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    Thread: How close are you to an Übermensch? -take the test!

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      How close are you to an Übermensch? -take the test!

      So I just found out our loveable(or hated) german philospher Friedrich Nietzsche created a test for finding how close are you to an Übermensch. Keep in mind that this is a MAJOR simplification of a very large and imo amazing philosophy(not that I read all, or any of his books, yet).


      Here it is(adapted from the gay science):

      “What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”


      If your answer is the former then according to Nietzsche you are a normal human.

      If your answer was the latter then you are the higher man, which is the closest thing a human can be to an Übermensch.
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      The latter would seem to indicate a... gullibility? Eh, not the right choice of words, quite. Maybe I mean to say, naivety. Which of course is indicative of being a peon, not an Übermensch, as our dear friend Nietzsche would put it. I think it's safe to say that his test for being a more evolved being isn't logically sound, and I think most would agree. Such criteria for proving Übermensch qualities is clearly pretty silly.

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      Just at a glance it kind of sounds like if you answer the first you hate your current life which means you are not really living to your full potential and so are a normal man, and if you answer the second it means you are living a fulfilled life that you don't mind living again and you believe you can find much enjoyment in it so are the better man.
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      Interesting way of looking at it. You could really look at it from multiple perspectives. Then again, I'm sure this whole thing was supposed to be an elaborate ruse to get us all to think at the end of the day anyway. What better way to do that than to pose a silly, irrelevant question that should determine whether or not you or your neighbor is indeed more evolved or not?

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      Ah - HeWhoShapes - did you see me cite this here: http://www.dreamviews.com/lounge/131...tations-4.html?
      I didn't know, it was connected to the Übermensch concept. Did you read Gay Science (gay as in happy)? I didn't, but it's on the net - I might. First off - and I don't want to spend hours on demonstrating it, well, depends on who asks how - but it's not Nietzsche's fault, that the Nazis found a liking to some of his concepts. While his lifetime, there were no Nazis yet of course. After his death, his sister and her husband, a Nazi, manipulated some of his work, and if I remember correctly, this could be identified and nullified. What is in my memory, is that he was not antisemitic at all, but Wagner was, by the way. I believe to have read a quote of Nietzsche's, where he actually condemns anti-Semitism. As said, if you wanted to roll that up in detail and depth, I might go ahead and put effort into it, like I did quite a long while back in order to convince somebody else - with sources and success. He was indeed quite misogynistic, though, no denying that - but it doesn't keep me off finding wisdom in what little I read of his, nor off admiring the beauty of his language, which I find to even shine through in translation.


      Now to that quote - I came across it, when looking up the following one, which I find truly lovely. I'm generally quite fond of his aphorisms:

      ...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.


      Here the full version of this demon-thought-experiment, including the last passage, which I view as pretty crucial to understanding his point:

      The heaviest burden: “What, if some day or night, a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life, as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life must return to you, all in the same succession and sequence — even this spider and this moonlight between the trees and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over again and again—and you with it, speck of dust!’ Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god, and never have I heard anything more divine!’
      If this thought were to gain possession of you, it would change you as you are, or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, “do you want this once more and innumerable times more?” would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight. Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?


      It gave me a jolt, how he turns the motive of mortality around like this - and a good one. He doesn't tell you, you have every moment only once, your decisions will be final, and now go and make the best of it. Instead he hammers the point home quite impressively with this motive of eternal recurrence.
      I see it as an appeal to try and take yourself and your decisions seriously, knowing they are irretrievable, but not to despair, but instead see it as a motivation to give it your very best in every moment, so that you are so happy and content with yourself and your life and deeds, that you wouldn't mind that seal, of which he speaks, put upon it.
      ... how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life...? Indeed a very good question!

      It's impossible to live all of your life in such a permanent awareness of purpose, that would indeed be "Über" - beyond the abilities of a human being - but you can view it as something to take a measure of yourself with, an ideal. Imagine how your life would be like, if you managed to hold yourself up to the standard of non-regrettability! It is a glorious idea, it also made me think of how easy it is to just let life drag you along with it sometimes, but how every single moment is indeed a chance to take the steering wheel and realize your potential, view your opportunities not as something to wait for, but as something to shape and build yourself.

      That's what it is to me. Yep - I do like it, it shook me up a bit and made me think.
      If it's supposed to be a test - the question here is: Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment...
      So for him, you need just know the feeling, be able to understand this in principle, in order to "pass".
      If you're just seeing unwanted responsibility and dread in the idea - well - then you lack something, I would agree.

