Friedrich Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil


§ An inscrutable thinker


To begin with, and despite the title of the section under which this article is posted, this is not a review, and perhaps not even a commentary on this great work, but rather a series of thoughts around impressions of it held by several groups, in contrast to what may be a more accurate consideration of the man in question and his work. It seems that all that is needed to claim Nietzsche’s ideas as support for an ideological stance is to have somewhat of a thick skin or simply be alright with blunt criticism of anything one disagrees with. The interesting thing about Nietzsche is that he is at once glorified and vilified by people with widely differing ideologies across the full spectrum, with the exception of those explicitly following a Judeo-Christian kind defense of the weak, the mediocre and anything “human, all too human”.

Atheists claim him as one of their own, as they superficially read his words and take them to mean that Nietzsche was the highest kind of independent mind there was. In truth, Nietzsche can be seen criticizing both the dogmatic religious and the modern hubris of the modern atheist, even if he does not name each specifically and in quite such words. The attention of his sledge hammer is directed most of all to the flowering atheism and scientism that was taking Europe by storm at the time of his writing Beyond Good and Evil, and which atheism (or at least crypto-atheism disguised as a kind of philosophical pantheism) and scientism has since become the norm among the educated, and especially among the liberal-minded. Nietzsche dispenses as much injury upon the religious as upon the anti-religious. What he argued for was not the absence of a morality or a tradition, but the distinction between qualities of it, and their origin.

There is MASTER-MORALITY and SLAVE-MORALITY,—I would at once add, however, that in all higher and mixed civilizations, there are also attempts at the reconciliation of the two moralities, but one finds still oftener the confusion and mutual misunderstanding of them, indeed sometimes their close juxtaposition—even in the same man, within one soul.

Aristocrats claim him, even though he devotes large portions of his thought to demolishing any claims of nobility that modern aristocrats might still hold on to. The nobility to which Nietzsche so often alludes is one that is proven through spirit and resulting action thereof: that is, the Will; the Will to Life and Power (alluded to here in the sense that Gwendolyn Taunton has exposed in the past1). His is a nobility that self-creates through this Will, and whose decisions are based upon results and high aims with a vision of centuries, and which does not rest upon vainglorious pride, but rather the question of how to improve. This nobility, however, does reserve a right to determine notions of what should be or what should not be, and there lies the difference between literal nobility, of which Nietzsche speaks, and the allegorical nobility which the humanist modern man would like to believe in.

Purists, and National Socialist types would cringe if they would have actually studied Nietzsche. For, while he deals a significant amount of damage to the Jew, enough to actually garner enough merit to be awarded the title of “anti-semite” he also gives them credit where it is deserved in a manner not unlike Hitler in Mein Kampf, actually, though with different aims and perhaps coming to different practical conclusions. The nobility of action, which was that of a created spirit, could perhaps be better aligned with Julius Evola’s nobility of the spirit, which was not independent of blood but rather worked through and above it in a supra-eugenic manner.

It stands to reason that the more powerful and strongly marked types of new Germanism could enter into relation with the Jews with the least hesitation, for instance, the nobleman officer from the Prussian border: it would be interesting in many ways to see whether the genius for money and patience (and especially some intellect and intellectuality — sadly lacking in the place referred to) could not in addition be annexed and trained to the hereditary art of commanding and obeying — for both of which the country in question has now a classic reputation.

Anarchists claim him, even though he clearly believes only an incredibly small percentage of the population can be truly free, as a result of innate abilities that not all possess and the opportunities to develop them. Rather than push towards the idea of a world where every individual is completely independent, a natural hierarchy is deemed by Nietzsche as inevitable, whatever social constructs humans might like to dream on about. The roots for these lie deep in our nature and in Nature, and attempting to change them is usually a path towards self-annihilation, and an overall sentiment that is anathema to Life itself.

“We truthful ones”—the nobility in ancient Greece called themselves. It is obvious that everywhere the designations of moral value were at first applied to MEN; and were only derivatively and at a later period applied to ACTIONS.

