they know this because it seems this way to them – and so they seek release into the other-world and away from their disease. Thus they listen to each other, these ‘preachers of death’ and they echo their sermons of ‘hinterlands’ off one another. The knowing ones preach a different sermon. They spread the word of the healthy body which speaks of ‘the meaning of the earth’ and this voice is young in virtue and purity. This body walks through the hinterlands upright because the hinterlands are none other than the earth beneath their feet.[12]

This section of Thus Spoke Zarathustra does the ‘heavily lifting’ of spiritualizing Man in an excellent fashion. Arguably the most relevant, as well as most difficult, task in working towards this spiritualization is giving a compelling account of why a non-natural or non-material realm doesn’t exist. The genius of this section lies in Nietzsche’s clever observation that those things compelling us towards these so called ‘hinterlands’ and which drives us to madness are actually those which reside within us. Further, he points out the striking similarities between our own selves and these beyond-worlds which implies a degree of doubt as to how something not of us could come to resemble us unless this thing was actually the result of our own selves drawing from themselves when they sought to create these other-worlds.

More subtly is the brief remark regarding man’s new suffering which offers a strong foundation for justifying the premises and conclusions of the section immediately following On the Hinterworldly. Appropriately titled, On the Despisers of the Body, Nietzsche turns to the despisers appealing to them directly. They should not, his claim goes, ‘relearn and teach differently’. This sentiment, when viewed in the context of the larger section, implies Nietzsche feels they are deficient and can only depart from the Earth through death by ‘[falling] silent’. This view is expressed and justified through his explication of what the body truly is; ‘The body is a great reason, a multiplicity with one sense, a war and a peace, one herd and one shepherd’. All things follow from (the body) ‘great reason’ including the ego, ‘I’, sense, and spirit. ‘Behind them lies the self’ and through our ‘self’ the body conceives ‘leaps and thoughts’ as ‘a detour to [our] purpose’ - indeed, Nietzsche characterizes the self as laughing at its ego’s thoughts as ‘leaps and [flights]’. The self motivates the ego towards pain or pleasure through experience. When the experience is over the ego reflects on what has occurred so it can minimize or maximize them. The ego reflects as thinking and ‘for that purpose it is supposed to think!’. Appealing directly to the disrespect of the body-despisers Nietzsche claims this is the result of their own creative self no longer possessing the ability to create a world beyond. Disrespect, being the evil sister of respect, was a creation of the self like all other values to serve the self. Their disrespect is thus still a product of their body. Here Nietzsche reveals the sickness that impels him towards the suggestive suicide of the body-despisers – their self wants to die and is driven by this want towards hatred and scorn. No longer able to create an other-world beyond and driven by their absolute desire to do so they turn inwards and scorn themselves – their body. They are deficient for retaining this desire for a creation beyond themselves after they no longer have the ability to do so. Their path leads nowhere but self-loathing and Nietzsche rejects them and their self-contempt. He seeks ‘bridges to the superhuman’ elsewhere; Man’s bridges lie elsewhere. Again, it is Nietzsche’s striking cleverness in what isn’t said explicitly but said as a natural negation of what is explicitly stated. That is, Nietzsche is describing, albeit in his own myth, the priestly caste of his very real world which he sees as defunct, deficient and the root of the cause of man’s loss of creativity; the loss of sight of the order of rank and ‘master morality’. In his describing these body-despisers, however, he is also describing what they are not and painting an indirect map towards overcoming man thus he gives an indirect path towards transcending into the superhuman or overman. What is missing, now, is a more refined account of the man who, unlike the body-despisers, has turned inward and sought himself rather than continue to have as his highest goal the creation of an other-world.

