Metaphysikos To Thaumatos

Metaphysics of Wonder - Kazis Kripaitis


1. Michel de Montaigne, Les Essais De Michel De Montaigne, (Paris: Presses Universitaires De France 1924), 304. “Our own peculiar condition is that we are as fit to be laughed at as able to laugh”, trans. Frame.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Nachgelesene Fragmente, 1885 38[12]. Cf. endnote xcviii. back

2. I offer any one of hundreds of personal anecdotes to support this, as one who has paid close attention to this for decades. For example, the gnat who rode with vital attentiveness on my index finger, from the time ‘it’ hopped on at the entry gate to the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Ma., that my party then slowly toured for four hours, to the moment ‘it’ hopped off, at the precise spot where ‘it’ had joined me, despite having been offered many opportunities to otherwise depart along the way. back

3. Friedrich Nietzsche, Writings from the Late Notebooks, 1887 10[202], trans. Sturge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2003), 206. Cf. also endnote xlii. “The ‘thing-in-itself’ absurd. If I think away all of the relationships, all the ‘qualities’, all the ‘activities’ of a thing, then the thing does not remain behind: because thingness was only a fiction added by us, out of the needs of logic, thus for the purpose of designation, communication, not – – – (to bind together that multiplicity of relationships, qualities, activities)”

“Das “Ding an sich” widersinnig. Wenn ich alle Relationen, alle “Eigenschaften” alle “Thätigkeiten” eines Dinges wegdenke, so bleibt nicht das Ding übrig: weil Dingheit erst von uns hinzufingirt ist, aus logischen Bedürfnissen, also zum Zweck der Bezeichnung, der Verständigung, nicht – – – (zur Bindung jener Vielheit von Relat Eigenshaften Thätigkeiten)”). back

4. You. back

5. Cf. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist, section 13, trans. Norman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2005), 11. “Let us not underestimate the fact that we ourselves, we free spirits, already constitute a ‘revaluation of all values’, a living declaration of war on and victory over all old concepts of ‘true’ and ‘untrue’”.

“Unterschätzen wir dies nicht: wir selbst, wir freien Geister, sind bereits eine ‘Umwerthung aller Werthe’ eine leibhafte Kriegs- und Siegs-Erklärung an alle alten Begriffe von ‘wahr’ und “unwahr’” back

6. Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. back

7. Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, trans. Beckett (New York: Grove 1954), 57. back

8. Henry Drummond, Lowell Lectures on The Ascent of Man, (New York: James Pott 1894), 333. “There are reverent minds who ceaselessly scan the fields of nature and the books of Science in search of gaps – gaps which they will fill up with God”. back

9. Cf. J. T. Hamilton, On Complacency forthcoming 2020. back

10. Cf. David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, 1.4.5 (London: Oxford University Press 1978), 251. “...I have at least the satisfaction to think it takes nothing from them, but that every thing remains precisely as before”. back

11. Plato, Cratylus, 401d, trans. Reeve (Indianapolis: Hackett 1997), 119. "τὰ ὄντα ἰέναι τε πάντα καὶ μένειν οὐδέν". back

12. Cf. Art Hobson, “There Are No Particles, Only Fields”, in American Journal of Physics, issue 81, 211, 2013. Cf. endnote xx. back

13. Friedrich Nietzsche, Gay Science, section 355, trans. Nauckhoff (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015), 214. “The familiar means what we are used to, so that we no longer marvel at it; the commonplace; some rule in which we are stuck; each and every thing that makes us feel at home: – And isn’t our need for knowledge precisely this need for the familiar, the will to uncover among everything strange, unusual, and doubtful something which no longer unsettles us?”

Das Bekannte, das heisst: das woran wir gewöhnt sind, so dass wir uns nicht mehr darüber wundern, unser Alltag, irgend eine Regel, in der wir stecken, Alles und Jedes, in dem wir uns zu Hause wissen: — wie? ist unser Bedürfniss nach Erkennen nicht eben dies Bedürfniss nach Bekanntem, der Wille, unter allem Fremden, Ungewöhnlichen, Fragwürdigen Etwas aufzudecken, das uns nicht mehr beunruhigt? Sollte es nicht der Instinkt der Furcht sein, der uns erkennen heisst?” back

14. David Nadlinger’s photo of a single strontium atom is an example of this. Cf. endnotes xxi and xxvii. back

15. In some industrial applications, water is used to cut solid steel. back

16. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Proposition 7, trans. Ogden (New York: Hardcourt, Brace, & Co. 1922), 90. “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”.

“Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen”. back

17. Justin Stover, “There Is No Case for the Humanities” in American Affairs, Volume I, Number 4, Winter 2017. “Academic works are written for many reasons – for qualification, for institutional and personal advancement, even to be a lasting contribution. But they are not written to be read, at least in the normal sense of the word.” back

18. Cf. Friedrich Nietzsche, Writings from the Late Notebooks, 1887 10[103], ibid, 191. Also cf. endnote xc. “Of the kind of men who matter to me I wish suffering, isolation, sickness, ill-treatment, degradation – I wish they may become acquainted with deep self-contempt, the torment of self-mistrust, the misery of the overcome: I have no compassion for them, because I wish them the only thing that today can prove whether a man has any value or not – his ability to stand his ground…”

“Solchen Menschen, welche mich etwas angehn, wünsche ich Leiden, Verlassenheit, Krankheit, Mißhandlung, Entwürdigung, — ich wünsche daß ihnen die tiefe Selbstverachtung, die Marter des Mißtrauens gegen sich, das Elend des Überwundenen nicht unbekannt bleibt: ich habe kein Mitleid mit ihnen, weil ich ihnen das Einzige wünsche, was heute beweisen kann, ob Einer Werth hat oder nicht — daß er Stand halt” back

19. Note to my critics: I have given you a slow one, right down the middle, and I expect you to knock it out of the park. Fill the journals! In so doing, I am provided the strongest evidence of my claims. back

20. Cf. Art Hobson, ibid. Also see endnote xi. back

21. Cf. endnotes xiv and xxvii. back

22. Arndt, Nairz, et al., “Wave-particle duality of C60 molecules” in Nature, issue 401, 680-682. “Here we report the observation of de Broglie wave interference of C60 molecules by diffraction at a material absorption grating. This molecule is the most massive and complex object in which wave behaviour has been observed. Of particular interest is the fact that C60 is almost a classical body, because of its many excited internal degrees of freedom and their possible couplings to the environment.” back

23. It is important to note that probability is a species of epistemological determinism, a theory of knowledge in itself. back

24. They Might Be Giants, Where Your Eyes Don’t Go, Lincoln, Bar/None, 1988. back

25. This is because of Planck’s Constant. But it is worth noting that some biologists are theorizing on macroscopic effects generated by specific quirks in the microscopic quantum realm. Cf. Jim Al-Khalili’s TED talk “How Quantum Biology Might Explain Life’s Biggest Questions”: back

26. I want to avoid the usual, tired criticisms of thinkers like Douglas Hofstadter, when he wrote, in Metamagical Themas, “some books, purporting to explain quantum theory to the layman, contain the serious drawback of trying to link quantum-mechanical reality with Eastern mysticism... [it is] a connection I find superficial and misleading...their prose abruptly changes mood, moving from precise terms to mushy, vague, and poetic terms (such as ‘mushy’, ‘vague’, and ‘poetic’.) Don’t you just hate that sort of thing?”, 473-474. back

27. Cf. endnotes xiv and xxi. back

28. Glass is an amorphous solid. back

29. William B. Yeats, The Poems, “The Second Coming”, (London: Macmillan 1983), 187. back

30. For more on neural latency, perception, and realism, cf. Sam Harris. back

31. Friedrich Nietzsche, Writings From the Late Notebooks, 1887 11[72], ibid, 213. “...becoming does not aim for a final state, does not flow into being...”. back

“das Werden hat keinen Zielzustand, mündet nicht in ein “Sein”.