It is then also common to hear people who in their youth upheld Nietzsche as a pillar of their own ideology, only to later reject what they thought his philosophy consisted of, on the basis of them changing the emphasis and focus of their own narrow-minded understanding. The former anti-religious communist becomes a progressive advocate of combinatorics chaos theory and real politik in an attempt to out-intellectualize the philosopher, while of course, distancing himself from the word ‘intellectual’, even as he poses as one. The former modern aristocrat finds the truth about the depth of corrupt modernity and so turns against the philosopher as if he were part of this, and as if tradition as the answer were wholly incompatible with the ideas of Nietzsche. Each of them have only moved from one misapprehension into another, without ever actually having captured the essence of Nietzsche’s thought.

What is he really about, then? Nietzsche was, in fact, terribly honest and direct, even though people seem to insist upon reading him in the most cryptic of ways, perhaps in an attempt to validate themselves and avoid what he was actually urging humanity towards. In truth, it is quite difficult to finish creating a personal picture of Nietzsche, because one has to read his particular takes on so many things before one can even begin to glimpse what his stated proposal of the Übermensch actually entails. The statement “beyond good and evil” entails precisely what it seems to state, rather than an allegorical turn of phrase, a state in which the superior individual does not concern itself with dichotomies and labels, and rather finds the reality of self-determined action beyond them. Since the great majority of humanity functions through and lives by these symbols, faiths and abstractions, the immediate reality, and more importantly, the patterns and not the appearances that constitute this reality2, to which Nietzsche constantly refers eludes them every time as they refuse to see what is in front of them in favor of their own construct thereof.


Footnotes

1 “To Nietzsche, the figure of Dionysus is the supreme affirmation of life, the instinct and the Will to Power, with the Will to Power being an expression of the Will to Life and Truth at its highest exaltation.” —Gwendolyn Taunton, ‘The Black Sun’, Primordial Traditions, Vol I.

2 A notion elegantly and concisely explained by Brett Stevens in his book Nihilism, as a condensation of Nietzsche, Spinoza and Plato, perhaps even through the digestion of others.

Amongst the Ruins —A review of Nihilism

brett_stevens_-_nihilism_a_philosophy_based_in_nothingness_and_eternity-600x900Nihilism: A philosophy based on nothingness and eternity, Brett Stevens’ new book, opens the door to the author’s mind by giving us a picture of childhood in suburban America in a well-to-do, middle-class family. This is the typical family that would be considered privileged and fortunate by all standards of modern society. Despite this, signs of internal turmoil, dissatisfaction and desperation are evident all over the place under the thin veneer of smiles and good intentions.

Brett Stevens attempts, in Nihilism, to go to the root of causes from the human vantage point through a meta-philosophical1 exploration of the factors. Through the author’s tutelage, it becomes obvious that good intentions mean nothing when negative results come about, and that the universal occurrence of perfectly shaped smiles usually betrays emptiness and a lack of clear goals. In this book, we find a rejection of all political and ideological systems in exchange for a return to a search for the wisdom and discernment of the ancients.

Underlying this is the idea that essence and holistic results are more important than temporal form and localised effects, the first of which is but a vehicle while the second has little actual consequence on its own.


§ The situation


One of the greatest paradoxes of the society in which we live in is its supposed avowal of diversity in both thought and way of living. In truth, what we find is far removed from freedom and is rather a passively enforced and very effective system whereby the average citizen is lead to act as a government informant and an agent of one central liberal and “progressive” pseudo culture2. It leads to authentically different ideas (rather than those that appear as new but are little more of the same in a different presentation) being shun outright once they are detected as non-compliant with the central system’s requirements.

It is assumed that because, in contrast to traditional cultures, modern civilization accepts variations in sexual tendencies, race mixing and entertainment, it is somehow more accepting and open-minded. In truth, it is as close-minded as traditional cultures, while the only difference is what it allows and what it does not. What is also overlooked is that we are, in fact, imposing a different order over those who are traditionally minded. How are we to differentiate among them? Isn’t modern civilization, because better informed as a result of technological and scientific advancement, in a better position to judge the way things should be done?