      I'm sure, this has been discussed to death, but I didn't look it up now, what other people think, I just wrote what it means to me.


      Snoop - what can I say? If you fail to see the profound seriousness of this thought experiment, then I guess, I can't help you.

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      I've been putting some some real thought into my post - now where is everybody?

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      sorry steph don't have time to respond wait for the weekend!
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      Those don't seem like fair options. Why trust the demon in the first place? I think the wiser person would choose none of those options. Those who choose the proposed options either choose to believe in a lie or hurt themself.
      Last edited by DawnEye11; 10-28-2014 at 10:04 PM.

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      I don't agree with either option. The only person you should believe in is yourself. If you truly accept yourself then you'll realize loneliness is a delusion you yourself has created.
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      I would really recommend to you, to pay close attention while reading the whole thing, as I quoted it in my post. It seems, otherwise there's quite a danger of misunderstanding!


      Quote Originally Posted by HeWhoShapes View Post
      sorry steph don't have time to respond wait for the weekend!
      No probs! Looking forward to what you think on the matter!


      Quote Originally Posted by DawnEye11 View Post
      Those don't seem like fair options. Why trust the demon in the first place? I think the wiser person would choose none of those options. Those who choose the proposed options either choose to believe in a lie or hurt themself.
      Well - it's just a thought-experiment, you are not really supposed to believe in it, or wonder if the demon is real. The demon and it's verdict being real is the basis from which to start thinking, so to speak. This eternal recurrence being real or not, is not yours to to choose from, it being so is the premiss.
      What you are now to ask yourself is this:

      Given the demon is right - would you feel purely bad upon this revelation, would you think it truly and only a dreadful idea,
      or:
      can you at the least remember a time in your life, where you were so much in tune with yourself, so much convinced, that you took exactly the right decisions and actions, based upon your own value-system, so that you would take the exact same course, if you had to decide and act again?

      This is a question to put to yourself, not in order to answer it, and then let Nietzsche tell you, if he likes your choice, or rather the reality of you being able to remember such a moment or not.

      No - you are only asked to think about how it feels to be one with your own purpose, to have no regrets at all - and how it would be a good idea to be able to think like this about as much of your life as possible.
      He shocks you into considering this non-regrettability as an ideal, with which to take your own pulse, so to speak; instead of stating to you:

      You have every moment only once, so go and make the best of it.

      That's it. He's prodding you to ponder your mortality, but he does not right-out tell you, he's being poetic instead, has you think yourself.


      Quote Originally Posted by ViIe View Post
      I don't agree with either option. The only person you should believe in is yourself. If you truly accept yourself then you'll realize loneliness is a delusion you yourself has created.
      Whom do you feel he asks you to believe here? As said above, it's a thought experiment, which if you follow along with, will tell you something about the value of your every moment, and the potential lying within each of them; the potential to say yes to your own life, not to feel burdened down by your responsibilities, but see your choices as a chance to consciously create a life, moment by moment, after your own choosing.
      The classical way of pondering this situation, is to present yourself with this: would you be happy and content with your life and all it's decisions in your power, once you lie on your deathbed, and it's too late to reconsider? We heard this thousands of times, so there's a little desensitisation to that thought, hence he turns it around, makes the importance directly imaginable by this motive of eternal recurrence.

      It's not meant literally, neither is the mention of loneliness directly relevant here. I hope I'm able to make it more easily accessible.
      Again - your "choice" here is not to accept the premiss or not, or believe in it, it is meant as a given - the choice, or better the question is:

      How would you feel about it? Was there a moment in your memory, where you were really in tune with yourself? Where you wouldn't change any little thing you did, given the same choice again?
      And wouldn't it be great, if there were a lot of those moments for you to remember on your deathbed?


      It's actually quite an optimistic piece of his, presenting a positive and empowering outlook on life. He's been much more pessimistic and nihilistic in other writings of his.



      And cheers, Zoth - much appreciated!

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      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post

      Whom do you feel he asks you to believe here? As said above, it's a thought experiment, which if you follow along with, will tell you something about the value of your every moment, and the potential lying within each of them; the potential to say yes to your own life, not to feel burdened down by your responsibilities, but see your choices as a chance to consciously create a life, moment by moment, after your own choosing.
      The classical way of pondering this situation, is to present yourself with this: would you be happy and content with your life and all it's decisions in your power, once you lie on your deathbed, and it's too late to reconsider? We heard this thousands of times, so there's a little desensitisation to that thought, hence he turns it around, makes the importance directly imaginable by this motive of eternal recurrence.

