Re: The Nietzschean Übermensch: new group on Facebook.
- I will try to explain my insight by the hand of the high point, the thirty-fifth paragraph, of one of Leo Strauss's last writings, his "Note on the Plan of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil".
I will start with the first sentence.Instead of explaining why it is necessary to affirm the eternal return, Nietzsche indicates that the highest achievement, as all earlier high achievements, is in the last analysis not the work of reason but of nature; in the last analysis all thought depends on something unteachable "deep down," on a fundamental stupidity; the nature of the individual, the individual nature, not evident and universally valid insights, it seems, is the ground of all worthwhile understanding or knowledge (aph. 231; cf. aph. 8).
The sentence is divided into three parts by two semicolons. The first part suggests that, by making said indication, Nietzsche implies why it is necessary to affirm the eternal return instead of explicating it. The second part implies that said fundamental stupidity is nature. And the third part confirms and qualifies this by suggesting that said stupidity is the individual nature, not evident and universally valid insights or a nature shared by all individuals. The last two parts also imply that the highest achievement is worthwhile understanding or knowledge, and thereby a thought.
I will now do six sentences at once.There is an order of rank of the natures; at the summit of the hierarchy is the complementary man. His supremacy is shown by the fact that he solves the highest, the most difficult problem. As we have observed, for Nietzsche nature has become a problem and yet he cannot do without nature. Nature, we may say, has become a problem owing to the fact that man is conquering nature and there are no assignable limits to that conquest. As a consequence, people have come to think of abolishing suffering and inequality. Yet suffering and inequality are the prerequisites of human greatness (aph. 239 and 257).
Solving the highest, the most difficult problem is the highest achievement mentioned in the first sentence. Nietzsche's problem of nature is that people are abolishing the prerequisites of human greatness and there are no assignable limits to that abolition; the only limit is the natural limit of zero.
I will now do the next three sentences.Hitherto suffering and inequality have been taken for granted, as "given," as imposed on man. Henceforth, they must be willed. That is to say, the gruesome rule of nonsense and chance, nature, the fact that almost all men are fragments, cripples and gruesome accidents, the whole present and past is itself a fragment, a riddle, a gruesome accident unless it is willed as a bridge to the future (cf. Zarathustra, 'Of Redemption').
The prerequisites of human greatness and their cause, the reign of fortuna, must henceforth be willed as a bridge to future human greatness.
Now I will do the last two sentences.While paving the way for the complementary man, one must at the same time say unbounded Yes to the fragments and cripples. Nature, the eternity of nature, owes its being to a postulation, to an act of the will to power on the part of the highest nature.
Paving the way for the complementary man means willing the bridge to future human greatness. This is done by saying unbounded Yes to all things, including the fragments, cripples, and gruesome accidents among men. Saying unbounded Yes to all things means affirming or willing their eternal return. And willing the eternal return is a postulation, which is an act of the will to power, on the part of the highest nature. But the highest nature, the individual nature at the summit of the hierarchy of the natures, is itself the complementary man...
The highest nature, the individual nature at the summit of the hierarchy of the natures, is the complementary man. His supremacy is shown by the fact that he solves the highest, the most difficult problem. This solution is the highest achievement, and it is worthwhile understanding or knowledge, and thereby a thought. The highest, the most difficult problem is that people are abolishing the prerequisites of human greatness---suffering and inequality---and there are no assignable limits to that abolition. The solution is the thought, the postulation, of the eternal return, for this assigns limits to the conquest of nature and thereby to the abolition of the prerequisites of human greatness. The thought that the eternal return be a fact is an act of the most spiritual will to power, philosophy: it is the tyrannical decree that it be a fact (cf. BGE 9). With this decree the complementary man wills the eternal return of the prerequisites of human greatness, i.e., the future existence of those prerequisites.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "sauwelios" <sauwelios@...> wrote:
> Dear Members,
> I've created a new group about Nietzsche's Übermensch:
> The occasion is an insight I had recently, which has brought me almost
> full circle to the beginnings of Human Superhuman. Among the first 60
> messages of HSH (messages # 44-58) was my study of Nietzsche's early
> essay "The Greek State". Now I had two major insights in the course of
> that study. The most important insight was that the essay cannot be
> truly understood by itself, but must be understood in the light of
> Nietzsche's early metaphysics, whose fundamental concept is the
> Primordial One (AKA Primal Unity). The other major insight was this:
> "The military genius is the instrument by which Nature arrives at the
> State, i.e., at a Classical organisation of Society (i.e., its
> organisation into classes), which is the precondition of the development
> of genius. And in the prototypical State, the military State, the genius
> that is developed is the military genius itself[.]"
> By "development of genius", I meant the genius's sprouting and
> flourishing culturally, not naturally. This means the initial military
> genius must sprout and flourish naturally.
> I've formulated the insight I had recently as follows:
> "There is no difference between saying unbounded Yes to the fragments
> and cripples and postulating the eternal return of nature; there is no
> difference between the man that paves the way for the complementary man
> and that highest nature itself... Nietzsche/Zarathustra paved the way
> for philosophers of the future by being himself a philosopher of the
> future, by willing the eternal recurrence; the new highest ideal
> through which the philosophers of the future rule is the ideal of the
> philosopher of the future, in the non-possessive sense of the word
> 'of'... One manifests this ideal, however, by openly and sincerely
> proclaiming the ideal of the eternal recurrence, by ardently wishing
> out loud 'that the world as it is eternally return just as it is'."
> (Note that this passage is from a private email I sent, in which I refer
> to Leo Strauss's essay on Nietzsche and Laurence Lampert's book on
> Nietzsche and Strauss. Therefore, much of the language I use in this
> passage derives from those sources.)
> Just as the initial military genius must sprout and flourish naturally,
> so the Übermensch Nietzsche sprouted and flourished naturally,
> accidentally; not by design. But such a natural Übermensch is the
> precondition of any cultural Übermenschen, because by giving
> exuberant expression to his ideal---the eternal recurrence---, and
> thereby to his love of existence, he manifests himself as an ideal in
> his own right.