32. Atomic Physics and Reality, video documentary, Jorlunde, Denmark, 1985. back

33. Euclid, Elements, Definition 1, Ed. Heath (New York: Dover), 153. back

34. Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Ch. 11, trans. John C. H. Wu (Boston: Shambala 1961), 15. back

35. Arthur Schopenhauer, World as Will and Representation, Ch. 25, trans. E. F. J. Paine (New York: Dover 1969), 129. “The particular things, however, arise and pass away; they are always becoming and never are.” Cf. Francisco Suárez, especially as cited by Schopenhauer and Heidegger. back

36. Aristotle, On the Heavens, in Complete Works Vol. 2, 300a, trans. Barnes (Princeton: Princeton University Pres 1984), 492. Cf. also Physics, at 239b. back

37. Werner Heisenberg, Across the Frontiers, trans. Heath (New York: Harper & Row 1974), 116. back

38. Erwin Schroedinger, Nature of the Greeks, trans. Hastings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1964), 97. back

39. Sir Arthur Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1928), 326. back

40. Heraclitus, Die Fragmente Der Vorsokratiker, (Berlin: Wiedmannsche Verlagsbuchhandlung 1960), 161. “Ποταμοῖς τοῖς αὐτοῖς ἐμβαίνομέν τε καὶ οὐκ ἐμβαίνομεν, εἶμέν τε καὶ οὐκ εἶμεν”.

“In dieselben Flusse steigen wir und steigen wir nicht, wir sind und wir sind nicht”. back

41. Lao Tzu, ibid, Ch. 42, 64. back

42. Friedrich Nietzsche, Writings from the Late Notebooks, 1887 10[202], ibid, 206. Cf. endnote iii. back

43. William Shakespeare, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Sonnet 81, (New York: Gramercy 1975), 1204. back

44. Atomic Physics and Reality, video documentary, Jorlunde, Denmark, 1985. back

45. Heraclitus, as cited by Seneca in Epistulae, VI, 58, 23, trans. Graver/Long (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2015), 169. “This is what Heraclitus means when he says, “We step into the same river twice and not at all.” The name of the river remains the same; the water has passed on.”

“δὶς ἐς τὸν αὐτὸν ποταμὸν οὐκ ἂν ἐμβαίης”. back

46. Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology, trans. Spivak, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press 1976), 158. Also cf. Appendix F: “Analogue vs. Digital Waves”.

“'il ny a pas de hors texte'”. back

47. Plato, Cratylus, 401d, trans. Reeve (Indianapolis: Hackett 1997), 119-120. back

48. Ludwig Wittgenstein, ibid, Proposition 6.124, 80. back

49. Louis De Broglie, Physics and Microphysics, trans. Davidson (New York: Harper 1955), 210. back

50. Godfrey Reggio, Koyaanisqatsi, 1982 experimental film. back

51. Percy Shelley, The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias”, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press 2012), 326.
I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

52. Against the Don Loebs of this world, when we reduce philosophy to a verb, we compromise aesthetic for volume. back

53. Samuel Beckett, ibid, “Elles accouchent à cheval sur une tombe, le jour brille un instant, puis c'est la nuit à nouveau”.

“They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more”. Trans. Beckett. back

54. ‘Is’ is a verb, but we confuse ourselves by using the term as a noun, e.g., ‘human being’. back

55. Friedrich Nietzsche, Gay Science, III, 270, ibid, 152. “What does your conscience say? – You should become who you are.”

“Was sagt dein Gewissen? — “Du sollst der werden, der du bist””. back

56. William B. Yeats, ibid. back

57. Cf. David Burton, The History of Mathematics ( Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill 2011). back

58. Cf. Peskin & Schroeder, An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory, (Boca Raton: CRC Press 2019). back

59. Cf. Star Trek: The Next Generation, Episode 716 “Thine Own Self”, at 11:20 and 18:50. back

60. Lao Tzu, ibid, Ch. 11, 15. back

61. Cf. Appendix F: “Analogue vs. Digital Waves”. back

62. Sir Arthur Eddington, ibid. back

63. Cf. the many experiments conducted which ‘prove’ Relativity, including recent research on high speed electrons, solar eclipses, the mass of white dwarf stars, time dilation in clocks, gravity waves, frame-dragging, and the stars at the center of the universe, among many others. back

64. Cf. David Mermin, “Is the Moon There When Nobody Looks?”, in Journal of Philosophy, Vol 78, 1981. back

65. The four fundamental forces of physics are gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. back

66. Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, (New York: Vintage 1989), 305. back

67. Is there anything more to add to the boring topic of politics? back

68. Cf. Cronin, Leeuwen et al., “Behavioral response of a chimpanzee mother toward her dead infant” in American Journal of Primatology, 2011, and thousands of other references to related phenomenon. back

69. Aristotle, Politics, trans. Barnes (Princeton: Princeton University Pres 1984), 1987. back

70. Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, Arrows and Epigrams 29, trans. Norman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2005), 159. “‘How much did conscience used to have to bite? And how good were its teeth? – And these days? What’s missing?’ A dentist’s question.”

