In 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra', Friedrich Nietzsche concludes that in an infinite universe where there is no God, every finite event recurs eternally. As only the Overman can embrace this concept of eternal recurrence, it is necessary to attain mastery over the will to power. Since 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' is divided into multifarious parts, I have chosen to focus on Zarathustra's Conversation with the Kings, The Ugliest Man, The Drunken Song, and finally The Sign. Focusing on these sections will facilitate our analysis and interpretation of Nietzsche's concept of the Overman and the eternal recurrence in regard to pity, evil, and lastly, his notion of timelessness in comparison to William James' 'A Pluralistic Universe'.
As Book IV, part 3 opens, Zarathustra crosses paths with two kings who have deserted their kingdoms because they are disgusted and nauseated by the shallowness of not only their people, but also by society as a whole. The kings state, Everything among us is false and foul. Nobody knows how to revere and long: we are trying to get away from precisely that. They are saccharine, obtrusive curs; they gild palm leaves. When the kings hear that Zarathustra is looking for the higher man, they decide to join him since ...the highest man shall also be the highest lord on earth. Man's fate knows no harsher misfortune than when those who have power on earth are not the first men. Unlike Zarathustra, whose ultimate goal is to discover the Overman, the two kings assert that they are content with finding the higher man. In turn, the two kings will fail to attain mastery over their will to power.
[...] Nietzsche asserts that the mastery of the will to power is pivotal in achieving the overman since the will to power is fundamentally one's reasoning behind decision making and drive to life. Only upon achieving the overman, does one have complete power over himself through his own individual creation of his will and rejection of absolutes such as truth, God, and morality. Since the overman is governed by his will to power, he is a creation by his own independent will. [...]
[...] My suffering and my pity for suffering what does it matter?” The Eternal Recurrence In Zarathustra's drunken song, he joyously affirms the doctrine of the eternal recurrence. In this existential thought process, the past and future is infinite. Therefore, any event that may happen has already occurred in the past. Upon expansion, this reasoning then logically asserts that this current instant in time has already happened in the past. In addition, since the future is infinite as well, then, every moment that has transpired in the past and this current moment will recur in the future. [...]
[...] For all joy wants eternity. It is imperative in the doctrine of eternal recurrence to accept that all moments of our lives are interconnected and recurring. Therefore, it is crucial to live in the moment. Zarathustra asserts the importance of not determining what the meaning of life is, but rather what is the meaning of one's own life. Zarathustra poses the question, “This is my way; where is yours? For the way that does not exist.” Comparison to William James Although William James' A Pluralistic Universe and Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra both concur that time is essential, their views of timelessness affect differently their perceptions of not only the universe, but also change. [...]
[...] Man cannot bear it such a witness could live. Because God was omniscient and exposed all the pitiable aspects of the ugliest man to him, the ugliest man began to resent God; ergo, deeming it necessary to murder God. The ugliest man tells Zarathustra, “your shame, Zarathustra, honored me! With difficulty I escaped the throng of the pitying, to find the only one today who teaches, ‘Pity is obtrusive' you, O Zarathustra.” Earlier in Book II, Zarathustra asserts that . [...]
[...] time remains as real as anything, and nothing in the universe is great or static or eternal enough not to have some history . Because mankind is struggling with an enumerable number of forces, Henry Levinson posits the question, do changing and variable minds understand changing and variable things according to changing and variable principles?” James later states, essence of life is its continuously changing character, but our concepts are all discontinuous and fixed, and the only mode of making them coincide with life is by arbitrarily supposing positions of arrest therein. [...]
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