      It's not meant literally, neither is the mention of loneliness directly relevant here. I hope I'm able to make it more easily accessible.
      Again - your "choice" here is not to accept the premiss or not, or believe in it, it is meant as a given - the choice, or better the question is:

      How would you feel about it? Was there a moment in your memory, where you were really in tune with yourself? Where you wouldn't change any little thing you did, given the same choice again?
      And wouldn't it be great, if there were a lot of those moments for you to remember on your deathbed?


      It's actually quite an optimistic piece of his, presenting a positive and empowering outlook on life. He's been much more pessimistic and nihilistic in other writings of his.
      :
      I'm aware of that nor did I answer this experiment. I am putting my opinion about this topic since I disagree with both options when it comes to being the better choice. Perhaps if the OP emphasize on only partcipating in the experimint then I would have reconsider posting. You're right though that I didn't pay well attention to it as I first thought this was meant for opinions on whether you agree or disagree with the choice given in this topic. I was using the word loneliness in the in the same context as the OP in where you felt as if you did not enjoy the previous choices you've made in the past and feel the direct need to block them out. Thanks to your clarification I realize I won't elaborate on my post opinion to why I disagree, since the thread was never intended for that and was only meant for people who chose the first choice or the latter.
      Last edited by ViIe; 10-29-2014 at 10:18 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by ViIe View Post
      I'm aware of that nor did I answer this experiment. I am putting my opinion about this topic since I disagree with both options when it comes to being the better choice. Perhaps if the OP emphasize on only partcipating in the experimint then I would have reconsider posting.
      I'm sorry, I think, I might misunderstand you here. Do you mean it's bad to feel dreadful about the hypothetical verdict, but it's at the same time also a bad thing, to have been in tune with yourself in the past and remember that?

      You're right though that I didn't pay well attention to it as I first thought this was meant for opinions on whether you agree or disagree with the choice given in this topic. I was using the word loneliness in the in the same context as the OP in where you felt as if you did not enjoy the previous choices you've made in the past and feel the direct need to block them out.
      Hm. Nietzsche just starts off with What, if some day or night, a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you:

      Since this is just describing, in which situation he sends you the demon, it's yet unclear, what you will feel about the revelation; it doesn't automatically mean, that if you are lonely upon revelation, you will find only dread in it. The lonely person is asked the question; that means, Nietsche is of the opinion, that a lonely person can remember such glorious times in their past just as well as a happy one, and if she remembers such a thing, then good on her.

      Thanks to your clarification I realize I won't elaborate on my post opinion to why I disagree, since the thread was never intended for that and was only meant for people who chose the first choice or the latter.
      You're welcome!
      I'd like to understand your point, but I'm not sure, what it actually is, that you disagree with. Would you be so kind as to point it out to me? It's certainly included in "what the thread is for", and I'm interested.

      I wonder, what the thread was actually intended to be - but I can't see it, that it's meant to be an echo-chamber for people feeling empowered and content with their lives.

      Going by the "provocative title", I suppose it's about "checking Nietzsche out", "feeling his pulse" - to try to understand him and come to an opinion, including coming to an understanding of the infamous "Übermensch" concept.
      Would be nice to know, where in "Gay Science" this piece is located, and to see the connection to that term, of which HeWhoShapes talked in the OP.
      I'm not familiar with this topic, actually, but what I definitively know, is that "Übermensch" is not meant as a certain sort of human, let alone defined by race, but it is a theoretical construct of an entity, who's capabilities exceed those of any and all human beings. So no actual human can possibly be an ÜM.
      I'm interested myself, so when HWS comes back, it might be fascinating to look into this ÜM thing in some depth, I can't pull it out of my behind, what it means and entails just now, needed to read up on it.

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      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      I'm sorry, I think, I might misunderstand you here. Do you mean it's bad to feel dreadful about the hypothetical verdict, but it's at the same time also a bad thing, to have been in tune with yourself in the past and remember that?
      No I agree that it is a postive way to be in tune with yourself in the past and till the end. It's just I disagree with how the person has stumble upon this realization because of this Übermensch. But that's only if this Übermensh is a god that exceeds all human life here and to come.



