I feel like a big nerd whenever i post on this thing, but here's a brief explantion of ressentiment, bad conscience, and the ascetic ideal, what i called "the sicknesses of the mind."
The reactive invents blame, known as ressentiment, towards the other. It cries “It’s your fault!” in regards to the shit of the world, denies responsibility and engages on a Grand March to clean it up. Life becomes blameworthy, unjustifiable, just plain old shitty.
Second, the blame takes hold of oneself as the reactive force screams “It’s my fault the world’s so shitty!” This guilt makes life something that must be justified – it loves life like the bird of prey loves the dying lamb.
And third, these two illnesses combined culminate in the Ascetic Ideal – a complete denial of pleasures and joys of a life worth living – life is turned against life in a blind hope that there will one day come something better than what is, now. Combined these forces make life unbearable - it would be better to will nothing than live with teh shit of life.
I don't hav ethe energy to answer anythign else, but here's some pretty good cards to help ya out.
Gilles Deleuze, professor of philosophy at University of Paris, “Nietzsche and Philosophy,” 1986, pg. 14-17
In Dionysus and in Christ the martyr is the same, the passion is the same. It is the same phenomenon but in two opposed sense (VP IV 464). On the one hand, the life that justifies suffering, that affirms suffering; on the other hand the suffering that accuses life, that testifies against it, that makes life something that must be justified. For Christianity the fact of suffering in life means primarily that life is not just, that it is even essentially unjust, that it pays for an essential injustice by suffering, it is blameworthy because it suffers. The result of this is that life must be justified, that is to say, redeemed of injustice or saved. Saved by that suffering which a little while ago accused it: it must suffer since it is blameworthy. These two aspects of Christianity form what Nietzsche calls “bad conscience” or the internalization of pain (GM II). They define truly Christian nihilism, that is to say the way in which Christianity denies life; on the one side the machine for manufacturing guilt, the horrible pain-punishment equation, on the other side the machine to multiply pain, the justification by pain the dark workshop. Even when Christianity sings the praises of love and life what curses there are in these songs, what hatred beneath this love! It loves life like the bird of prey loves the lamb; tender, mutilated and dying. The dialectician posits Christian love as an antithesis of Judaic hatred. But it is the profession and mission of the dialectician to establish antitheses everywhere. But it is the profession and mission of the dialectician to establish antithesis everywhere where there are more delicate evaluations to be made, coordinations to be interpreted. That the flower is the antithesis of the leaf, that it “refutes” the leaf – this is a celebrated discovery dear to the dialectic. This is also the way in which the flower of Christian love “refutes” hate – that is to say, in an entirely fictitious manner. “One should not imagine that love… grew up… as the opposite of Jewish hatred! No, the reverse is true! That love grew out of it as its crown, as its triumphant crown spreading itself farther and farther into the purest brightness and sunlight, driven as it were into the domain of light and the heights in the pursuit of the goals of that hatred – victory, spoil and seduction” (GM 18 p. 35), this is truly Christian mania, a mania which is already wholly dialectical.