“Wie viel hatte ehemals das Gewissen zu beissen? welche guten Zähne hatte es? — Und heute? woran fehlt es? — Frage eines Zahnarztes”. back

71. Smiths and Steven Morrissey, Meat Is Murder, Hatful of Hollow, Rough Trade, 1984. back

72. Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena, “On the Suffering of the World”, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Penguin Books 1970), 42. back

73. Indeed, the Hebrew word for “vulture” is close to the word for “compassion,” and the animals have been associated with parental care, nursing, disease control, and compassion in many Middle Eastern cultures for millennia. To speak further on vultures and compassion is to draw comparisons with the Ahimsa Jainist and Fruititarian traditions. Jains avoid harming; Fruititarians are vegans who only eat fruits, the harvest of which does not kill the central organism; Fruit-Fruititarians only eat fruit that has fallen naturally from the organism. If fruit and corpses are ultimately destined to become a commingled matter, then only time separates our definitions of Fruit-Fruititarians and vultures. The intentionality of the act is transactionally caused in either regard. back

74. Cf.: Friedrich Nietzsche:

a) Ecce Homo, Why I Am So Wise 4, trans. Norman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2005), 79. “I consider the overcoming of pity a noble virtue: I have written about the case of ‘Zarathustra’s Temptation’, where he hears a loud cry for help and pity tries to assault him, tries to lure him away from himself, like a final sin. To stay in control, to keep the height of your task free from the many lower and short-sighted impulses that are at work in supposedly selfless actions, this is the test, the final test, perhaps, that a Zarathustra has to pass – his real proof of strength…”

“Die Überwindung des Mitleids rechne ich unter die vornehmen Tugenden: ich habe als „Versuchung Zarathustra’s“ einen Fall gedichtet, wo ein grosser Nothschrei an ihn kommt, wo das Mitleiden wie eine letzte Sünde ihn überfallen, ihn von sich abspenstig machen will. Hier Herr bleiben, hier die Höhe seiner Aufgabe rein halten von den viel niedrigeren und kurzsichtigeren Antrieben, welche in den sogenannten selbstlosen Handlungen thätig sind, das ist die Probe, die letzte Probe vielleicht, die ein Zarathustra abzulegen hat – sein eigentlicher Beweis von Kraft…”.

b) Gay Science, Book III 271, ibid, 152. “Where lie your greatest dangers? – In compassion.”

“Wo liegen deine grössten Gefahren? – Im Mitleiden”.

c) Thus Spoke Zarathustra, On the Vision and the Riddle, trans. Del Caro (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2006), 125. “But pity is the deepest abyss…”

“Mitleiden aber ist der tiefste Abgrund”.

d) Thus Spoke Zarathustra, The Homecoming, ibid, 148. “In sparing and pitying my greatest danger always lay…”

“Im Schonen und Mitleiden lag immer meine grösste Gefahr”.

e) Daybreak, trans. Hollingdale (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1997), 104. “Men whose disposition is fundamentally warlike, as for example the Greeks of the age of Aeschylus, are hard to move, and when pity does for once overbear their severity it seizes them like a frenzy and as though a 'demonic force'..." back

75. Cf. Friedrich Nietzsche, Writings from the Late Notebooks, 1887 9[135], ibid, 147. back

76. Scholars trace Self in Germanism from the sublime transcendence theories of the Kantian and Hegelian traditions, their reflection especially in musicological influences like Wagner, where Self disappears into an ocean of wordless striving, to rebellion in perspectivists like Nietzsche. This vast topic can be appreciated in great depth, throughout contemporary Western traditions. back

77. Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, Why I am so Wise 7, ibid, 82. “I am warlike by nature”.

“Ich bin meiner Art nach kriegerisch”. back

78. Friedrich Nietzsche, KGB 111.3 770, BVN-1886, Brief an Heinrich Köselitz: 31/10/1886, “Es scheint mir nachträglich ein Glück, daß ich weder Menschliches, Allzumenschliches noch die Geburt der Tragödie zu Händen hatte, als ich diese Vorreden schrieb: denn, unter uns gesagt, ich halte alles dies Zeug nicht mehr aus.”.