      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      You're welcome!
      I'd like to understand your point, but I'm not sure, what it actually is, that you disagree with. Would you be so kind as to point it out to me? It's certainly included in "what the thread is for", and I'm interested.

      I wonder, what the thread was actually intended to be - but I can't see it, that it's meant to be an echo-chamber for people feeling empowered and content with their lives.

      Going by the "provocative title", I suppose it's about "checking Nietzsche out", "feeling his pulse" - to try to understand him and come to an opinion, including coming to an understanding of the infamous "Übermensch" concept.
      Would be nice to know, where in "Gay Science" this piece is located, and to see the connection to that term, of which HeWhoShapes talked in the OP.
      I'm not familiar with this topic, actually, but what I definitively know, is that "Übermensch" is not meant as a certain sort of human, let alone defined by race, but it is a theoretical construct of an entity, who's capabilities exceed those of any and all human beings. So no actual human can possibly be an ÜM.
      I'm interested myself, so when HWS comes back, it might be fascinating to look into this ÜM thing in some depth, I can't pull it out of my behind, what it means and entails just now, needed to read up on it.
      I don't agree with the idea that the alledge demon can cause you to endure those dreadful experiences ( Unless this demon is just a metaphor to represent a part of yourself that you would rather not remember ) That's why I stated if you truly accept yourself there would be no way for that to happen. The only person that can induce dreadful experiences is yourself, if you allow it. I suppose I do not like the idea of someone else controlling your emotions on how you feel at any given time which is where I disagree with the above.

      But yes mostly I agree that there will be confusion over the meaning in till HeWhoShapes returns to clearly describe what he means by Übermensch. If he doesn't mean it in a representation of an entity then I think it's safe to assume we're on the same page and that this goes back to me misunderstanding the meaning behind the Übermensch.
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      Ah - now I see! Sure, that's a question of taste, how to present such a thing and frame the thought experiment.
      Lets wait for the whole concept to get rolled up. But he doesn't mean any real/supernatural being with ÜM; I think it's safe to see it as a metaphor, but since the term is so infamous - lets see, what comes up when digging after it!

      Apropos infamous: I want to take the notion back, that Nietzsche was a misogynist*, he wasn't, doesn't sound to me as if he hated women, or saw them as innately inferior. I've been looking into that, instead of the ÜM thing, and I came to find out, that I've been a victim of second-hand unreflected Nietzsche-bashing there. Interesting.
      You never cease to learn...

      *don't have it here atm., but that famous thing with "don't forget the whip" is something an old woman says in "Zarathustra", a novel of his. So it's neither him, nor a man in general, giving this piece of "advice" - let alone to other men.

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      repeat all experience? boring. and null evolution. just like being a ghost... no thanks. I want to GROW.
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      Quote Originally Posted by charlila View Post
      repeat all experience? boring. and null evolution. just like being a ghost... no thanks. I want to GROW.
      *sigh*

      That is not the point as stephL has pointed out twice.

      It is a thought experiment to check whether you feel content in your actions and is meant to make you ponder with one of the outcomes being that you will remember the experiment in future choices and ensure that each choice you make is the exact one you want.

      The repeating of all experiences is deceptive here because it not about a perceivable endless toil. You wouldn't even realize that you are doing everything over.
      In a way it is meant to evoke insecurities that are usually clouded, in my opinion because we are forced to view our lives from a different perspective, namely one where our choices really do matter.

      Nietzsche is trying to make you come to conclusion that you should live life to the fullest.
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      This Ubermensch attitude reminds me of the Way of the Warrior as put forth by the Don Juan Matus character in Castaneda. It seems to be about taking responsibility for your actions and decisions, not wasting time and energy regretting things that are beyond your control, and understanding that it's your attitude toward events that matters, not the events themselves.

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      Thank you dutchraptor and DM, delightful to see, it's getting through to you!
      As mentioned, when I came across it, I deemed it so valuable, that I put it in "Favourite Quotations", naively assuming the meaning would be easily accessible...

      Oh but the ÜM thing - it's difficult.
      Peeking into it a bit, I'm afraid I needed to read the Zarathustra in order to come to conclusions worthy of typing out.
      Maybe a bit more intense peeking might suffice, but it feels like opening a vast can of worms, the latter figure of speech not because I'm disgusted, by what I found, but because it's complex, and might well be something I come to disagree with in the end. Not sure, though, not sure at all, which is a bit weird and fascinating.