How different this aspect is from the true Dionysus! The Dionysus of the Birth of Tragedy still “resolved” pain, the joy that he experienced was still the joy of resolving it and also of bearing this resolution in the primeval unity. But now Dionysus has seized the sense and value of his own transformations, he is the god for whom life does not have to be justified, for whom life is essentially just. Moreover, it is life which takes charge of justification, “it affirms even the harshest suffering” (VP IV 464). We must be clear, it does not resolve pain by internalizing it, it affirms it in the element of its exteriority. And, from this, the opposition of Dionysus and Christ is developed point by point as that of the affirmation of life (its extreme valuation) and the negation of life (its extreme depreciation). Dionysian mania is opposed to Christian mania; Dionysian intoxication to Christian intoxications; Dionysian laceration to crucifixion; Dionysian resurrection to Christian resurrection; Dionysian transvaluation to Christian transubstantiation. For there are two kinds of suffering and suffers. “Those who suffer from the superabundance of life” make suffering an affirmation in the same way as they make intoxication an activity; in the laceration of Dionysus they recognize the extreme form of affirmation, with no possibility of subtraction, exception or choice. “Those who suffer, on the contrary, from an impoverishment of life” make intoxication a convulsion, a numbness; they make suffering a means of accusing life, of contradicting it and also means of justifying life, of resolving the contradiction. All this in fact goes into the idea of a saviour; there is no more beautiful saviour than the one who would be simultaneously executioner, victim and comforter, the Holy Trinity, the wonderful dream of bad conscience. From the point of view of a saviour, “life must be the path which leads to sainthood”. From the point of view of Dionysus, “existence seems holy enough by itself to justify a further immensity of suffering” (VP IV 464). Dionysian laceration is the immediate symbol of multiple affirmation; Christ’s cross, the sign of the cross, is the image of contradiction and its solution, life submits to the labour of the negative. “Developed contradiction, solution of the contradiction, reconciliation of the contradictories” – all these notions become foreign to Nietzsche. It is Zarathustra who exclaims, “Something higher than all reconciliation” (Z II “Of Redemption”) – affirmation. Something higher than all developed, resolved and suppressed contradiction – transvaluation. This is the common ground between Zarathustra and Dionysus: “Into the abysses I still carry the blessings of my saying Yes (Zarathustra)… But this is the concept of Dionysus once again” (EH III “Thus Spoke Zarathustra 6 p. 306). The opposition of Dionysus or Zarathustra to Christ is not a dialectical opposition, but opposition to the dialectic itself: differential affirmation against dialectical negation, against all nihilism and against this particular form of it. Nothing is further from the Nietzschean interpretation of Dionysus than that presented later by Otto: a Hegelian Dionysus, dialectical and dialectician!
Gilles Deleuze, professor of philosophy at University of Paris, “Nietzsche and Philosophy,” 1986, pg. 25-29
The game has two moments which are those of a dicethrow – the dice that is thrown and the dice that falls back. Nietzsche presents the dicethrow as taking place on two distinct tables, the earth and the sky. The earth where the dice are thrown and the sky where the dice fall back: “if ever I have played dice with the gods at their table, the earth, so that the earth trembled and broke open and streams of fire snorted forth; for the earth is a table of the gods, and trembling with creative new words and the dice throws of the gods” (Z III “The Seven Seals” 3 p. 245). “O sky above me, you pure and lofty sky! This is now your purity to me, that there is not eternal reason-spider and spider’s web in you; that you are to me a dance floor for divine chances, that you are to me a god’s table for divine dice and dicers” (Z III “Before Sunrise” p. 186). But these two tables are not two worlds. They are the two hours of a shingle world, the two moments of a single world, midnight and midday, the hour when the dice are thrown, the hour when the dice fall back. Nietzsche insists on the two tables of life which are also the two moments of the player or the artist; “We temporarily abandon life, in order to then temporarily fix our gaze upon it.” The dicethrow affirms becoming and it affirms the being of becoming.
It is not a matter of several dicethrows which, because of their number, finally reproduce the same combination. On the contrary, it is a matter of a single dicethrow which, due to the number of the combination produced, comes to reproduce itself as such. It is not that a large number of throws produce the repetition of a combination but rather the number of the combination which produces the repetition of the dicethrow. The dice which are thrown are thrown once are the affirmation of chance, the combination which they form on falling is the affirmation of necessity. Necessity is affirmed of chance in exactly the sense that being is affirmed of becoming and unity is affirmed of multiplicity. It will be replied, in vain, that thrown to chance, the dice do not necessarily produce the winning combination, the double six which brings back the dicethrow. This is true, but only insofar as the player did not know how to affirm the chance from the outset. For, just as unity does not suppress or deny multiplicity, necessity does not suppress or abolish chance. Nietzsche identifies chance with multiplicity, with fragments, with parts, with chaos: the chaos of the dice that are shaken and then thrown. Nietzsche turns chance into affirmation. The sky itself is called “chance-sky”, “innocence-sky” (Z II “Before Sunrise”); the reign of Zarathustra is called “great chance” (Z IV “The Honey Offering” and III of “Old and New Law Tables”’; Zarathustra calls himself the “redeemer of chance”). “By chance, he is the world’s oldest nobility, which I have given back to all things; I have released them from their servitude under purpose… I have found this happy certainty in all things; that they prefer to dance on the feet of chance” (Z III “Before Sunrise” p. 186); “My doctrine is ‘Let chance come to me: it is as innocent as a little child!” (Z III “On the Mount of Olives” p. 194). What Nietzsche calls necessity (destiny) is thus never the abolition buy rather the combination of chance itself. Necessity is affirmed of chance in as much as chance itself affirmed. For there is only a single combination of chance as such, a single way of combining all the parts of chance, a way which is like the unity of multiplicity, that is to say number or necessity. There are many numbers with increasing or decreasing probabilities , but only one number of chance as such, one fatal number which reunites all the fragments of chance, like midday gathers together the scattered parts of midnight. This is why it is sufficient for the players to affirm chance once in order to produce the number which brings back the dicethrow.
