Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Really Unfaithful Nietzsche

Okay... This reading was a bit more difficult for me. I found myself continually agreeing with certain aspects of what Nietzsche was saying (such as that we are inclined to maintain a herd mentality) but rejecting most of his ideas (such as aristocratic state as being the proper way to govern, democracy as institutionalized mediocrity). I think the hardest part to reconcile is that I think we all maintain a little bit of this egoism that he would like to say is what we are really made of. When I recognize that I do have a will to power that resides in me in the way that he states it, I almost feel dirty, but at the same time, I feel enlivened. The conundrum that I think Nietzsche is explaining is that we have traded in our will to power for a world without fear (or at least the goal of a world without fear). While I don't fully agree with him about what we should actually be like, I certainly feel that slave morality as generality is something that we can't reject outright as being false. It reminds me of something I heard on a movie I watched a while back entitled Akeelah and the Bee:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson -

It is this that I think Nietzsche is speaking to. That we are all powerful beings that have trapped ourselves into a morality that would cause us to fear our own strengths. His resolutions are the things that I can't appreciate. We have to accept that we are communal creatures and, as such, that we must insure the liberty of all of those things we call human. Empathy should extend from each of us to the rest of us, even if we don't agree with the ideas that others have. But we must find a way to reinstate our own strengths back into ourselves and recognize them as things to be cherished in ourselves and in other.

That's my two cents, anyway.

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