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      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      Ah - now I see! Sure, that's a question of taste, how to present such a thing and frame the thought experiment.
      Lets wait for the whole concept to get rolled up. But he doesn't mean any real/supernatural being with ÜM; I think it's safe to see it as a metaphor, but since the term is so infamous - lets see, what comes up when digging after it!
      To help kill time, here's some food for thought and why I think I might be misunderstanding the meaning behind Übermensch. As snoop stated above it is possible to look at this in multiple perspectives and I'd like to clarify on one of them. If it is suppose to represent a god then this thought experiment can be look on to another perspective in where this god can cause you dreadful experiences automatically is a test to see if you listen and to show how much value you have ( In a sense to test your characters will )which is where I think the line " You are god and never have I heard anything more divine " is said. If you get consume by the horrible experiences god has place upon you then you are a normal man. However if you allow and accept those dreadful experiences and became grateful because of it then you are the higher man as this test made you establish a great understanding about yourself and about life.
      Here's another reason why I am reluctant to decide a choice because if this is the case then it can propose the idea that if you worship and listen to what this god does then you'll always be content with yourself and would have found your own peace in life. If so, this is why I disagree with the latter and why I don't think people who choose the last option are truly content with their lives and only furthers why it would be a necessity for the true message of this thread be clearly known before attempting to interpret the best option it can come up to.
      This is only an opinion and if others see this as way of finding a positive way to perceive the experiences in life then I do not mind and will accept that.
      Last edited by ViIe; 11-01-2014 at 06:47 PM.
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    20. #20
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      Given the demon is right - would you feel purely bad upon this revelation, would you think it truly and only a dreadful idea,
      or:
      can you at the least remember a time in your life, where you were so much in tune with yourself, so much convinced, that you took exactly the right decisions and actions, based upon your own value-system, so that you would take the exact same course, if you had to decide and act again?
      I still choose none of those options. I'am against the idea of assuming the demon is right StephL because I can not simply ignore a important piece of the quote. For example, this is how your telling me to read it.
      What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”
      How am I to choose if I don't know who is confronting me? I feel the author of the quote is challenging us more by putting the demon to approach us and reading the way you put it just sounds like your trying to butter up the scenario.Anyways if you killed yourself you would still have to relive it if it were true and if you choose to praise the demon(Those who have their name for a reason) by calling it a god that speaks divine words, even though you don't know whether it is true or not than choose your path blindly. In my opinion a ubermensch is someone who is desperate to live forever and would follow a lie even if they had to and a normal human is portrayed as a stupid person who will believe in anything and will kill themselves for no reason.The authors quote and options, even if you choose to believe otherwise, has flaws. You are not higher mind if you choose either.

      On the other hand if your telling me to read it like this, Which is what I think your saying from what you wrote...

      “What, if some day or night a demonyou were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thusfeel bad about it? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered himyou: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.Awesome!
      I would be faced with the decision to continue life without knowing what my purpose is for reliving it. Since the quote does not say why I have to. But if you want me to see it in your perspective than I would be fine with my life being played again on rewind but there has to be a REALLY good reason.
      Last edited by DawnEye11; 11-01-2014 at 09:10 PM.

    21. #21
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      You realize he was from 1844 right? The demon is relevant only in that it helps contrast the two scenarios. It never explicitly mentions that the action of the demon is a bad one, nor can it be assumed. The demon is merely a story telling device that your dwelling on.

      As mentioned, it's not about immortality at all. You don't actually remember your previous lives, it's not an endless toil.

      What is important here is whether you are content enough with your actions to feel comfortable knowing that an identical you would experience them all over again. It's placing you in a position to observe your own actions. In one scenario, you curse the demon because deep down you do not feel content with the life you have lived. You empathize with you of the future because you do not wish them a life identical to yours.
      From what I've gathered Nietzsche posits that a higher human will react positively to the event, knowing that he is content with his life and would happily live the life over. In this scenario the demon isn't cast into a bad light at all.
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      Ah - but Nietzsche is the one who proclaimed "God is dead!". He's been totally anti-religion/supernaturalism/etc.
      I understand differently than the both of you, DawnEye and ViIe, but that's also the beauty of Nietzsche. While going after secondary sources on him and his concepts, it's been astounding in how many different ways people choose to interpret him. So I want to make it clear, that I by no means want to claim to have the "correct" perspective.