To know how to affirm chance is to know how to play. But we do not know how to play, “Timid, ashamed, awkward, like a tiger whose leap has failed. But what of that you dicethrowers! You have not learned to play and mock as a man ought to play and mock!” (Z IV “Of the Higher Man” 14 p. 303). The bad player counts on several throws of the dice, on a great number of throws. In this way he makes use of causality and probability to produce a combination that he sees as desirable. He posits this combination itself as an end to be obtained, hidden behind causality. This is what Nietzsche means when he speaks of the eternal spider, of the spider’s web of reason, “A kind of spider of imperative and finality hidden behind the great web, the great net of causality – we could say, with Charles the Bold when he opposed Louis XI, “I fight the universal spider” (GM II 9). To abolish chance by holding it in the grip of causality and finality, to count of the repetition of throws rather than affirming chance, to anticipate a result instead of affirming necessity – these are all the operations of a bad player. They have their root in reason, but what is the root of reason? The spirit of revenge, nothing but the spirit of revenge, the spider (Z II “Of the Tarantulas”). Ressentiment in the repetition of throws, bad conscience in the belief in a purpose. But, in this way, all that will ever be obtained are more or less probably relative numbers. That the universe has no purpose, that it has no end to hope for any more than it has causes to be known – this is the certainty necessary to play well (VP III 465). The dicethrow fails because chance has not been affirmed enough in one throw. It has not been affirmed enough in order to produce the fatal number which necessarily reunites all the fragments and brings back the dicethrow. We must therefore attach the greatest importance to the following conclusion: for the couple causality-finality, probability-finality, for the opposition and the synthesis of these terms, for the web of these terms, Nietzsche substitutes the Dionysian correlation of chance-necessity, the Dionysian couple chance-destiny. Not a probability distributed over several throws but all chance at once; not a final, desired willed combination, but the fatal combination, fatal and loved, amor fati; not the return of a combination by the number of throws, but the repetition of a dicethrow by the nature of the fatally attained number.
12. Consequences for the Eternal Return
Whereas the thrown dice affirm chance once and for all, the dice which fall back necessarily affirm the number or the destiny which brings the dice back. It is in this sense that the second moment of the game is also the two moments together or the player who equals the whole. The eternal return is the second moment, the result of the dicethrow, the affirmation of necessity, the number which brings together all the parts of chance. But it is also the return of the first moment, the repetition of the dicethrow, the reproduction and re-affirmation of chance itself. Destiny in the eternal return is also the “welcoming” of chance, “I cook every chance in my pot. And only when it is quite cooked do I welcome it as my food. And truly, many a chance came imperiously to me; but my will spoke to wit even more imperiously, then it went down imploringly on its knees – imploring shelter and love with me urging in wheedling tones; ‘Just see, O Zarathustra, how a friend comes to a friend!” (Z III “Of the Virtue that makes small” 3 p. 191). This means that there are fragments of chance which claim to be valid in themselves, they appeal to their chance which claim to be valid in themselves, they appeal to their probability, each solicits several throws of the dice from the player; divided among several throws, having become simple probabilities, the fragments of chance are slaves who want to speak as masters. But Zarathustra knows that one must not play or let oneself be played, on the contrary, it is necessary to affirm the whole of chance at once (therefore boil and cook it like the player who warms the dice in his hands), in order to reunite all its fragments and to affirm the number which is not probably but fatal and necessary. Only then is chance a friend who visits his friend, a friend who will be asked back, a friend of destiny whose destiny itself assures the eternal return as such.
