1. Nietzsche's Early Metaphysics.

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1. Nietzsche's Early Metaphysics.

Post  Sauwelios on Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:37 am

The fundamental concept of Nietzsche's early metaphysics is the Primordial One. "One" is here a nominalised adjective and is neuter. It may be relevant to note that originally, the word "god", too, was neuter. The Primordial One is the 'God' of Nietzsche's early metaphysics. One should remember at all times though that It is immanent, not transcendent.

The Primordial One has Being (as opposed to "Becoming") and suffers from it. This suffering is a suffering from over-fulness, over-joyedness: the Primordial One aches for lack and woe. It therefore imagines a world of Becoming, lack, and woe. This imagined world, this vision, is not outside It, but It is immanent to it: it is the world as we know it--the world we are a part of. The world as we know it is an imaginary self-fragmentation of the Primordial One; we are really only imaginary fragments, and only have reality in being one with the Primordial One.

This world of Becoming, lack, and woe, which Nietzsche usually calls "Nature" (and which he personifies, hence the capital N), itself also aches for something. Contrary to the Primordial One, Whose ache's alleviation it is, it aches for Being, fulness, and joy. And this ache is again alleviated by imagination: by Apollinian illusion. This illusion is not only the alleviation of Nature, but also the complete redemption of the Primordial One. For the Primordial One delights in seeing Its 'creatures' (most notably human beings) at ease in the illusion of Being. This happiness of Nature/Becoming in the illusion of Being transfigures the Primordial One's own Being: Being now seems something desirable, indeed, the highest good. What delusion! This identication of the good, the beautiful, and the true in Being is the furthest away from the truth and therefore the most desirable. This illusion is truly the highest good and the most beautiful beloved. But only for the Primordial One. For us, it is beautiful and good, but only as a relief from Becoming, not as a transfiguration of Being. In order to partake in the delight of this transfiguration, we must put ourselves in the place of the Primordial One.

The highest form of the illusion of Being in the midst of Becoming is attained by the Apollinian genius. It is for the sake of this genius that the State exists. All human organisations larger than the family ultimately exist solely for this purpose, and even the family ultimately derives its worth solely from compensating for any deficiencies the State may have (hence in Plato's perfect State, the family was to cease: for it would no longer have been of any use).

But there is also another kind of genius, and this has in itself nothing to do with the State. It is the Dionysian genius. The genius of the Dionysian genius consists in his being able to put himself in the place of the Primordial One. The supreme achievement of the exclusively Dionysian genius is experiencing the world as we know it as the Primordial One experiences it: as an alleviation of the torment of Being, overfulness, and overjoyedness in the illusion of Becoming, lack, and woe. But this achievement is not the supreme human achievement. The supreme human achievement is the supreme achievement of the both Dionysian and Apolllinian genius. This genius can at the same time put himself in the place of the Primordial One and create Apollinian images.

    "[N]ow Apollo approaches him and touches him with his laurel. The sleeper's enchantment through Dionysian music now begins to emit sparks of imagery, poems which, at their point of highest evolution, will bear the name of tragedies and dramatic dithyrambs." ([Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, chapter 5.)

    "[O]nly in the work of art that is the tragedy do we hear that highest twin art which, in its union of the Apollinian and the Dionysian, is the image [Abbild] of that primordial enjoyment of the eye of the world." (Nietzsche, fragment of an advanced form of The Birth of Tragedy.)
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Sauwelios
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