      I said, Nietzsche would have proclaimed the death of god, and that's not entirely correct. It was famous Zarathustra of his novel proclaiming thus, while I would stick my neck out and claim, Nietzsche was well aware that there never was a god, and probably said so as well.
      This conundrum of differentiating between him lying words into the mouths of characters within a novel, and his very own voice, as used in the purely philosophical texts, seems a source of misunderstanding, too.
      My conclusion from coming across so many different viewpoints, was to finally "do the clever thing" - I went for my own. Viewpoint, that is - I started to read "Thus Spake Zarathustra", and I have to say, I'm absolutely delighted. I really see it as poetry and not gospel, mind you. N was abhorred by things like "gospel", "dogma" etc. It's difficult to gauge for me, how it might come across to English natives, but in the German version it sears into my heart and mind, if you excuse my language, and in English it feels farther removed.

      It is a story, and while of course Z expresses much of what N thought, it's a figure anyway, with it's own characteristics, it's not N = Z.
      I just started, and feel like quoting extensively - but I don't expect widespread enthusiasm, which is fine with me.
      But if you check out the second part below, it should be obvious how easy it is to "get" or "extract" the wrong message, or a message from the wrong speaker, when flying over this book. And he's glorified dreams in a side-comment of that part, so I thought I'd have excuse for quoting like a madwoman...





      In the prologue, Z came down from seclusion on a mountain to bring a "joyous message", maybe one could say so, and is now wandering about looking for companions, after the suboptimal reception of a speech he delivered in a marketplace. Here we go:


      1. The Three Metamorphoses

      Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: now the spirit becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.

      Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong load-bearing spirit in which the reverence dwelleth: for the heavy and the heaviest longeth its strength.

      What is heavy? so asketh the load-bearing spirit; then kneeleth it down like the camel, and wanteth to be well laden.

      What is the heaviest things, ye heroes? asketh the load-bearing spirit, that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.

      Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's pride? To exhibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom?

      Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrateth its triumph? To ascend high mountains to tempt the temper?

      Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for the sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?

      Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends of the deaf, who never hear thy requests?

      Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of truth, and not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads?

      Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and to give one's hand to the phantom when it is going to frighten us?

      All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself: and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness, so hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness. But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second metamorphosis: here the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it capture, and lordship in its own wilderness.

      Its last Lord it here seeketh: hostile will it be to him, and to its last God; for victory will it struggle with the great dragon.

      What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call Lord and God? "Thou-shalt," is the great dragon called. But the spirit of the lion saith, "I will."

      "Thou-shalt," lieth in its path, sparkling with gold—a scale-covered beast; and on every scale glittereth golden, "Thou shalt!"

      The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and thus speaketh the mightiest of all dragons: "All the values of things—glitter on me.

      All values have already been created, and all created values—do I represent. Verily, there shall be no 'I will' any more." Thus speaketh the dragon.

      My brethren, wherefore is there need of the lion in the spirit? Why sufficeth not the beast of burden, which renounceth and is reverent?

      To create new values—that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but to create itself freedom for new creating—that can the might of the lion do.

      To create itself freedom, and give a holy Nay even unto duty: for that, my brethren, there is need of the lion.

      To assume the ride into new values—that is the most formidable assumption for a load-bearing and reverent spirit. Verily, unto such a spirit it is preying, and the work of a beast of prey.

      As its holiest, it once loved "Thou-shalt": now it is forced to find illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may capture freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this capture.

      But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to become a child?

      Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, and a new beginning, a game, a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.

      Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy Yea unto life: its own will, willeth now the spirit; his own world winneth the world's outcast.

      Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.—

      Thus spake Zarathustra. And at that time he abode in the town which is called The Pied Cow.







      2. The Academic Chairs of Virtue

      People commended unto Zarathustra a wise man, as one who could discourse well about sleep and virtue: greatly was he honoured and rewarded for it, and all the youths sat before his chair. To him went Zarathustra, and sat among the youths before his chair. And thus spake the wise man:

      Respect and modesty in presence of sleep! That is the first thing! And to go out of the way of all who sleep badly and keep awake at night!

      Modest is even the thief in the presence of sleep: He always stealeth softly through the night. Immodest, however, is the night-watchman; immodestly he carrieth his horn. No small art is it to sleep: it is necessary for that purpose to keep awake all day.