In a more obscure text loaded with historical significance Nietzsche writes, “Universal chaos which excluded all purposeful activity does not contradict the idea of the cycle; for this idea is only an irrational necessity” (VP II 326). What this means is that chaos and cycle, becoming and eternal return have often been brought together, but as if they were opposites. Thus, for Plato, becoming is itself and unlimited becoming, a becoming insane, a becoming hubric and guilty which, in order to be made circular needs the act of a demiurge who forcibly bends it, who imposes the model of the idea on it. This is how becoming or chaos are transferred to the side of an obscure mechanical causality and the cycle is referred to a kind of finality which is imposed from the outside. There is no chaos in the cycle, the cycle expresses the forced submission of becoming to an external law. Even among the Pre-Socratics perhaps only Heraclitus knew that becoming is not “judged”, that it cannot be and has not to be judged, that it does not receive its law from elsewhere, that it is “just” and possesses its own law in itself (PTG). Only Heraclitus foresaw that there is no kind of opposition between chaos and cycle. And, in fact, we only need to affirm chance (chance and not causality) in order to affirm simultaneously the number or the necessity that brings it back (an irrational necessity and not a finality). “There was not first of all chaos, then little by little a regular and circular movement of all the forms: on the contrary, all this is eternal, removed from becoming; if there ever was a chaos of forces the chaos was eternal and has reappeared in every cycle. Circular movement has not come into being, it is the original law, in the same way as the mass of force is the original law without exception or possible infraction. All becoming happens inside the cycle of mass and force” (VP II 325 – circular movement = cycle, mass of force = chaos). We must understand that Nietzsche does not recognize his idea of eternal return in his predecessors of antiquity. They did not see in the eternal return the being of becoming as such, the unity of multiplicity, that is to say the necessary number, the necessary result of all chance. They even saw it as the opposite, a subjugation of becoming, an avowal of its injustice an the expiation of this injustice. With the possible exception of Heraclitus they had not seen “the presence of the law in becoming and of play in necessity” (PTG).
Gilles Deleuze, professor of philosophy at University of Paris, “Nietzsche and Philosophy,” 1986, pg. 64-65
The idea of the real in itself is an ass’ idea. The ass feels the weight of the burdens that it has been loaded with, that it has taken up, as the positivity of the real. What happens is this: the spirit of gravity is the spirit of the negative, the combined spirit of gravity is the spirit of the negative, the combined spirit of nihilism and reactive forces; the practiced eye has no trouble in discovering the reactive in all the Christian virtues of the ass, in all its strengths which are useful for bearing; the prudent eye sees the products of nihilism in all the burdens that it carries. But the ass only ever grasps consequences separated from their premises, products separated from the principle of their production and forces separated from the spirit which animates them. Its burdens therefore seem to it to have the positivity of the real, like the strength with which it is endowed, positive qualities which correspond to an acceptance of life and the real. “Almost in the cradle we are presented with heavy words and values: this dowry calls itself ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’… And we – we bear loyally that we have been given upon hard shoulders over rugged mountains! And when we sweat we are told: ‘Yes, life is hard to bear!’” (Z III “Of the Spirit of Gravity” 2 p. 211). First of all the ass is Christ: it is Christ who takes up the heaviest burdens, it is he who bears the fruits of the negative as if they contained the positive mystery par excellence. Then, when man takes the place of God, the ass becomes a free thinker. He appropriates everything that is put on his back. There is no longer any need to load him, he loads himself. He recuperates the State, religion etc. as his own powers. He has become God: all the old values of the other world now appear to him as forces which control this world, as his own forces. The heaviness of the burden becomes confused with the heaviness of his tired muscles. He accepts himself in accepting the real, he accepts the real in accepting himself. With this frightening sense of responsibility the whole of morality returns at the gallop. But the real and its acceptance remain what they are, false positivity and false affirmation. Faced with “the men of the present” Zarathustra says: “the unfamiliar things of the future and whatever frightened stray birds, are truly more familiar and more genial than your ‘reality’. For thus you speak: ‘We are complete realists and without belief or superstition’: thus you thump your chests – alas, even