bmcnicho

Is Nietzsche a Worthwhile Philosopher?

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I’m curious what people think of this, because before I got into spiritual stuff, he was the philosopher I had read the most of.  Leo did list existentialism as a less valuable branch of philosophy, however he didn’t mention Nietzsche by name

I’ll start with an obvious point against Nietzsche: that he very famously did not personally embody the things he talked about.  That’s a clear trap that we should avoid, using grandiose ideas as cover for personal deficiencies.  It can also be questioned if his frequent writing style of ego-fueled angry rants is really what we want to see in a philosopher, although I’m sure some could see it as a valid stylistic choice

Another clear trap that Nietzsche fell into was dualism.  While his Will to Power idea may have some relative validity, making intense dualistic struggle such a key pillar of his worldview is an obvious point against him

Now for some points to Nietzsche’s credit.  He definitely believed in the pursuit of Truth above all else.  In fact many believe that it’s what led to his insanity.  He criticized those who saw philosophy as a way to improve human life, believing one must follow the Truth even if doing so would make things much worse for people.  In at least this respect, he represents well what Leo considers a great philosopher to be

Nietzsche also had great critiques of previous philosophers, accusing many of being so biased that their bodies of work were essentially “writing their own autobiographies”.  Nietzsche was so against past authorities, that his main philosophical project was to reject all past values and create new ones completely from scratch.  This type of thinking was revolutionary for the time, and led to the later development of postmodernism.

While Nietzsche was ignorant regarding spirituality and eastern philosophy, he did have his own idea, Amor Fati, or love of fate, which was the belief that there is nobility in embracing all aspects of life, no matter how painful or difficult

Finally, while there are potential issues with his ideas surrounding the Ubermensch, it does represent a desire in common with Leo to transcend human limitations

These are my main thoughts on him, but I would like to hear other people’s perspectives

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Everything that you are saying about what Nietzsche was saying and believing here is just one interpretation, and you can read Nietzsche in a completely different way also. And, by the way, don't forget that you are Nietzsche, and you are the writer of his books, that it is your consciousness, but don't get freaked out about this also, because you are a being with infinite levels of being. So, it is your state of being while you're reading it that matters, more than what you believe Nietzsche "actually" is talking about, in my humble opinion, because it is something that is being "emanated" by the level of intelligence of wisdom that you yourself are able to perceive and "understand". 

 

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1 hour ago, bmcnicho said:

While Nietzsche was ignorant regarding spirituality and eastern philosophy, he did have his own idea, Amor Fati, or love of fate, which was the belief that there is nobility in embracing all aspects of life, no matter how painful or difficult

Read Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

In that book, he provides some of the best philosophical descriptions of the transcendental spirit. 

The only one who is ignorant here is you. :) 

Nietzsche was a genius for his time. The density of information in his writings is unparalleled by other philosophers. 

What Leo says in 3 hours, Nietzsche has already said in 3 sentences. lol 

Below are my favorite quotes from Thus Spoke Zarathustra. I let his words speak for themselves. 

Quote

-As soon as you feel yourself against me you have ceased to understand my position and consequently my arguments! You have to be the victim of the same passion! I want to awaken the greatest mistrust of myself: I speak only of things I have experienced and do not offer only events in the head. One must want to experience the great problems with one’s body and one’s soul.

-Great star! What would your happiness be, if you had not those for whom you shine! You have come up here to my cave for ten years: you would have grown weary of your light and of this journey, without me, my eagle and my serpent; but we waited for you every morning, took from you your superfluity and blessed you for it. Behold! I am weary of my wisdom, like a bee that has gathered too much honey; I need hands outstretched to take it; I should like to give it away and distribute it, until the wise among men have again become happy in their folly and the poor happy in their wealth. To that end, I must descend into the depths: as you do at evening, when you go behind the sea and bring light to the underworld too, superabundant star! – like you, I must go down — as men, to whom I want to descend, call it. So bless me then, tranquil eye, that can behold without envy even an excessive happiness! Bless the cup that wants to overflow, that the waters may flow golden from him and bear the reflexion of your joy over all the world! Behold! This cup wants to be empty again, and Zarathustra wants to be man again.’ – Thus began Zarathustra’s down-going.

-And when Nietzsche came to understand fear as the feeling of the absence of power, he was left with a single motivating principle for all human actions: the will to power.

-Man is a rope, fastened between animal and Superman – a rope over an abyss. A dangerous going-across, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous shuddering and staying-still. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal; what can be loved in man is that he is a going-across and a down-going

-The creator seeks companions, not corpses or herds or believers. The creator seeks fellow-creators, those who inscribe new values on new tables.

-I call it the state where everyone, good and bad, is a poison-drinker: the state where everyone, good and bad, loses himself: the state where universal slow suicide is called – life. Just look at these superfluous people! They steal for themselves the works of inventors and the treasures of the wise: they call their theft culture – and they turn everything to sickness and calamity.

-You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes? Solitary man, you are going the way of the creator: you want to create yourself a god from your seven devils!

-Truly, you could wear no better masks than your own faces, you men of the present! Who could – recognize you!