      Ten times a day must thou overcome thyself: that causeth wholesome weariness, and is poppy to the soul.

      Ten times must thou reconcile again with thyself; for overcoming is bitterness, and badly sleep the unreconciled.

      Ten truths must thou find during the day; otherwise wilt thou seek truth during the night, and they soul will have been hungry.

      Ten times must thou laugh during the day, and be cheerful; otherwise thy stomach, the father of affliction, will disturb thee in the night.

      Few people know it, but one must have all the virtues in order to sleep well. Shall I bear false witness? Shall I commit adultery?

      Shall I covet my neighbour's maidservant? All that would ill accord with good sleep.

      And even if one have all the virtues, there is still one thing needful: to send the virtues themselves to sleep at the right time.

      That they may not quarrel with one another, the good females*! And about thee, thou unhappy one!

      Peace with God and they neighbour: so desireth good sleep. And peace also with they neighbour's devil! Otherwise it will haunt thee in the night.

      Honour to the government, and obedience, and also to the crooked government! So desireth good sleep. How can I help it, if power liketh to walk on crooked legs?

      He who leadeth his sheep to the greenest pasture, shall always be for me the best shepherd: so doth it accord with good sleep. Many honours I want not, nor great treasures: they excite the spleen. But it is bad sleeping without a good name and a little treasure.

      A small company is more welcome to me than a bad one: but they must come and go at the right time. So doth it accord with good sleep.

      Well, also, do the poor in spirit please me: they promote sleep. Blessed are they, especially if one always give in to them.

      Thus passeth the day unto the virtuous. When night cometh, then take I good care not to summon sleep. It disliketh to be summoned—sleep, the lord of the virtues!

      But I think of what I have done and thought during the day. Thus ruminating, patient as a cow, I ask myself: What were they ten overcomings?

      And what were the ten reconciliations, and the ten truths, and the ten laughters with which my heart enjoyed itself?

      Thus pondering, and cradled by forty thoughts, it over taketh me all at once - sleep, the unsummoned, the lord of the virtues.

      Sleep tappeth on mine eye, and it turneth heavy. Sleep toucheth my mouth, and it remaineth open.

      Verily, on the soft soles doth it come to me, the dearest of thieves, and stealeth from me my thoughts: stupid to I then stand, like this academic chair.

      But not much longer do I then stand: I already lie. -

      When Zarathustra heard the wise man thus speak, he laughed in his heart: for thereby had a light dawned upon him and thus spake he to his heart:

      A fool seemeth this wise man with his forty thoughts: but I believe he knoweth well how to sleep.

      Happy even is he who liveth near this wise man! Such sleep is contagious—even through a thick wall it is contagious. A magic resideth even in his academic chair. And not in vain did the youths sit before the preacher of virtue.

      His wisdom is to keep awake in order to sleep well. And verily, if life had no sense, and I had to choose nonsense, this would be the desirablest nonsense for me also.

      Now know I well what people sought formerly above all else when they sought teachers of virtue. Good sleep they sought for themselves, and a poppy-head virtues to promote it!

      To all those belauded sages of the academic chairs, wisdom was sleep without dreams: they knew no higher significance of life.

      Even at present, to be sure, there are some like this preacher of virtue, and not always so honourable: but their time is past. And not much longer do they stand: there they already lie.

      Blessed are those drowsy ones: for they shall soon nod to sleep.—

      Thus spake Zarathustra.




      Well - obviously I hope, somebody might enjoy it, even find profoundness in it, like I do - otherwise, just ignore me!
      Oh - but I do of course not know, how I will like the rest of it, still holding my breath a bit, there.

      *It does not say, "good females" in the original, what it does say is "artige Weiblein", a diminishing term for mostly older, fussy, affected women. What I'm saying is, he's not lumping together all women here.

    23. #23
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      You realize he was from 1844 right? The demon is relevant only in that it helps contrast the two scenarios. It never explicitly mentions that the action of the demon is a bad one, nor can it be assumed. The demon is merely a story telling device that your dwelling on.
      If your saying the demon was a word without meaning, only used to make the story more enticing, I find that as a invalid reason. For one, they knew English back than. If you can prove to me that the action of the demon wasn't a bad one I would believe you. I have the right to assume it is because of what it is. If I do not prove me wrong. From what we have here in the quote you can not.

      As mentioned, it's not about immortality at all. You don't actually remember your previous lives, it's not an endless toil.