without having chests! But how should you be able to believe, you motley-spotted men! – you who are paintings of all that has ever been believed!... Unworthy of belief: that is what I call, you realists!... You are unfruitful… You are half-open doors at which grave-diggers wait. And that is your reality…” (Z II “Of the Land of Culture” p. 143). The men of the present still live under an old idea: that everything heavy is real and positive, that everything that carries it is real and affirmative. But this reality which unites the camel and its burden to the point of confusing them in a single mirage is only the desert, the reality of the desert, nihilism. Zarathustra has already said of the camel: “As soon as it is laden it hastens towards the desert.” And of the courageous, “Vigorous and patient” spirit: “now life seems to him a desert! (Z I “Of the Three Metamorphoses” and III “Of the Spirit of Gravity”). The real, understood as the object, aim and limit of affirmation; affirmation understood as acquiescence in our adhesion to the real: this is the meaning of braying. But this affirmation is an affirmation of consequence, the consequence of eternally negative premises, an answering yes, answering the spirit of gravity and all its solicitations. The ass does not know how to say no; but first and foremost he does not know how to say no to nihilism itself. He gathers all its products, he carries them into the desert and there christens them: the real as such. This is why Nietzsche can denounce the yes of affirmation; the ass is not opposed to Zarathustra’s ape, he does not develop a power different from the power of denying, he answers faithfully to this power. He does not no how to say no, he always answers yes, but answers yet each time nihilism opens the conversation.
In this critique of affirmation as acceptance of responsibility Nietzsche is not thinking simply nor distantly of stoic conceptions. The enemy is closer to hand. Nietzsche is engaged in a critique of all conceptions of affirmation which see it as a simple function, a function of being or of what is. This applies however this being is conceived: as true or real, whether as noumenon or phenomenon, and however this function is conceived: whether as development, exposition, unveiling, revelation, realization, grasping in consciousness, or knowledge. Philosophy since Hegel appears as a bizarre mixture of ontology and anthropology, metaphysics and humanism, theology and atheism, theology of bad conscience and atheism of Ressentiment. For, insofar as affirmation is presented as a function of being, man himself appears as the functionary of affirmation: being is affirmed in man at the same time as man affirms being. Insofar as affirmation is defined by an acceptance, that is to say an acceptance of responsibility, it establishes a supposedly fundamental relation between man and being, an athletic and dialectical relation. Once again, and for the last time, there is no difficulty in identifying Nietzsche’s enemy: it is the dialectic which confuses affirmation with the truthfulness of truth or the positivity of the real: and this truthfulness, this positivity, are primarily manufactured by the dialectic itself with the products of the negative. The being of Hegelian logic is merely ‘thought’ being, pure and empty, which affirms itself by passing into its own opposite. But this being was never different from its opposite, it never had to pass into what it already was. Hegelian being is pure and simple nothingness; and the becoming that this being forms with nothingness, that is to say with itself, is a perfectly nihilistic becoming; and affirmation passes through negation here because it is merely the affirmation of the negative and its products. Feuerbach took the refutation of Hegelian being a long way. For a merely ‘thought’ truth he substituted the truth of the sensuous. For abstract being he substituted sensuous, determined, real being, “the real in its reality”, “the real as real”. He wanted real being to be the object of real being: the total reality of being as the object of the real and total being of man. He wanted real being to be the object of the real and total being of man. He wanted thought to be affirmative and understood as affirmation as the positing of that which is. But the real in itself in Feuerbach preserves all the attributes of nihilism as the predicate of the divine; the real being of man preserves all the reactive properties as the strength and taste for accepting this divine. In “the men of the present”, in “the realists”, Nietzsche denounces the dialectic and the dialectician: a portrayal of all that has ever been believed.
Nietzsche wants to say three things:
1) Being, the true and the real are the avatars of nihilism. Ways of mutilating life, of denying it, of making it reactive by submitting it to the labour of the negative, by loading it with the heaviest burdens, Nietzsche has no more belief in the self-sufficiency of the real than he has in that of the true: he thinks of them as the manifestations of a will, a will to depreciate life, to oppose life to life.