§ A proposition


Brett Stevens advocates nihilism as a gateway to realism and idealism which, hand in hand and dealt with higher intellect, take the mentality of the individual towards transcendentalism. In a summarised manner, it is an extreme acknowledgement of what is without trying to impose human illusion over the tangible and measurable universe, only to then head towards the highest ideals that we can think of in an ever-ascending path. The beneficent effect of this outlook is twofold: first, it bypasses any impulse towards compromise and mediocrity, and second, it forces us to consider the permanent first of all, and the temporal in view of it.

Furthermore, to achieve such a vision, humans are required to put aside their egos, and so any illusions of socially-imposed egalitarianism in favour of a holistic vision of what is good as per ultimate consequences. Unfortunately, some divide this into two black-and-white categories in the common means versus ends dilemma, which is only so for those afflicted with narrow minds and short sightedness. Each question should be evaluated in its own context, not dealt with in prescribed absolutes such as “this is bad/good”, and rather as “what will the effect of this course of action be in this condition?”.

Realistic values, then, are created through the consensus that follows addressing each situation with respect to visionary criteria that does not sacrifice the whole to avoid having to take a hard decision. Values also vary between kinds of people and markedly so between people from different cultures and races. True freedom comes not from an inclusive government that forces its own overarching values over distinct groups that must accommodate to it, but from independent groups that are free to choose their own values within their own terms of existence.

Modern, democratic-liberal imposition is tyranny for those who do not agree with it. The typical, childish response by college-like types accustomed to having their ideas protected so long as they pander to the majority (seeing as democracy is a popularity contest, not a reaching towards actual solutions), is that anyone who does not agree is free to go live far off on a mountain. Even if we were willing to do so and were successful in building outlying posts of a new/different culture, we know that if these became influential and highly successful there are no out-of-bounds regions for modern, globalised governments.

The peace-loving modern West would only consider such communities as breeding centres for outlaws and/or extremists deserving to be imprisoned, tortured and “re-educated”. Just ask any country in the last 120 years that has been successful in escaping the clutches of international banking and corporatism: they have all been summarily “brought to justice for their crimes against humanity” sooner or later. Thus, change will have to be slow and encouraged from within to survive the collapse of the diseased body of a civilisation that has been crumbling for millennia (technological advancements notwithstanding).


§ For those who seek, not for those who wait


These propositions, however, are not aimed at trying to convince anyone by way of sentimental appeals, but rather a presentation of logical and common sense statements that can be taken by someone willing to go through them rationally and make up his or her own mind. The implication that many of subpar intelligence, lacking mental honesty or irreparable egotism will almost surely reject the ideas in this book from the very start without understanding them is a tacit given. This does not mean that there is an attitude of requesting complete compliance, but that the contents require an honesty and wilful consideration that escapes the vast majority of people in a capricious and self-deceiving world afflicted by globalised modernity.


1 Meta-philosophical in the sense that it is not an attempt at creating a full philosophical system, but to use philosophical references to indicate the contours and boundaries of a precise idea that is to serve as starting point for later stages.

2 The compendium of modern secular “values” which reflect centuries of Judeo-Christian indoctrination could be called a pseudo culture instead of an authentic one by virtue of the fact that they are super-imposed on people rather than born naturally from an organic consensus arising through generations of individuals interacting with those within their actual community.

A Child’s Solitary Pact

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§ The Event


Around the age of six, most probably even before that, a child may become aware of the huge rift that separates their pure understanding from the complex and often twisted way of seeing things of the adults. As children who have just come into our basic rational and logical faculties, some of us quickly realize the degree of contradiction and nonsense that seems to drive the adult world. I cannot be sure what percentage of the population suffers this subtle awakening right after leaving the toddler stage, but if they do, few make it to their teenage years —not to mention their young adult age— without having complied with the system to a certain degree and given up on their inner compasses.