      What is important here is whether you are content enough with your actions to feel comfortable knowing that an identical you would experience them all over again. It's placing you in a position to observe your own actions. In one scenario, you curse the demon because deep down you do not feel content with the life you have lived. You empathize with you of the future because you do not wish them a life identical to yours.
      From what I've gathered Nietzsche posits that a higher human will react positively to the event, knowing that he is content with his life and would happily live the life over. In this scenario the demon isn't cast into a bad light at all.
      No where in this quote does it say the person will or will not remember at a time. How do you know the person will not remember at a certain point? I know what your trying to get at but what you are dismissing is the fact that when people write things, sometimes what they write is not conveying what they truly are trying to get at. If the author took into consideration the actions and characters put into his quote more maybe his creation wouldn't be so flawed.
      Last edited by DawnEye11; 11-01-2014 at 09:32 PM.

    24. #24
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      Quote Originally Posted by DawnEye11 View Post
      If your saying the demon was a word without meaning, only used to make the story more enticing, I find that as a invalid reason. For one, they knew English back than. If you can prove to me that the action of the demon wasn't a bad one I would believe you. I have the right to assume it is because of what it is. If I do not prove me wrong. From what we have here in the quote you can not.
      Because there is a situation in which you do not curse the demon, the premise allows for two different outlooks upon the demon regardless of the connotation associated with them.

      Quote Originally Posted by DawnEye11 View Post
      No where in this quote does it say I will or will not remember at a time. How do you know I will not remember at a certain point?
      This is an easy one, because if you remembered your previous life then your life wouldn't be identical. It's also not naive to assume the demon has already visited you infinite times before.
      Each life must be a reset identical to the last, hence no information can be passed on as you didn't start with that information.
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      Well - it's actually typical to use a "demon" as a part of a thought-experiment, a hypothetical scenario, where you need to make an "impossible assumption" in order to lead the one, who's supposed to think, to the core of the idea.

      Take for instance Maxwell's demon from physics: Maxwell's demon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Maxwell's Demon

      In the philosophy of thermal and statistical physics, Maxwell's demon is a thought experiment created by the physicist James Clerk Maxwell to "show that the Second Law of Thermodynamics has only a statistical certainty". It demonstrates Maxwell's point by hypothetically describing how to violate the Second Law: a container of gas molecules at equilibrium is divided into two parts by an insulated wall, with a door that can be opened and closed by what came to be called "Maxwell's demon". The demon opens the door to allow only the faster than average molecules to flow through to a favored side of the chamber, and only the slower than average molecules to the other side, causing the favored side to gradually heat up while the other side cools down, thus decreasing entropy.


      What you can see nicely here, is that it comes down to the demon's very mind, why it wouldn't work to violate the 2nd law for real: Any agent, who actively sorts, would heighten the level of entropy in his mind's matrix in order to do so, that's how I remember it being described, but it was more complex. Hope, I'm not wrong, too lazy for earnest (sic!) physics and statistics just now.

      Anyway - here you have a physicist making famous use of a demon completely free of value-association, so did countless others, like Boltzmann. What else shall you call it? You can't use "(a) god", not as theist, and not as an atheist, either, that's not what you mean to invoke, you just want to pose something, which is impossible in reality, but fits your purposes. How about Elf? Fairy? Works just as well in principle - at least for physics.
      In Nietzsche's case that would hardly make for good poetry, though, and it wouldn't work, either, since you are asked, what you would think of him, and offered the choice of thinking him a god instead of only bearer of dreadful truth.
      Why did Maxwell not choose a Pixie to do it? Don't know, maybe Pixies have better things to do than run a physicist's thought-experiments!




      Quote Originally Posted by dutchraptor View Post
      This is an easy one, because if you remembered your previous life then your life wouldn't be identical. It's also not naive to assume the demon has already visited you infinite times before.
      Each life must be a reset identical to the last, hence no information can be passed on as you didn't start with that information.
      It's not only not naive to assume so, it's of course the case:

      ...even this spider and this moonlight between the trees and even this moment and I myself.


      @DawnEye - if the person would in his next cycle remember the demon, then it wouldn't be the exact same life anymore, since now there would be this memory. It's not supposed to "start" with one certain life, it's really just a hypothetical scenario which goes on forever and ever in the same rails, including the demon appearing to unsuspecting you.
      But that's all besides the point, which I tried to make with my initial posts.

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