There are two sections which seem to fill this need quite nicely; On the Passions of Pleasure and Pain and On Reading and Writing. First, from On reading and Writing, what is written, Nietzsche claims, only has value if it is written by its author with that which sustains him; ‘his blood’. Why write if your ink flows not from within you? You will write with blood and find your spirit on the pages. To grasp the life of another is no easy task and Nietzsche claims we ought to despise the ‘readers idle’. Who do you write for, he asks? Is it a friend? If so, Nietzsche seems to claim nothing can be done for him. ‘One more century of readers - and the spirit itself will stink’. Should everyone be taught this gift of reading? Bluntly he simply says no, that that path leads to foul writing and foul thinkers. Once Man’s life was God, but then Man found life in himself. He then points to how life has becomes a rabble, which here seems to be an implication that only certain men can find themselves and have the skill to read carefully. We desire the shortest distance to our end from our beginning. Some men reach their end quicker than others because they ‘have long legs' – and obvious reference to the higher types he later describes as nobility in Beyond Good and Evil. When one writes they should not do so for men with the shorter legs that the higher man’s ‘peaks’ are not for them. Higher men are courageous and desire wretched creatures around me. Courage which sends specters fleeing ushers in its own wretched ones - courage wants amusement. Higher men see the creatures beneath them and where once they sympathized with them now they no longer hold this sympathy. They are a ‘black and heavy thing’ beneath them and this weight of the wretched creature is their ‘thundercloud’. These creatures look towards the higher men’s sky and long for their height but the higher men stare down at the creatures because of their height. Men who seek their highest peaks find amusement in ‘all tragic plays and tragic realities’. Here it seems as if Nietzsche is appealing to the Greek spirit that finds amusement in affirming the terrible reality of nature in its lack of telos – which would require a courage indicative of a strong spirit’s will to life through power. Wisdom finds a home in the body of men who’re ‘courageous, unconcerned, sarcastic, violent’ and women seek out these warriors. One remarks, ‘Life is hard to bear’ – but, Nietzsche asks, why do you wake up the next morning? There is truth in this, he says, but then one must harden themselves to life and silence their complaints. There are those who tremble and then there are those ‘handsome’ ones who do not. What do handsome higher types have in common with the wretched creatures? In a word, nothing. Here Nietzsche offers his claim as a truth; it isn’t life these men love because its burdens are familiar but because love is familiar to them they love life. To gaze upon ‘sensitive little souls fluttering’ with none of life’s weight brings these men to ‘tears and songs’. Why should these men, who are no different from these sensitive souls, not rejoice in these souls who do not seem to be burdened by the weight of life? A god who could not dance is not a god higher types believe in. Their devil, Nietzsche claims, is gravity and the weight of the world brings all things falling to the ground. This devilish spirit is banished not by the sword but by laughter. One walks, then yearns to run. One flies, and moves at one’s own choosing. So run, and let yourself fly when you choose. These higher types are hard but light and so they dance - ‘a god dances through [us]’- and flying above they see themselves below.[13]

In addressing Nietzsche’s work in Zarathustra there is always the difficulty in examining it without being too prosaic, however, in reading his words one feels a sense of playful apathy towards life. The visual imagery and suggestive claims about peaks, wretched creatures staring up longing for the height of the higher man, the purpose of writing which draws from within the self and what makes one who they are – these are all attempts by Nietzsche to convey both this idea of a natural hierarchy of man. As well, he offers them as a subtle push of the men who are born as higher types towards not holding any predilections but rather they ought to take a more carefree and playful attitude towards what it is they seek to create as values. Part of this sentiment is resonates in On Passions of Pleasures and Pain, where Nietzsche claims if you have a virtue, and it comes from within, it is yours alone; ‘you have it in common with no one’. And again where he suggests placing whatever your virtue is high above the reach of names. Towards the end of this section the reader is given the sense that Nietzsche is approaching this myth from the perspective of a society which, unlike the Greeks, has lost its vision and creativity and must be reintroduced to it. Paraphrasing he says, ‘These vices and passions you once called ‘evil’ are now to your lips like sweet milk. Nothing comes from within you anymore which you call evil unless it is the evil manifested as conflict between your virtues.’

The extent to which Nietzsche achieves the goal of reclaiming the spirit of the other-world, which exists in the Kantian noumenal world and the Christian metaphysics, and sets it firmly within the seat of humanity on Earth should be evaluated in two ways, as I have done already. The first being whether the argument given by Nietzsche on the origin of the fictitious other-world motivates both intuitively and coherently a necessary assent to this origin being within man. Following this one should investigate into whether or not, once creation of an other-world which previously claimed a normative push toward values has been set within man, retains this normative push, not to other men but to individual men of higher types themselves. I have argued, according to Nietzsche, since we are ultimately the ones responsible for creating other-world(s) whose fictitious nature was previously unknown to us but which now is revealed and since these other-worlds were indeed responsible for morality – through custom – possessing its normative push, there is no reason this should not be a sufficient condition for that same creativity to motivate us each as individuals, for those who have such a creativity and access to the truth, so as to seek and be driven by what we decide should be our own values. The second evaluation should be one of practicality insofar as you can convince a large group of society, having internalized the subversive nature of a longing for free will and the ‘slave morality’, to break through this and acquiesce to the ‘master/slave’ morality dichotomy without completely annihilating everything within, and peripheral to, the society. Ironically, this sort of acquiescence if we’re being strictly Nietzschean, isn’t a matter up for debate; as it were in the past, the master morality was such that whatever the nobility decided simply is to be valued, would be. The largest issue, as has been stated previously, however is a matter of loss of life. Given the total and complete victory Nietzsche highlights on the part of the Jews and their Christianity it is hard to imagine, if his claims are true, that these victors would simply allow their winnings to be taken from them without much of a fight and large scale destruction would predictably follow. For now, it may just be the case, if you accept what Nietzsche says as true then your only recourse is to act in a manner that spiritualizes your own humanity for you but does not have the larger effect Nietzsche obviously has in mind for all of Europe.[14]