2) Affirmation conceived of as acceptance, as affirmation of that which is, as truthfulness of the true or positivity of the real, is a false affirmation. It is the yes of the ass. The ass does not know how to say no because everything he says yes to everything which is no. The ass or the camel is the opposite of the lion; in the lion negation becomes a power of affirming, but in them affirmation remains at the service of the negative, a simple power of denying.
3) This false conception of affirmation is still a way of preserving man. As long as being is a burden the reactive man is there to carry it. Where could being be better affirmed than in the desert? And where could man be better preserved. “The last man lives the longest.” Beneath the sun of being he loses even the taste for dying, disappearing into the desert to dream at length of a passive extinction. – Nietzsche’s whole philosophy is opposed to the postulates of being, of man and of acceptance. “Being: we have no other representation of it than the fact of living. How could that which is dead have being?” (VP II 8). The world is neither true nor real but living. And the living world is will to power, will to falsehood, which is actualized in many different powers. To actualize the will to falsehood under any power whatever, to actualize the will to power under any quality whatever, is always to evaluate. To live is to evaluate. There is no truth of the world as it is thought, no reality of the sensible world, all is evaluation, even and above all the sensible and the real. “The will to appearance, to illusion, to deception, to becoming and chance (to objectified deception) here counts as more profound, primeval, ‘metaphysical’, than the will to truth, to reality, to mere appearance: - the last is itself merely a form of the will to illusion” (VP IV 8/WP 853 III p. 453 – “here refers to BT). Being, truth and reality are themselves only valid as evaluations, that is to say as lies. But, in this capacity, as means of actualizing the will through one of its power, they have, up to now served the power or quality of the negative. Being, truth and reality itself are like the divine in which life is opposed to life. The ruler is then negation as quality of the will to power which, opposing life to life, denies the whole of it and makes it triumph as reactive in particular. By contrast, the other quality of the will to power is a power through which willing is adequate to the whole of life and its particularity is affirmed and has become active. To affirm is still to evaluate, but to evaluate from the perspective of a will which enjoys its own difference in life instead of suffering the pains of the opposition to this life that it has itself inspired. To affirm is not to take responsibility for, to take on the burden of what is, but to release, to set free what lives. To affirm is to unburden: not to load life with the weight of higher values, but to create new values which are those of life, which make life light and active. There is creation, properly speaking, only insofar as we make use of excess in order to invent new forms of life rather than separating life from what it can do. “And you yourselves should create what you have hitherto called the World: the World should be formed in your image, by your reason, your will and your love!” (Z II “On the Blissful Islands” p. 110). But this task is not completed in man. Going as far as he can man raises negation to a power of affirming. But affirming in its full power, affirming affirmation itself – this is beyond man’s strength. “To create new values – even the lion is incapable of that: but to create itself freedom for new creation – that the lion can do” (Z I “Of the Three Metamorphoses” p. 55). The sense of affirmation can only emerge if these three fundamental points in Nietzsche’s philosophy are borne in mind: not the true nor the real but evaluation; not affirmation as acceptance but as creation; not man but the Overman as a new form of life. Nietzsche attaches so much importance to art because art realizes the whole of his programme: the highest power of the false, Dionysian affirmation or the genius of the superhuman (VP IV 8/WP 853).
Gilles Deleuze, professor of philosophy at University of Paris, “Nietzsche and Philosophy,” 1986, pg. 147-148
In the word nihlism nihil does not signify non-being but primarily a value of nil. Life takes on a value of nil insofar as it is denied and depreciated. Depreciation always presupposes a fiction: it is by means of fiction that one falsifies and depreciates, it is by means of fiction that something is opposed to life (AC 15, the opposition of dream and fiction). The whole of life then becomes unreal, it is represented as appearance, it takes on a value of nil in its entirety. The idea of another world, of a supersensible world in all its forms (God, essence, the good, truth), the idea of values superior to life, is not one example among many but the constituive element of all fiction. Values superior to life are inseparable from their effect: the depreciation of life, the negation of this world. And if they are inseparable from this effect it is because their principle is a will to deny, to depreciate. We must be careful not to think that highter values form a threshold where the will stops, as if, confronted by the divine, we were released from the constraint of willing. It is not the will that denies itself in higher values, it is higher values that are related to a will to deny, to annihilate life. “Nothingness of the will”: this Schopenhauerian concept is only a symptom; it means primarily a will to annihlation, a will to nothingness… “but it is and remains a will!” (GM III 28 pg. 163). Nihil in “nihilism” means negation as quality of the will to power. Thus, in its primary and basic sense, nihilism signifies the value of nil taken inits primary and basic sense, nihilism signifies the value of nil taken on by life, the fiction of higher values which five it this value and the will to nothingness which is expressed in these higher values.
