Friday, May 5, 2017

Jottings - Slice of life - 120 ( beyond Good and evil - Nietzsche's Overman)

Jottings - Slice of life - 120 ( beyond Good and evil - Nietzsche's Overman)
After after work-out yesterday, our group - the self consecrated “intellectual circle” - met at the customary Juice store to ramble upon some philosophic questions. I dont know why we meet each week to discuss these issues, but we unfailingly do so; I guess, out of a sense of curiosity and the need to think deeply about human existence and share thoughts with like minded people. Its always easy to talk philosophy with people who understand where its coming from. Otherwise it can be easily construed as snobbery or “talking from a moral high ground”.
For some weeks, I have been unusually quiet in the discussions, and that did not go unnoticed. We have been discussing Nietzsche idea of “overman”, not “superman” - which is a dilution of his original thought. The problem of good versus evil, demon versus God, right versus wrong - has plagued philosophy for ages. Existentially, Man finds himself torn between these two extremes. Every decision he makes is weighed on these scales. Society idealizes goodness; unfortunately an individual struggles to reconcile his daily life with accepted definitions of goodness. We are always little unsure of how we act. Our outward facades are never true reflections of what goes on underneath. One hand, we are taught to reach out to Godly values, but on the other hand the demon within tempts us into antithetic behavior. No matter how strong our religious upbringing may be, we never completely overcome the temptation to do the opposite. This is a fact. The fundamental question for Nietzsche then was : Can good and evil ever be reconciled, and can the energies of man be unconditionally gathered and channeled into one concentrated stream to attain his true potential, outgrowing the notions of Good and evil.
The general consensus of our group was that Man yearns to be good; hence the symbol of God as an embodiment of all that is good and beautiful plays an important role in all religions. Evil is just an aberration in the natural order of things. Nietzsche “Overman” according to them was one who consciously strives to overcome his darker side and reaches out to touch a purer light. To me, that was a wrong reading of Nietzsche.
John turned towards me and said “ Bala, you have been pretty silent about this topic. your thoughts ? “
“ Yes, I have been silent because I dont quite agree with the base premise of this discussion. Thats Man strives towards God and try his best to shun what is evil is not existentially true. Essentially what all of us truly seek is an embodiment of Devilish Godliness in us. The best of both worlds. Let me explain. Ideally, we would love to be in a state where nothing we do ever falls under any kind of Moral scrutiny and censure. In other words, I could do anything I feel without any restraint. That is the kind of “all sanctioning God” we all inwardly seek. We may not accept this position in public, but deep down most of us know that is what we want. We wish for a God who can bless every act without being choosy. Unfortunately , religions do not give us that kind of choice. We are forced to give our allegiance either to God or the devil. And Man, not surprisingly, finds it very difficult to do so. Temples and churches are filled every Sunday and other convenient days because we seek unconscious forgiveness to all that we have done, and seek blessings for all that we about to do. Our obsessive religiosity is not because we are strong, but because we are weak - Inwardly weak to accept that we have feelings and thoughts contrary to everything we publicly profess. Thankfully, It is only out of sense of social decency we dont act as we think. If it were not so, there will no Gods left in this world..So, in my opinion, Nietszhe’s Overman is someone who realizes the futility of thinking in opposites, and give it up totally and completely. he does not strive purposely towards Good or evil, or thinks in terms of God and devil. He just does what he needs to do with all the energy he has. Two thousand years ago, the mystical tradition in India conveyed the same message that Nietzsche so painfully realized during his life time . We called it “ dwandwathitha” or “beyond opposites” and Nietzsche carefully worded it as ‘Overman”.
Now, this was and is a potentially dangerous concept. Hitler was influenced, and we know the outcome. But the fact remains, that any act which has transformative significance can only come when we get beyond the polar opposites of life. An average man vacillates in indecision and regret. An Overman acts and faces the consequences with deep acceptance. All this was studied, understood, lived and expounded ages ago. Nietzsche clothed it in modern terms for modern man. Thats all..
God bless…
yours in mortality,
Bala

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