Re: Nietzsche on Feminine and Masculine Love.
- When, at the very end of my second post in this thread, I spoke of "adoring [woman] for her sincere passion for passion, and blessing her for the silliness of her feeling half empty", I was not thinking of the truth or nature at all anymore, but only of a specific--and very special--human female I know. And yet, it beautifully applies to the truth or nature as well. For if nature is will to power or, to use the Platonic word, erôs, is it not, at least insofar as it is eros for non-imaginary things, eros for eros?And is not even all imagination informed by reality? Meaning that even such flights of fancy as the Platonic Ideas are images of eros? As William Blake said, "Every thing possible to be believ'd is an image of truth." (The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 8.)
Thus far nature's sincere passion for passion. And as for her feeling half empty: is that not what Nietzsche's early metaphysics says she--or it--does? As I wrote in message # 481:
"The Primordial One [i.e., nature as a whole] has Being (as opposed to 'Becoming') and suffers from it. This suffering is a suffering from over-fulness, over-joyedness: the Primordial One aches for lack and woe. It therefore imagines a world of Becoming, lack, and woe. This imagined world, this vision, is not outside It, but It is immanent to it: it is the world as we know it--the world we are a part of. The world as we know it is an imaginary self-fragmentation of the Primordial One; we are really only imaginary fragments, and only have reality in being one with the Primordial One."
The imagined lack I spoke of there corresponds perfectly with said felt half-emptiness (total emptiness would correspond with absence, not lack). And contrary to what I thought for years, I don't think there's an absolute break between Nietzsche's early and mature metaphysics; I think Nietzsche's mature metaphysics can only be truly understood, if not by virtue of understanding his early metaphysics, then at least by virtue of what has for me been the key to understanding his early metaphysics: the first section of his "Attempt at a Self-Criticism":
"Is pessimism necessarily a sign of decline, decay, degeneration, weary and weak instincts--as it once was in India and now is, to all appearances, among us, 'modern' men and Europeans? Is there pessimism of strength? An intellectual predilection for the hard, gruesome, evil, problematic aspect of existence, prompted by well-being, by overflowing health, by the fullness of existence? Is it perhaps possible to suffer precisely from overfullness? The sharp-eyed courage that tempts and attempts, that craves the frightful as the enemy, the worthy enemy, against whom one can test one's strength? From whom one can learn what it means 'to be frightened'?"
Genuine philosophers, in the Nietzschean sense, are those whose supreme beloved is the truth, or insight into the truth--i.e., insight into the true overfullness underlying the apparent emptiness of existence. And this truth, this "verity" (die Wahrheit) is like freedom, "liberty" (die Freiheit), in the following way:
"Those large hothouses for the strong--for the strongest kind of human being that has so far been known--the aristocratic commonwealths of the type of Rome or Venice, understood freedom exactly in the sense in which I understand it: as something one has and does not have, something one wants, something one conquers..." (Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, "Forays of an Untimely Man", aphorism 38.)
Mere knowledge of the true overfullness of existence will not do; we must have the insight, the realisation. And this realisation must be achieved again and again. In Platonic terms, we must raise ourselves, or be raised, from the Cave again and again. As William Blake puts it:
"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern." (MHH, Plate 14.)
It is at this point, by the way, if not at others as well, that I seem to disagree with Nietzsche. For Nietzsche says:
"What [...] is the law and belief with which the decisive change, the recently attained preponderance of the scientific spirit over the religious, God-inventing spirit, is most clearly formulated? Is it not: the world, as force, may not be thought of as unlimited, for it cannot be so thought of[?]" (Nietzsche, The Will to Power, section 1062.)
I contend that the world, as force, may not be thought of as limited either, as it cannot be so thought of! For we would have to think of such a world as "enclosed by 'nothingness' ['das Nichts', "'the nothing'"] as by a boundary", as Nietzsche puts it in section 1067; but we can think of "nothingness" as little as of infinity! And indeed, does not "enclosed by 'nothingness'" really mean "enclosed by nothing", i.e., "not enclosed by anything"?...