Nihlism has a second, more colloquial sense. It nologner signifies a will but rather a reaction. The supersensible world and higher values are reacted against, their existence is denied, they are refused all validity – this is no logner the evaluation of life in the name of higher values but rather the devaluatio of higher values themselves. Devalutation no longer signifies life taking on the value of nil, the null value, but the nullity of values, of higher values. The sensational newsspreads: there is nothing to be seen behind the curtain, “The characteristics which have been assigned to the ‘real being’ of things are the characteristics of non-being, of nothigness” (TI “’Reason’ in Philosophy” 6 p. 39). Thus the nihilist denies God, the good and even truth – all the forms of the supersensible. Nothing is ture, nothing is good, God is dead. The nothingness of the will is no longer merelyl the symptom of a will to nothingnness, but ultimately a negation of all will, a taedium vitae. There is no longer any human or earthly will. “Here is snow; lhere life has grown silent; the last crows whose cries are audible here are called ‘wherefore?’, ‘in vain!’, ‘nada!’ – here nothing will grow or prosper any longer” (GM III 26 p. 157). This second sesne derives from and presupposes the first. Previously life was derpreciated from the height of higher values, itw asd enied in the name of these values. Here, on the bontrary, only life remains, but it is still a depreciated life which now continues in a world without values, stripped of meaning and purpose, sliding ever further towards its nothgingess. Reviously essence was opposed to appearance. Now essence is denied but appearance is retained: everything is merely appearance. The first sense of nihilism found its principle in the will to deny as will to pwer. The second sense, “the pessimism of weakness”, finds its pricniple in the reactive life completely solitary and naked, in reactive forces reduced to themselves. The first sense is a negative nihilism; the second sense a reactive nihilism.
2. Analysis of Pity
The fundamental complicity of the will to nothingness and reactive forces is due to the fact that it is the will to nothingness that allows reactive froces to triumph. When, under the influence of the will to nothingness, universal life becomes unreal, life as particular life becomes reactive. Life becomes simultaneously unreal as a whole and reactive in particular. In its enterprise of denying life the will to nothingness on the one hand merely olerates the reactive life but on the other hand has need of it. It tolerates the reactive life as a state of life close to zero, it has need of it as a means by which life is led to deny and contradict itself. In this way victorious reactive forces have a witness, or worse, a leader. But what happens is that the triumphant reactive forces are less and less tolerant of this leader and witness. They want to triupmh alone, they no longer want to owe their triumph to anyone else. Perhaps theydread the obscure goal of its own that the will to power attains through their victory, perhapst hey fear that this will to power wil turn against them, and destry them in turn. The reactive life breaks its alliance with the negative will, it wants to rule alone. This is why reactive forces project tehir image, but this time in order to take the place of the will which lead s tehm. How far will they go along this path? It is better to have no “will” at all than this over-powerful, over-lively will. It is better to have stagnant herds than the shepherd who persists in leading us too far. It is better to have only our own strength than a will which we no longer need. How far will reactive forces go? It is better to fade away passively! “Reactive nihilism”, in a way, prolongs “negative nihilism”: triumphant reactive forecs take the place of power of denythign which led them to their triumph. But “passive nihilism” is the final outcome of reactive nihilism: fading away passively rather thanb eing led from outside.