What has prompted this memory in me is Brett Stevens‘ illustrative story in the earliest section of his new book, Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity. Although set in a very different context (for I was not a suburban, Generation X kid in “America”), the general feeling and experience remains the same, with the exception that unlike the kid in the story, I outwardly displayed the necessary behavior patterns that would mean the authorities leaving me alone. Like him, I told myself that I would not forget myself, that I would not forget that children know and understand much more than the condescending and nonsensical adults knew.

“In that clearing, which would soon be bulldozed flat to make room for more houses, he made a pact with himself: he would see things as they were here, always, no matter what the adults said. But he feared the day he would become an adult, too, and worried that the hidden thing inside people would take him, too.”

—Brett Stevens, Nihilism, Introduction, page 131.

Brett Stevens also makes a point of describing that his impression of the adults’ motivations and guiding emotion is fear. In world dictated by fear of the natural, raised by a fear-driven family and society, there seems as if there is little else to hold on to but nihilism. As paradoxical as that may sound, the simple answer is that nihilism is in accordance with reality to its furthest consequences, materialism and duality on the other hand and as Brett Steven explains, are self-serving denials of it.

“Nihilism grows from a conceptual seed: neither universal truth nor subjectivity exists. Both are human constructions designed to remove fear of unknowns in our world. All we have is reality and our ability to adapt to it.”

—Brett Stevens, Nihilism, ‘Nihilism’, page 162.


§ An Innocent Self-Initiation


What this act of solitary mental contrivance ultimately resulted in was an unwitting self-initiation into a state that insulated a perceptive and logical internal system from the communal delusions which held this fragile system. For frail and disconnected from reality it is, and this is precisely the source of fear in which this society and civilization lives. It knows it is at odds with nature, but it is too selfish and lazy to change. In its narcissism and mediocrity it damns what is truly excellent and attuned with reality with words pulled out of a ready-made cache of buzzwords. Rather than face up to the facts, hallmark epithets drilled into the minds of sheep through brainwashing education will make sure no manner of reason will defeat their emotionally-sealed myths and beliefs.pine-690555_960_720

It was a self-initiation in the sense that it consciously set my mind on a different path, even though this was to be confused and then buried for a while. My own weakness and stalled inner death played tricks and delayed advancement. In the end, I owe a debt of gratitude and respect to those who gave me the gift of their mental nursing, those who distinguished a seed and deemed it worthy enough to prevent me from hitting rock bottom. I myself do not cower from it, and it may be that in the future I choose to forcefully enter the abyss against my loved ones’ wishes and better judgement. But when that day comes, it will be in conscious steps and not pure nihilistic free fall.

Nihilism is a curious concept which, much like the trials of an initiate, may serve the double function of separating the worthy from the lesser as well as exercising a transforming effect in the individual. He who is both willing and awake enough to go through a spiritual self-immolation may, like the Phoenix, return to the egg and then rise victorious upon a wider arc.

“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 to 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.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, ‘The Three Metamorphoses’


§ A Path (Re)Discovered


I do not believe in accidents not anymore, at least not in the conventional sense. Occurrences lack of purpose or meaning in the human sense, perhaps, but they are not devoid of an ulterior motive. Synchronicity —discovered through awareness in real life, not merely theorized— has allowed for a new way of seeing life that allows one to move like water, at least mentally and spiritually. An active will, then, allows one to move like fire —a much more rare and volatile characteristic found in the spirits of a very few only.

Like the child in Brett Stevens’ Nihilism, I too grew through abrasive nihilism, although my own experience was much more furious and long-winded, having developed an intense and passionate Christian faith in my early years as well. My childhood was defined by both that promise and the natural and secretive Christian initiation I was led into; the reconciliation of both resulted in a concept which functioned as a knight’s armor against modernity. It would rust and fall into disuse throughout my teenage years, and it would be cast off as utterly outdated in my young adulthood.

perseus-296915_960_720Nihilism had then finally taken me to its utmost confines, leaving me spiritually naked and alone, no matter what the optimistic reassurances of others may be —such is the nature of extreme and empirical realism. How does this differ, then, from empiricism and realism? It differs in the psychological extent and emphasis which leads not to a mediocre accepting of reality, but rather to an extreme unveiling which ultimately leaves two options: suicide or heroism.

