I have an understanding of Nietzsche that seems to fall outside the range of normal.
I hear completely different focus, emphasis and purpose in his words, and to be completely honest, that understanding completely changed my life nearly 20 years ago when I discovered Nietzsche.
I’ll try to sketch it out.
- A human soul is a society, under a political order. Some parts of a soul are dominant, other parts are dominated, others are suppressed, and still others are completely unknown.
- This political order is what we know as morality. What is good or evil is a function of what supports or undermines the political order of a particular organization of a soul.
- Morality comes largely from outside. The strongest, most talented parts of a soul can often be suppressed by the prevalent morality. When these suppressed members of a soul rebel within a soul it can produce a guilty conscience. If the suppressed faction of a soul revolt and take it over, the person becomes socially unacceptable, and is called “evil”.
- A large part of morality is making questioning the morality taboo. To even question morality is an act of rebellion by the very faction of the soul doing the questioning.
- If the questioning faction of a soul questions hard enough, the soul can be thrown into chaos and perplexity and a moral crisis ensues.
- If a new political order is produced in a soul, this “revaluation” changes everything. New aspects of one’s soul can emerge and live. The new self experiences itself and reality itself in a completely different way. It can be experienced as a death and rebirth of self, of the world, even of what God means.
- When Nietzsche declared that “God is dead” this was not a call for permanent atheism, but a renewal of life’s total meaning. Gods do not stay dead. (Which reminds me, Happy Easter to all my Christian friends.)
- This experience redeems all pain preceding the struggle. One would be willing to go through it again, and infinite number of times (an “eternal recurrance”) for the sake of this revaluative transfiguration, which is lucky because this is the permanent cycle of spiritual life.
This has been the backbone of my reading of Nietzsche. There’s a lot more to him than only this, but if you approach him from this basic trajectory he seems a lot less… Nietzschean?