Finally, the exhausted life which prefers to not will, to fade away passively, rather than being animated by a will which goes beyond it. This stil is and always remains the same type of life; life depreciated, reduced to its reactive form. Values can change, be renewed or even disappear. What does not change and does not disappear is the nihilistic perspective which governs this history from beginnign to end and from which all these values (as well as their absence) arise. This is why Nietzsche can think that nihilism is not an event in history but the motor of the history of man as universal history. Negative, reactive, and passive nihilism: for Nietzsche one and the same history is marked out by Judaism, Christianity, the reformation, free thought, democratic and socialist ideology etc. Up until the last man.
Good "Alt" analysis
RICHARD K. SHERWIN, PROFESSOR OF LAW, NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL, FEBRUARY 2003, “LAW’S BEATITUDE: A POST-NIETZSCHEAN ACCOUNT OF LEGITIMACY,” 24 CARDOZA L. REV. 689-693
How far nihilistic thinking and the pathology of sick reason are from Nietzsche’s thinking about the will to power. And here Rosenzweig and Freud are also allied in a similar kind of thinking. For theirs too is a response to sick reason, to the pathology of denial, against the paralysis of death anxiety. Their response calls not for a flight from, or a defense against, life, but rather for what Santner describes as the “undeadening” of metaphysical fantasy— a de-cathexis or working through of the psyche’s fixation upon the traumatic excess of unbound energy. Only when the bond to metaphysical fantasy has been loosened may we learn to tarry with anxiety rather than take flight into a ghostly nothingness. Here is the gate through which we enter more deeply into life. But by what force are we impelled to cross over? What strength of will leads death-bound subjectivity to forge meaning in the very midst of life? But what is the will to power if not this very force? Here lies the catalyst for supreme affirmation of this life from creative moment to creative moment. It is here that we encounter the deep joy of Nietzsche’s beatitude. The healthy will, the will to power, is the will not to nothingness, but to more life. It is the will that wills its own growth and vitality. It is the will to surpass itself, to be more.
“All things are entangled, ensnared, enamored . . .” Nietzsche tells us. And all joy “wants everything eternally the same.” “To impose upon becoming the character of being . . . . to preserve a world of that which is, which abides . . . . That everything recurs is the closest approximation of a world of becoming to a world of being. . . .”
It is with good reason that Birault credits Heidegger’s observation that “[t]he Will to Power is, in its essence and according to its internal possibility, the eternal return of the same.” Birault is also perspicacious in noting that Nietzsche’s beatitude is the source, the beginning, rather than the goal, the phantasmal promised land, of creative thought and action. As Birault aptly puts it, “[t]he blissful man has made his peace with reality.” He has no need of, and no desire for the beyond, the unconditioned absolute. Rather than dissolve pain and suffering in some life beyond life, Nietzsche’s tragic narrative affirms this life with all its suffering and vicissitudes.
The will to power culminates in the eternal return out of an excess of vitality and joy. Its affirmation is a thanking and a blessing. As Birault writes, it: proceeds from love, and love only, from an immense gratitude for what is, a gratitude that seeks to impress the seal of eternity on what is and what, for Nietzsche, is always only in becoming. . . . It is then that the will becomes love, without ceasing to be will and Will to Power. It is then that this love becomes the love of the necessary, “amor fati,” without ceasing to be love and will for the contingency of the most contingent things.
III. LAW’S BEATITUDE
Nietzsche invites us to embrace life, to enhance the spirit of joyful creativity (the de-cathexis of traumatic excess) that links the will to power to meaning in the midst of life. This is what it means to heal sick reason. As Rosenzweig urges, “[l]et our personal experience, even though it change from instant to instant, be reality.” This is what it means to leave the fanciful realm of essences. “[A]ll turns into a black nothingness unless you color the world—yours are the tinges that illuminate it.” But in uttering these words, Rosenzweig does more than merely echo Nietzsche’s beatific excess, as expressed in the will to power. He takes a further step. He travels about, not alone with his will content to embrace the totality of things, but in the presence of others he meets along the way. “Whenever I encounter man,” Rosenzweig writes, “I shall steep my countenance in his until it reflects his every feature . . . until I have absorbed their countenances and thus come into contact with everything that ever existed. Thus traveling about the earth, I shall come face to face with my own Self.”