History is changing rapidly. We are changing it daily with our memetic warfare. Gradually we are coming together, we like-minded Aryans, and seizing our humanity away from Jews, Jewish influence, and a rapidly decaying weltanschauung. Loss of life is a foregone conclusion in this coming conflict. We each must spiritualize ourselves in recognition that our future collective of individually spiritually invigorated and physically strengthened men will be necessary to buttress up against the coming waves of leftist golems seeking to destroy what we are resurrecting. We are raising the specter of a long dead Roman superiority, seating it within ourselves, and what will manifest is a never-before-seen Euro-Roman hybrid spiritualization.

Hail Kek.

References

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, Francis Golffing, and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. The Birth of Tragedy; And, the Genealogy of Morals.

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, and R. J. Hollingdale. Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. London: Penguin Books, 2003.

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, Maudemarie Clark, Brian Leiter, and R. J. Hollingdale. Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Williams, Bernard Arthur Owen., and Josefine Nauckhoff. Nietzsche: The Gay Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Notes

[1] Planck, Max, and James Vincent Murphy. Where Is Science Going? New York: W.W. Norton &, 1932. Epilogue Pg. 217

[2] I am possibly putting words in Nietzsche’s mouth with this assertion but it does seem, at least superficially, that Nietzsche in the first section of his postscript to The Birth of Tragedy suggests this in his questioning – or rather his discussion on questions – of value. Specifically, when Nietzsche asks, ‘What meaning did the tragic myth have for the Greeks during the period of their greatest power and courage?’. This section, which alludes to an affirmation of the positive utility of pessimism, is immediately followed with a contrasting of the utility of tragedy from pessimism to the ‘agencies that had proved fatal to tragedy: Socratic ethics, dialectics, the temperance and cheerfulness of the pure scholar’. Nietzsche asks us, while musing about his own questions to himself, whether, ‘these, rather than their opposites, [could] be viewed as symptoms of decline fatigue, distemper, of instincts caught in anarchic dissolution?’

[3] Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks. Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 1962.

[4] Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, and R. J. Hollingdale. Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. London: Penguin Books, 2003. pp.9

[5] ‘They had the courage to recognize the fundamentally terrible nature of existence […]’. Tanner’s attaches only the qualification of ‘terrible’ to how the Greeks perceived existence. However, if we understand existence to be something along the lines of how Nietzsche poses it in The Gay Science titled ‘The Heaviest Weight’ the paradox becomes readily apparent.

[6] The paradox rests on the assumption that when one affirms something they stand in some position of authority on the matter which privileges their claims over and above any others. For the Greeks to have made such tragedies they must have seen themselves in a special standing to the rest of existence which motivated them to create theatrical commentaries regarding it.

[7] ‘It was the self-destructive urge of Christianity, intent on exploring to its furthest recesses the glory of God’s world, that led to the discovery that explanations of natural phenomena could continue indefinitely without ever needing to call on divine assistance’. Beyond Good and Evil, pg. 13

[8] It is a paradox that Nietzsche wants to seize the spiritual essence of the thing he has destroyed given how well Christianity has spiritualized humanity’s understanding of existence.

[9] Beyond Good and Evil, §. 228

[10] Beyond Good and Evil, §. 8

[11] Beyond Good and Evil, §. 260

[12] In attempting to engage with the ideas running underneath Nietzsche’s words in Thus Spoke Zarathustra doing so in a formalize fashion can be difficult in that simply pulling direct quotes and then analyzing them is extremely disruptive to what I believe is the spirit Nietzsche wishes to convey through and with his words. As such I have done my best to remain true to the English translation while at the same time transcribing them into my own thoughts in a manner that best fits the purposes of this current paper.

[13] Echoing the sentiment in 12

[14] ‘The West’ would be an acceptable update to the change of times thought within the context of Nietzsche it is obvious his is appealing to the larger European continent.

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All your races are belong to us! Co-host of RadioTRS' philosophy podcast KulturKampf