-To redeem the past and to transform every ‘It was’ into an ‘I wanted it thus!’ – that alone do I call redemption!

-Which is the highest type of being and which the lowest? The parasite is the lowest type; but he who is of the highest type nourishes the most parasites.

-No longer is there anything living that I love – how should I still love myself?

-You Higher Men, the worst about you is: none of you has learned to dance as a man ought to dance – to dance beyond yourselves! What does it matter that you are failures! How much is still possible! So learn to laugh beyond yourselves! Lift up your hearts, you fine dancers, high! higher! and do not forget to laugh well! This laugher’s crown, this rose-wreath crown: to you, my brothers, do I throw this crown! I have canonized laughter; you Higher Men, learn – to laugh!

-Great star,’ he said, as he had said once before, ‘you profound eye of happiness, what would all your happiness be if you did not have those for whom you shine! ‘And if they remained in their rooms while you were already awake and had come, giving and distributing: how angry your proud modesty would be!

 

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I think he is a v useful philosopher to study to help transcend the dogmas of western philosophy.

Tho I think folks tend to aggrandise him a lot.

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8 hours ago, Vibroverse said:

Everything that you are saying about what Nietzsche was saying and believing here is just one interpretation, and you can read Nietzsche in a completely different way also.

@Vibroverse Yes, that’s important to point out.  Nietzsche’s writings would often bring out conflicting aspects of a given topic.  Such that the intended message of a given passage was sometimes the precise opposite of what it appeared initially.  Nietzsche is therefore frequently misinterpreted, and I almost certainly have some misconceptions about his views

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@JosephKnecht I should clarify and expand on my point regarding Nietzsche’s ignorance of the East and spirituality.  There was definitely a strong transcendental spirit to his work, however in my view he had an incomplete understanding of transcendence.  His main criticism of Buddhism and the East was that in his view it practiced “standing on the sidelines of life”.  He contrasted this against against his view of Amor Fati and voluntarily embracing the Will to Power.

The key piece he was missing was the central pillar of true spirituality: that human suffering can be transcended through the recognition that the separate self is illusory.  His approach instead advocated for digging in deeper into dualistic suffering, and regarding that struggle as Good.

While the Ubermensch is certainly an aspirational idea, Nietzsche seems to describe it as an evolutionary, philosophical, or socio-cultural project, rather than something that one can become directly conscious of and embody personally.

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Nietzsche, in my opinion, can be pretty helpful up until a point, in helping you understand that every belief that you and your culture have actually is groundless, but after that, yes, he usually may be seen as someone who is constantly just ranting about stuff. I think he got so lost in that project of his that he got lost in that perspective of his, and became the depressed and mentally unstable person that he is, and I can understand how, we all get lost in that mode sometimes. 

But of course he had very brilliant ideas and, you may say, discoveries about how the western civilization is created that he can help you in learning how to decipher bullshit and question your assumptions about reality and ethics, and so forth. But the important thing, in my opinion, is doing that without losing your groundedness, otherwise you can end up in an asylum as he did. 

But he obviously is, at the same time, a brilliant philosopher from whom you can learn a lot, but it, again, also depends on your level of wisdom or understanding about the nature of reality, otherwise you can get so immersed in that idea of Nietzsche that may turn you into someone who is all about pointing to what is wrong, and then it may be your only level of perception of reality. 

If you, however, can see the world through a healthily critical lens, then you may become aware of the problems, but you, then, would not get lost in becoming someone who is only about pointing to the problems, but, by understanding the nature of reality, you would learn about how to take the bounce from the awareness of the problem and move towards a perspective of solution more easily. 

I mean, in my opinion, Nietzsche understood the truth, and his idea of ubermensch, in my opinion, is a representation of that, but, yes, he was aware of that possibility of absolute freedom, but he did not know how to get there, because, as I said, his filter of consciousness was so involved in the problems that his awareness of the solutions, in a sense, became invisible, or deeply hidden, to him. 

 

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I would say so. He was the first postmodern philosopher who had a knack for being able to deconstruct the morality systems of his day in very insightful ways.

In addition, he was quite prophetic about the long term problems that would come as modernity displaced traditional value systems (ie widespread social alienation and a cultural meaning crisis that we're living through today, which various breeds of authoritarian ideologies have preyed on).

That said, a word of warning; insightful as he was, Nietzsche was also a very damaged person with a huge chip on his shoulder from an unhappy upbringing.

This informs his philosophy in a number of problematic ways. Nietzsche was an undeniable egoist with some very questionable ideas which are disdainful of women, democracy, and universal compassion. In a some ways Nietzsche was the 19th century equivalent of an Incel.

While it wasn't his intention, there's also a reason his work was able to be so easily misappropriated by fascists. And that's because for all his brilliance, much of his philosophy can be read as the power fantasy of a weak and disempowered man.

So as long as one doesn't get thier ethics and morals from Nietzsche, there's a lot that can be learned from him. Just make sure to engage with his work critically.

Edited by DocWatts

"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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I enjoyed watching “Academy of Ideas” because they discuss his major pointsZ I read, they didn’t really understand “Thus Spoke Zarathustra “ but I did more so for poetic reasons.


"Unburdened and Becoming" - Bon Iver

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