Heroism here is not to be understood in the mundane way as sacrifice for the (often physical) welfare of others, but in victorious and willful transformations. The hero does not seek to either control the universe nor leave himself at its mercy, but to be in an ever-changing state of knowing that implies a changing through its motions as the cosmos within and without are eternally explored. Control is achieved, but not in a greedy manner nor in wanting to bend nature. It is rather the gradual acquiring of a deeper and vaster consciousness which, through understanding the occult workings is better equipped to adapt and act accordingly to reach its own goals within that wondrous transcendent reality.

“But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to be come a child?
Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, 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 the holy Yea unto life: its own will, willeth now the spirit; his own world winneth the world’s outcast.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, ‘The Three Metamorphoses’


§ Towards the Unknown, Into Darkness


The Path will surely not be easy. It will involve much learning and much suffering. Or more precisely, learning through suffering. This is not to say that suffering itself will be sought, but the path that maximizes the balanced (thus staying within the path) obtainment of knowledge incurs in more suffering. Why is knowledge and learning to be paid for in suffering? Is this masochism? No, and no. Anything of worth requires payment in time, attention and effort. In short, you pay for these things with your life.light-1345753_960_720

The mental aspect is the first of the tripartite spear of development to pierce self and kosmos with. Out of the three, it will come easiest since it comes more naturally to those of us used to dive into books. However, since time is of the essence, it will be of far more importance to discriminate and know what lies on our own path. Furthermore, here lies the piercing side of evaluation that many a modern occultist shuns, usually as an excuse to indulge in their own feelings and narcissism, which they confuse with intuition or empathy.

The physical aspect will surely be one of the most difficult aspects of this journey, for it requires gradually pushing boundaries till reasonable limits are reached. While I am used to physical training, the life I have led until now has always steered me away from full engagement, full commitment, to the physical aspect of my being. This has been gradually changing in the last few years, within reasonable boundaries and cycles. However, in looking forward to the upcoming change and new life, my conscious grew with a vitality and purpose for training that I had never before experienced. Some of us need a transcendent and spiritual dimension to everything we do, apparently. Still, running 32 kilometers in 2 and a half hours will require more than a little willpower and elan.

lightning-342341_960_720The spiritual aspect I associate directly with the power of intuition and the receptive agencies — and thus with the feminine and naturally noble side. The two others are but ways to solidify this last aspect that engulfs our whole being and moves between them. To know the darkest and yet the most luminous to then be able to move beyond both and into an attunement with and apprehension of nature at every level is a goal that immediately resounded with me. The internet being what it is, I had already bumped into the necessary information several years ago, but I was not ready for it at all. To immediately recognize the way when you see it is a characteristic of esoteric paths; to find the teacher when you are ready for the lesson. Sometimes that teacher is yourself, sometimes it is life itself. Learn from life, and especially from death; rejoice in death for only in death does life acquire meaning.



“And then-but I beheld not, nor can tell,

What further fate befell:

But this is sure, that Calchas’ boding strain

Can ne’er be void or vain.

This wage from justice’ hand do sufferers earn,

The future to discern:

And yet-farewell,

O secret of To-morrow!

Fore-knowledge is fore-sorrow.

Clear with the clear beams of the morrow’s sun,

The future presseth on.

Now, let the house’s tale, how dark soe’er,

Find yet an issue fair!

– So prays the loyal, solitary band

That guards the Apian land”

—Aeschylus, Agamemnon, ‘Antistrophe 6’. Translated by E.D.A. Morshead


1 “Thou art the death of me. I am slain in my love for Thee, O devouring serpent, O immortal python, O crushing Wisdom.”

2 “Strike! O, take me now, in an instant. Strike! with the passionate strength of thy love to overwhelm this silly thought I have of Thee, this struggling artifice. Flood the channels of my nerves with the lightning current of Thyself.”

Concentrated Thoughts, A First Rant

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Some seemingly random thoughts to ponder on and perhaps even study.