Chapter 6: Boundaries and sources

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Chapter 6

I still plan on getting around to say something more about chapter 5, but I have finished chapter 6: Boundaries and Sources and without the book in front of me I can’t quote that line/paragraph I mentioned.

In this chapter much of it deals with the idea of eternal recurrence. I’ve got a lot of questions about this. It’s clear from his continued pursuit of this idea that Nietzsche had already lost his mind. Jaspers argues early on in the book that N. had all his faculties while he was writing, but I don’t know how you can include this in his "Sane Work". I can understand how someone could chase an obviously flawed (Obvious to everyone else) idea. N. doubted the truth of what he was doing, but irrationally proceeded. I don’t know if it’s even my place to ask about this. I get the feeling I’m talking out of turn.

At some point N. understood his achievement. He knew that he’d laid a new foundation on which a different consciousness would be built. I’m guessing that as his mind started to go, he tried a new gospel story. Maybe he was sane and just messing around. The idea was to replace one mythology with another. We can only guess what he was thinking.

The third part of this book deals with N.’s thinking. How he thought about himself and what we are to think about him. Jaspers is quite forceful, but in the context of trying to wrest Nietzsche from the Nazis, that’s to be expected.

To return to what I was trying to say before I attempted to sign out, What Nietzsche did, was make it near impossible to be taken seriously as a thinking human who believes in God. This revival of Christian fundamentalism is just that, a revival. In fifty years, North America will once again will feel safe enough from a year ending in three zeros to let the superstition loose. Really who doesn’t cringe when dropping a mirror? It’s there in us. But what N. did was fight it. He fought it in a language most semi-literate people could understand. He fought it in a biblical language. But he fought it like a bipolar prophet. And in the end succumbed to another form of mystical nostalgia.

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