“It seems lucky to me in retrospect that I had neither Human, All Too Human nor The Birth of Tragedy at hand when I wrote these prefaces: because, between us, I can no longer stand all this stuff”. Translation mine. back

79. Arthur Schopenhauer, On The Basis of Morality, trans. E. F. J. Paine (Indianapolis: Hackett 1995), 210. back

80. Friedrich Nietzsche, Gay Science, II, 99, ibid, 95. “No, all this does not enchant and is not felt to be enchanting, but Schopenhauer’s mystical embarrassments and evasions in those places where the factual thinker let himself be seduced and corrupted by the vain urge to be the unriddler of the world...”. In his own work, Nietzsche has simply removed the Vorstellung. back

81. Plato, The Republic, 509d–511e. Gary Gygax was the originator of Dungeons & Dragons. The alignment chart is used to determine the moral background of player-characters. back

82. Cf. Gary Gygax, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook, (Lake Geneva: TSR Hobbies 1978), 33. back

83. Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, 51, ibid, 250. “Besides this, however, and simultaneously with it, the singer, through the sight of surrounding nature, becomes conscious of himself as the subject of pure will-less knowing, whose unshakable, blissful peace now appears in contrast to the stress of willing that is always restricted and needy”. back

84. The concept of ‘soul’ is reminiscent of the error of logic and theoretical physics to rely on a base standard individual thing that is necessarily out of scope of observation or demonstration. back

85. Joshua Oppenheimer, The Act of Killing, 2012 documentary. “Cha cha”. back

86. Cf. Robert Anton Wilson’s “some but not all” formulation in Quantum Psychology, (Las Vegas: New Falcon 1990), 72. back

87. This may be the key to the entire Metaphysikos to Thaumatos. back

88. Video footage of such scenes are not for the faint of heart, but can be viewed on the internet. back

89. Cf. Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, Why I am So Wise 4, ibid, 78. “I have to be unprepared in order to be in control of myself”. back

“…ich muss unvorbereitet sein, um meiner Herr zu sein”.

90. Cf. the 2012 Oppenheimer documentary The Act of Killing. This documentary attempts to approach the worst-case scenario, in an attempt to proclaim irrealism (relativity of morality) once and for all. However, we can up the ante, and can always describe an even worse scenario, ‘what-if’ situations in which we compound more and more horrific circumstances to describe unambiguous moral ‘bad’ situations, guaranteed to inspire true moral disgust. back

91. Friedrich Nietzsche, Writings from the Late Notebooks, 1887 10[103], ibid, 191. back

92. Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Ch. 51, ibid, 251. back

93. Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington, Wild is the Wind, (Hollywood: Cherokee Studios 1957). back

94. Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, ibid, 264. back

95. Suicide and self-neglect are counter-intuitive, but the chaos of the continuum of nature allows for psychopathology as a valuable reality. back

96. Homer, Odyssey, 1.1, trans. Fitzgerald (New York: Vintage 1990), 1. “Sing in me, muse...”. back

97. In fact, it would be easy to argue that the transindividual state of existential freedom and moral realist metaethics of compassion as I have described them requires some state of madness. Most traditions of philosophy, poetry, music, and literature on the topic of the Self subsumed in the world frame the existential component in madness. Cf. Wackenroder, Tieck, Nerval, Wagner, et al., and Hamilton, Music, Madness, and the Unworking of Language, 2008. back

98. Nietzsche meant his lifetime of work to culminate in a systematic opus called The Will To Power. He did not finalize or publish this work, relegating much of his ontological insight to his notebook fragments. I believe he had no real choice but to do so, given the lack of robust theories in physics to elevate his ideas out of mysticism and enigma. The alternative for Nietzsche was to hide behind aphoristic enigma, and leave riddles unriddled, except at NF 1885 38[12], where he defines his sense of the actual, of the truth:

“Und wißt ihr auch, was mir “die Welt” ist? Soll ich sie euch in meinem Spiegel zeigen? Diese Welt: ein Ungeheuer von Kraft, ohne Anfang, ohne Ende, eine feste, eherne Größe von Kraft, welche nicht größer, nicht kleiner wird, die sich nicht verbraucht sondern nur verwandelt, als Ganzes unveränderlich groß, ein Haushalt ohne Ausgaben und Einbußen, aber ebenso ohne Zuwachs, ohne Einnahmen, vom “Nichts” umschlossen als von seiner Gränze, nichts Verschwimmendes, Verschwendetes, nichts Unendlich-Ausgedehntes, sondern als bestimmte Kraft einem bestimmten Raum eingelegt, und nicht einem Raume, der irgendwo “leer” wäre, vielmehr als Kraft überall, als Spiel von Kräften und Kraftwellen zugleich Eins und „Vieles“, hier sich häufend und zugleich dort sich mindernd, ein Meer in sich selber stürmender und fluthender Kräfte, ewig sich wandelnd, ewig zurücklaufend, mit ungeheuren Jahren der Wiederkehr, mit einer Ebbe und Fluth seiner Gestaltungen, aus den einfachsten in die vielfältigsten hinaustreibend, aus dem Stillsten, Starrsten, Kältesten hinaus in das Glühendste, Wildeste, Sich-selber-widersprechendste, und dann wieder aus der Fülle heimkehrend zum Einfachen, aus dem Spiel der Widersprüche zurück bis zur Lust des Einklangs, sich selber bejahend noch in dieser Gleichheit seiner Bahnen und Jahre, sich selber segnend als das, was ewig wiederkommen muß, als ein Werden, das kein Sattwerden, keinen Überdruß, keine Müdigkeit kennt —: diese meine dionysische Welt des Ewig-sich-selber-Schaffens, des Ewig-sich-selber-Zerstörens, diese Geheimniß-Welt der doppelten Wollüste, dieß mein Jenseits von Gut und Böse, ohne Ziel, wenn nicht im Glück des Kreises ein Ziel liegt, ohne Willen, wenn nicht ein Ring zu sich selber guten Willen hat, — wollt ihr einen Namen für diese Welt? Eine Lösung für alle ihre Räthsel? ein Licht auch für euch, ihr Verborgensten, Stärksten, Unerschrockensten, Mitternächtlichsten? — Diese Welt ist der Wille zur Macht — und nichts außerdem! Und auch ihr selber seid dieser Wille zur Macht — und nichts außerdem!

“And do you know what ‘the world’ is to me? Shall I show you it in my mirror? This world: a monster of force, without beginning, without end, a fixed, iron quantity of force which grows neither larger nor smaller, which doesn’t exhaust but only transforms itself, as a whole unchanging in size, an economy without expenditure and losses, but equally without increase, without income, enclosed by ‘nothingness’ as by a boundary, not something blurred, squandered, not something infinitely extended; instead as a determinate force set into a determinate space, and not into a space that is anywhere ‘empty’ but as force everywhere, as a play of forces and force-waves simultaneously one and ‘many’, accumulating here while diminishing there, an ocean of forces storming and flooding within themselves, eternally changing, eternally rushing back, with tremendous years of recurrence, with an ebb and flood of its forms, shooting out from the simplest into the most multifarious, from the stillest, coldest, most rigid into the most fiery, wild, self-contradictory, and then coming home from abundance to simplicity, from the play of contradiction back to the pleasure of harmony, affirming itself even in this sameness of its courses and years, blessing itself as what must eternally return, as a becoming that knows no satiety, no surfeit, no fatigue – this my Dionysian world of eternal self-creating, of eternal self-destroying, this mystery world of dual delights, this my beyond good and evil, without goal, unless there is a goal in the happiness of the circle, without will, unless a ring feels good will towards itself – do you want a name for this world? A solution to all its riddles? A light for you too, for you, the most secret, strongest, most intrepid, most midnightly? – This world is the will to power – and nothing besides! And you yourselves too are this will to power – and nothing besides!” From Writings from the Late Notebooks, ibid, 38. Cf. endnote i. back

99. Lao Tzu, ibid, Ch. 1, 1. back

100. Cf. Sam Harris on time and sensory perception. back

101. Lao Tzu, ibid, Ch. 1, 1. “The name that can be named is not the eternal name”. back

102. Spin leek posers won enthralled spikes; the keen lips win a death knell. back

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