Wherein I Finish Zarathustra

Okay, I finally finished Thus Spake Zarathustra. It’s a weird book (get one of dozens of etexts here) that makes little sense and requires entirely too much thought to understand. The basic premise, for those of you who don’t want to have to read Nietzsche, is that we are still not realized of our true human potential and should strive to become the Superman or Overman (trans – Ubermensch). How we are to do this, though, Nietzsche doesn’t seem to explain very clearly – at least as far as I’m concerned.

The main hero in Thus Spake Zarathustra is (unsurprisingly) Zarathustra, named after the founder of Zoroastrism (Freddie Mercury was a Zoroastrian), but otherwise has little to do with the Zoroastric faith. In fact, I doubt very much that the original Zarathustra managed to found a religion by sitting alone on the top of a mountain and saying weird things like :

In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak, but for that route thou must have long legs. Proverbs should be peaks, and those spoken to should be big and tall.

But a realistic interpretation is neither here nor there. What is more important to me personally is that Nietzsche focuses less on finding any answers to life, but more on how people should live it. There are views on marriage, on friendship, on leisure activities, on how you should sleep. He meant it to parody the New Testament, I suppose, with it’s vague, open-to-interpretation value judgements.

There’s also a Last Supper, Disciples and a lot of talk about God. Mostly about him being dead. However, remember that Nietzsche was an atheist. For him to say God is dead is NOT a religous statement, but rather a social commentary. He has many social commentaries, a lot of which I do not find myself very approving of.

Nietzsche also spares no mercy in his disgust at the “common man”. The term referring to people like you and me, I suppose, who are sitting around reading/writing blogs instead of pondering our way towards ascension (though this point I find confusing – Nietzsche’s attitude towards ascension of any kind seems to be based on a resignation of inability to reach it). Luckily, he condemns the living death, something closer to my heart (though I suspect my reasons for that now). On the other hand, I know the Germans tend to be somewhat outspoken in their views, but read TSZ and you’ll see why it makes sense that it was twisted to Nazi idealogy and probably ended up being a little bit responsible for the deaths of the thousands. Death is, as far as Nietzsche is concerned (at the beginning of the book, towards the end I feel he’s more forgiving), too good for the scum of the earth.

And Nietzsche didn’t like Jews, neither.

Hmmm. I’ve been giving Seet a hard time because of his NLP, mainly because I thought it was silly that he should go running to someone and pay them so they could tell him how to live his life. I guess, in a way, I’m also looking for someone to tell me how to live my own life – that’s what all these philosophy books are about. So maybe I’m not better (although my affliction costs me a lot less).

Well, he used to make fun of me for that too.

An anonymous blogger has driven my friend to tears by posting in her blog that she was possessed of several bad traits. Phew. Luckily I didn’t link her from mine, so it wasn’t one of my readers that flamed her. On the other hand, I guess it’s a lesson to all of us to be more responsible about our words. All very good to say it’s MY blog and I’ll write what I bloody want, but freedom is not something you should flaunt, if you want others to respect it.

So keep it reasonable and well-argued, people! Bitch blogs aren’t fun to read (unless you’re my sister).

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